With the weather turning nicer late last week, we jumped at the chance and did our outing to Starved Rock State Park (another item on my fall list!). I hope these pictures give you an idea why we love this canyonland, a two-hour drive from Chicago.

We hiked the east end of the park, which is less frequented. Here’s the end of Ottawa Canyon (with my son for good measure).

Looking up from the bottom of Ottawa Canyon.

The pool at the end of lichen-encrusted Kaskaskia Canyon (with child in motion) must have been a great swimming hole before it became a state park (where swimming is prohibited), and before all those logs fell in.

Most of the hike at the eastern end of the park is like this, along the bluffs high above the Illinois River, until you pass Owl Canyon where stairs lead down to the water’s edge.

Closer to the water now.
Walking into LaSalle Canyon.
Despite the recent rains, most of the canyons were dry where usually you’d find at least a little trickle of a waterfall.
After two hours I must say I was feeling my legs! It was a good four hour hike altogether.
Somebody lives here, I’m sure!