Scenic USA - Illinois

French Canyon Falls

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French Canyon Falls - Starved Rock State Park, Illinois

Photo by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA FAA Photography

   Along with its intriguing name, Starved Rock State Park entices its visitors with a fascinating string of 18 canyons and just as many seasonal waterfalls. Here along the Illinois River a line of prominent sandstone bluffs create this unique parkland setting. Saint Peter sandstone usually lies well buried hundreds of feet below the surface. In this area of Illinois the bedrock was pushed to the surface and has since been slowly eroded into these beautiful canyons and layered bluffs. Starved Rock Forest Trail Boardwalk
   Spring rains bring a mixed blessing to the park. While waterfall fans are treated to full flowing falls, the parking lot occasionally turns into a pool. Muddy picnic grounds and hiking trails turn off all but the heartiest park-goers.
   Leading through a canopy of red oaks, hickory, white pine and red cedar, park trails follow along the river's edge and across the top of the bluff line. Trails and stairways lead in and out of the canyons, offering a variety of waterfall viewpoints. Varying in height from the 15 foot Kaskaskia Falls to the 125 foot Wildcat Falls, park favorites include St. Louis, Tonty, Wildcat, La Salle, Hennepin, Ottawa, Illinois and the French Canyon Falls (main photo). Hiking in and out of all the canyons and waterfalls is labeled as strenuous. With that said, unseasoned hikers are in luck as French Canyon Falls is one of the closest to the visitor center; proving to be well worth a look when it's running with a steady stream.

    Park Trail Map
    Area Map

Additional Points of Interest


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