Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Photo Essay: Hiking Starved Rock

With the weather turning nicer late last week, we jumped at the chance and did our outing to Starved Rock State Park (another item on my fall list!). I hope these pictures give you an idea why we love this canyonland, a two-hour drive from Chicago.

We hiked the east end of the park, which is less frequented. Here's the end of Ottawa Canyon (with my son for good measure).

Looking up from the bottom of Ottawa Canyon.

The pool at the end of lichen-encrusted Kaskaskia Canyon (with child in motion) must have been a great swimming hole before it became a state park (where swimming is prohibited), and before all those logs fell in.

Most of the hike at the eastern end of the park is like this, along the bluffs high above the Illinois River, until you pass Owl Canyon where stairs lead down to the water's edge.

Closer to the water now.

Walking into LaSalle Canyon.

Despite the recent rains, most of the canyons were dry where usually you'd find at least a little trickle of a waterfall.

After two hours I must say I was feeling my legs! It was a good four hour hike altogether.

Somebody lives here, I'm sure!


  1. I love hiking too. Your pictures are beautiful!!

  2. Daughter lives close enough to visit often. I planned to go this summer, but then broke both of my ankles. Next summer... Beautiful pictures! Love the child in motion.

  3. What a beautiful, beautiful place. It actually looks a lot like Australia, except for the fall trees (Australian trees are all evergreen). I love that you do these walks with your family.

  4. Gorgeous pictures. I had no idea such things existed South of Chicago. Amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Starved Rock is an intimidating name for a gorgeous place. Thanks for taking us there, Annette.

  6. Coleen - thanks, glad you like the pictures.
    Roan - sorry to hear about your ankles, hope you are healing OK!
    Naomi - really, you don't have fall foliage in Australia?
    Diane - yes, it's pretty amazing to have this place in the middle of the prairie.
    Pat - it is indeed a sad name, legend has it that a tribe of Native Americans were besieged hiding on top of the highest bluff and starved to death.

  7. Absolutely stunning! I love love love your photo essays. You are so lucky to have such spectacular nature so close to home. Uberlicious. I am jealous! But your pictures make me feel like I was there!!! Thanks for sharing...

  8. Natalie - thank you for your interest and compliments on my photo essays, they are really a new medium for me, so I appreciate your support and interest! Yes, I am lucky to have beautiful places around where I live but I also think you can find beauty no matter where you are, you just have to be looking.

  9. Gorgeous photos. Absolutely gorgeous.

  10. Bike Lady - thanks, glad you enjoyed them.