Thursday, October 18, 2007

Yesterday, Tom and I decided to spend some time at Starved Rock State Park. Starved Rock is located along the Illinois River in North Central Illinois, and is one of our favorite places for day hikes.
Wildcat Canyon.
Starved Rock itself. The rock got it's name when several Indian tribes pursued a rival tribe, and the pursued tribe took refuge on top of the rock. They were held at bay there. They tried lowering buckets to obtain water, but their lines were cut by the opposing tribe . They all died.
Later, Fort St. Louis was built on top of Starved Rock.

Typical pathway at Starved Rock State Park, close to the Lodge where the paths are improved. Further out, the paths get more rugged and there are some scary drop offs.
That's Tom, marching ahead of me.

I lasted about 10 minutes carrying our pack full of water bottles. My legs are pretty sore today, but it sure felt good to be out hiking. I love it!

View off the rock.

Wildcat Canyon, my favorite canyon in the park because it is so deep and scary.

After our hike, we stopped at one of Utica's small, family restaurants for dinner, and fortunately the rain storm held off until we started for home.
It was just a wonderful day. We are fortunate to have such a lovely park only an hours drive from our place.


sheila said...

What a beautiful park! Living in Illinois, I never even think of this state as having anything other than flat farmland as far as the eye can see. It is nice to see such a beautiful place here in our state. Southern Illinois has a few hills and a really nice state park by Carbondale, Shawnee National Forrest. We use to trail ride there once upon a time.

Juliann said...

Hi Sheila,

Starved Rock is nice, for Illinois. Shawnee is my favorite, we went there for the first time last fall and saw about a third of the parks we wanted to explore! The ones we saw were magical. We did Garden of the Gods, Beaver Creek Trail, Tower Rock, Hole in the Rock, a few others. We hope to make it back down there many times for more hiking!

Corinne R. said...

Beautiful photos! I can't believe that I have never taken the time to go to Starved Rock, it isn't that far from me either and I know that we have passed by it in our travels. I will make it a point to stop next time!

Juliann said...

Hi Corinne,

Even if you only make it to the top of the rock, it's worth it. For more hiking, there are trails leading back to the canyons which are nice, too.
There is a visitor's center that sells nature books and history books, if you are a book lover like me.

Kathy said...

Just beautiful! So wonderfully GREEN! Oh, don't get me wrong - I love the Ponderosa pines and the Grand Canyon, but I also miss places like that in the midwest.
(Did I actually hear my DH say something about moving back to the midwest? Be still my heart! It's there or the Pacific NW!)

Thank you so much for sharing this natural beauty with us, Julianne!