Starved Rock Lodge History

Starved Rock Lodge is a historic lodge located in Starved Rock State Park in Utica, Illinois. The park is named after a Native American legend about a group of Illiniwek who were said to have taken refuge on top of a towering rock formation during a tribal battle, only to be eventually starved to death.

The lodge was built in the early 1920s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a New Deal program established during the Great Depression to provide jobs and improve the country’s national and state parks. The lodge was constructed using local materials, such as sandstone and oak timbers, and was designed to blend into its natural surroundings.

Since its opening, Starved Rock Lodge has served as a popular tourist destination, offering visitors a range of recreational activities, such as hiking, fishing, and boating, as well as dining and lodging options. The lodge has undergone several renovations and expansions over the years, but much of its original architecture and design has been preserved.

Today, Starved Rock Lodge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and continues to attract visitors from all over the world who are drawn to its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and unique architecture. 

Starved Rock State Park, where the Starved Rock Lodge is located, is known for its extensive network of trails that offer visitors the opportunity to explore the park’s scenic beauty and unique geological formations. Here are some of the most popular trails near the lodge:

  1. Starved Rock Trail: This is the park’s most famous trail, and it leads to the top of the eponymous rock formation, providing breathtaking views of the Illinois River and the surrounding landscape.
  2. French Canyon Trail: This trail takes visitors on a scenic hike through the park’s canyons, passing by several waterfalls and scenic overlooks.
  3. Wildcat Canyon Trail: This trail provides access to one of the park’s most remote and rugged canyons, offering a more challenging hike and a chance to experience a more secluded and wild part of the park.
  4. Buffalo Rock Trail: This short trail takes visitors to the top of another towering rock formation, providing panoramic views of the Illinois River and the surrounding countryside.
  5. Tonty Canyon Trail: This trail takes visitors through a narrow, steep-sided canyon, passing by a number of scenic overlooks and a small waterfall.

These are just a few of the many trails that can be found near the Starved Rock Lodge. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just looking for a leisurely walk, the park offers a range of trail options to suit your interests and abilities.