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Kaskaskia Canyon & Ottawa Canyon at Starved Rock State Park - Oglesby, Illinois

Starved Rock State Park is host to 18 canyons formed in the sandstone by different streams. There are waterfalls in these canyons which, depending on the time of the year, can be seen by following the hiking trails leading to them. On our second visit to Starved Rock State Park, we were joined by our friend, Auggie (@solace_eats & @alife_outsidethebox), as we chose to hike to Ottawa and Kaskaskia Canyons.

The hiking trail and the waterfalls in these canyons are some of the most peaceful as they are farther out from the park's visitor center and further than most visitors wish to hike or travel. We made sure to be at the trailhead early, gates open at 6:30 am, to reach the waterfalls and enjoy them alone and to ourselves for a few moments.

The Ottawa Canyon and Kaskaskia Canyon, respectively, are both easy to reach and quite beautiful. Since we had more time than anticipated, we decided to climb the staircase and walk across Illinois Route 71, where we picked up the River Trail to the overlook at Hennepin Canyon. The overlook was a bit overgrown and we were only able to catch a small glimpse of the waterfall there. Otherwise, it was again, another great hike.

The best time to hike the trails at Starved Rock State Park to see the waterfalls is in early spring or after a heavy rainstorm. Or, for a different experience, you may visit during the winter to see frozen waterfalls and ice formations.

We completed our day with a visit to the Tastee Freeze in the town of Spring Valley before returning to our dispersed camping spot, at the Barto Boat Landing, where we watched a couple of movies in our rooftop tent as we rode out the rainstorm. It's always an adventure!

Keep making the most of the dash!

Brian, Anna Maria & Moose

Make the Most of the Dash


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