Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Weekend Adventures: Starved Rock State Park

I've lived in Illinois for over three years and I hadn't set foot in Starved Rock State Park until this past weekend. I've seen some great photos in my Instagram feed of the fall colors and the frozen ice falls and the park was one of those spots I "always wanted" to go to but never quite got around to actually going to. I finally made it out there, and I'm glad I did. 

Even though it was an overcast day, the temps were in the low 30s. The trails were still pretty icy, so I ended up leaving my big camera in my backpack most of the time I hiked. I kept my phone zipped in my vest pocket for easy access & quick snaps. I'm glad I did that, because, well, I took a big spill and went sliding down a steep trail, putting on a nice show for the other hikers in the vicinity. Thankfully, years of practice (general klutziness & horsemanship) taught me how to fall correctly (yes, there IS a way to do it! Sometimes.), and I didn't really get hurt, just a bit bruised. 

Anyways. The eagles were out also, and I was lucky enough to get up close to this beauty: 
Bald eagle @ Starved Rock State Park 1/31/2015

Ice climbers @ Wildcat Canyon, Starved Rock State Park 1/31/2015

One of many sets of stairs I climbed on my 6-mile hike.
The ICY trail down into French Canyon -- I turned around and took another way in! 

View of the top of French Canyon -- there were 2 ice climbers who got caught by Park Service staff. Oops. 
I'll definitely return to Starved Rock for some more hiking -- probably in the late spring or when the fall colors peak. I'd love to camp there if I can find someone to go with me. 

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