|Starved Rock in summer (looking here much smaller than it actually is) towers over the Illinois River|
I remember going there as a kid. My family would take a picnic lunch and we would hike the trails. I remember the canyons and I remember climbing to the top of the Rock. My mother, fearful of heights, never let me near the edge. These days, it’s a lot safer. And easier. Now there are wooden stairs climbing to the top and guard rails to keep people away from the edge.
The park derives its name from a Native American legend. In the 1760s, Chief Pontiac of the
As a youngster, I had never been there in the winter, so this was a treat. The snowfall has been minimal this year and the hiking trails were very accessible. Eagles winter in the area, fishing in the waters of the river, and the park has Eagle Watching weekends.
|A wintry hike|
In the 1890′s, a man named Daniel Hitt purchased the site and developed the land for vacationers - with a hotel, dance pavilion and swimming area. In 1911, the State of
|The park has it's share of canyons - and caves|
|The park is well known for its fascinating rock formations, primarily St. Peter sandstone, laid down in a huge shallow inland sea more than 425 million years ago|
After our hike we warmed up in the Back Door Lounge and had some dinner. The lounge is more casual than the dining room, with a menu to match. There were three of us. We each had something different, but we all agreed the food was good! I decided to try the ‘Starved Rock’ Chardonnay. Not bad at all.
One of these times I’d like to spend a night or two in one of their cabins. It would be fun to get up very early and catch the morning light on the water, the trees, and the rocks, hike all day, take advantage of some delicious food and be able to have a second glass of that chardonnay before falling into bed, where I would hopefully dream of a time when the Indians occupied the land. I'm sure their ghosts are around - particularly if the legend is true.
If you go: http://www.starvedrockstatepark.org/
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