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Illinois Canyon – Starved Rock

Spring is a wonderful time to visit this smaller canyon on the eastern edge of the park’s boundaries.  Spring brings a bounty of wildflowers to the canyon in a hues of blue, lavendar, and pink virginia bluebells.  Some visitors have spotted baby barred owls fledging for the first time and birders have rejoiced at the songs of hermit and wood thrushes along the creek banks.  

Length from the Visitors Center:   4.7 miles one way. 

Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous including several large staircases.

Parking:  Visitors may park in the Illinois Canyon parking lot along State Route 71 on the eastern edge of the park.  Round trip hike from the parking lot to the canyon back is 1 mile.  

Waterfall: Yes.  The park’s smallest waterfall at just a few feet tall cascades into a shallow pond at the back of the canyon.  

Top View: No

Interior Canyon View: Yes

Flora and Fauna: Illinois Canyon is known for its carpet of bluebells in the spring.  Birders can enjoy spotting various thrush, vireo, and warbler species from spring migration through the end of summer.