Though Starved Rock plans to open Friday, visitors should not expect to experience the state park at its full capacity.
Due to state health guidelines and recent flooding, visitors will likely experience parking restrictions, trail access closures and temporary closures of the sites when parking lots reach capacity.
Starved Rock expects the heaviest traffic congestion and possible park closures to occur on weekend days between 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Due to social distancing guidelines and recent wet weather conditions, some trails and overlooks will remain closed until further notice. The Visitor Center, shelters and playgrounds will also be closed.
Initially, the park plans to open only the south entrance on Illinois Rt. 71 to visitors. The parking lot near the Starved Rock Lodge will be restricted to lodge patrons with reservations only.
Because of recent flooding, the main lower area parking lots near the Visitor Center will remain closed. Visitors are encouraged to park in the overflow lot, though only 300 spaces are available.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will enforce the typical safety rules found at the park:
- No possession of alcohol on trails or around the park
- No marijuana use in the park
- No hiking off trails or climbing rock walls and cliffs, especially when slippery
- No swimming
- No defacing sandstone walls with paint or etchings
- No littering
- No being on trails after dark