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Anything on the way from Chicago to Starved Rock Lodge?

Zurich, Switzerland
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202 posts
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Anything on the way from Chicago to Starved Rock Lodge?

Following your advice on this forum, we're going to stay at Starved Rock Lodge for three nights from September 30 (after staying in Chicago without a car). We're going to rent a car from the airport (O'Hare). Is there anything we could visit or do on the way to the park?

Can you also recommend anything to visit near the park in case it rains or if we get too tired hiking. It seems the trails in the park are quite strenuous and we both have back problems and can't hike for more than about two hours.

Thank you very much for your advice. The Illinois forum is great.

Illinois
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1. Re: Anything on the way from Chicago to Starved Rock Lodge?

You could stop at the Farnsworth House on the way from O'Hare. I've never visited, but it gets good reviews.

http://farnsworthhouse.org/

Matthiessen State Park is just down the road from Starved Rock, and is just as beautiful.

You can see the lock and dam at the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, just across the river from Starved Rock.

Maybe take a canal boat ride:

http://lasallecanalboat.org/

There is a bike trail along the I& M Canal that runs from Joliet to Peru, Illinois. You may be able to rent bikes in Ottawa. I've taken the trail from Joliet to Ottawa, and it's a pleasant ride.

Chicago's North...
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for Illinois, Chicago
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2. Re: Anything on the way from Chicago to Starved Rock Lodge?

nearby buffalo rock state park:

…state.il.us/lands/…Home.htm

you get to see a coupla american bison, which is pretty cool for around here...

Illinois
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3. Re: Anything on the way from Chicago to Starved Rock Lodge?

Regarding hiking at Starved Rock - two hours is about my limit too. Beyond that it feels more like a death march. The hike to the western part of the park, to St. Louis Canyon, is about 3 miles, so a nice walk. You can also drive to a parking lot off Route 178 which makes for a ten minute hike back to St. Louis Canyon.

I would drive to the parking lots on the far east side of the park where you have a relatively short walk back to Illinois, Kaskaskia, and Ottawa Canyons.

You can make a nice loop eastward from the lodge on several trails. Make sure to bring a map with you so that you can hike along the bluffs one way, and along the river the other way.

I really like the way the trails are marked at Starved Rock. Yellow dots on trees mean that you are moving away from the visitor center, and white dots mean that you are returning. This makes it hard to get lost.

I hope you have good weather.

starvedrocklodge.com/wp-content/uploads/2012…

starvedrockstatepark.org/activity/shopping/

Zurich, Switzerland
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202 posts
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4. Re: Anything on the way from Chicago to Starved Rock Lodge?

Thank you very much for all your tips. Farnsworth House sounds very interesting. We're looking forward to our stay very much.

Chicago Suburbs
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5. Re: Anything on the way from Chicago to Starved Rock Lodge?

With all due respect, I don't think there is much to do around Starved Rock except for hiking. If you are planning on 3 nights, and can only walk a couple of hours a day, I fear you will be very bored.

6. Re: Anything on the way from Chicago to Starved Rock Lodge?

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