Scenic USA - Illinois

Each day Scenic USA presents a new and interesting photo feature from somewhere in the United States. Chosen from a wide variety
of historic sites, city scenes, backcountry byways, points of interest and America's best parklands, this site offers the viewer hundreds
of unique vacation destinations and photographic subjects. Each feature is coupled with a brief explanation. For further detailed
information, links to other sites are provided, but are never to be considered an endorsement.



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Other nearby
Points of Interest

Matthiessen State Park

Buffalo Rock State Park

LaSalle Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area

Gebhard Woods State Park

Lake DePue State Fish and Wildlife Area

McCune Sand Prairie



French Canyon Falls

French Canyon Falls - Starved Rock State Park, Illinois

Photos by Ben Prepelka

     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 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

    Map to Starved Rock State Park


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