One of our Natural Resource Coordinators favorite locations in the park! Kaskaskia Canyon is a short trek from the Canyon parking lot off of State Route 71 at the eastern edge of the park. Signified by the large tree trunks guarding the 20 foot waterfall cascading into a small pond. Another log lays just across the ground in front of the fall to provide visitors a spot to rest and enjoy the sounds and sights of nature. Named after the Native American sub tribe of the Illinois confederation. The Kaskaskia lived in the Grand Village across the river from Starved Rock in the 1600’s.
Length from the Visitors Center: 4.0 miles one way from the visitor center or lodge parking lots.
Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous involving several major staircases and trail crossing at State Route 71 from Hennepin Canyon to the eastern canyon trail system.
Parking: Yes. Ottawa and Kaskaskia Canyon parking lot is located on the eastern edge of the park off of State Route 71. Just a .5 mile hike from the canyon parking lot.
Waterfall: Yes, rain dependent.
Top View: No
Interior Canyon View: Yes
Flora and Fauna: One of the longest hikes from the visitor center can reward the visitor with several overlooks of the river to view eagles and pelicans as well the splendor of the oak hickory woodlands sprinkled with an under story of witch hazel, sassafras, maple, and ash. The occasional chipmunk or gray squirrel may cross the path or a northern banded water snake may be seen on a river log basking in the sun. Smaller woodland birds such as warblers, woodpeckers, thrushes, titmice, sparrows, and chickadees will call out or sing a song from the treetops.