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Buffalo Rock State Park is a wilderness paradise located just a stone's throw away from the bustling town of Ottawa. Nestled in the heart of nature, this park is a mere 10-minute drive from the renowned Starved Rock State Park, making it the perfect destination for those seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Explore the rugged terrain of Buffalo Rock, where you'll find a plethora of natural wonders waiting to be discovered. Meet Coco, Pebbles, and Hope, the three live American Bison that call the park home. Take a stroll through the park's 298 acres of land and discover some of the most majestic, wide views of the Illinois River that can be found in the state.

Take your pick from several hiking trails, including the Bluff Trail, Woodland Trail, and prairie trails, perfect for walking or trail-running. These trails are generally not over-crowded, making it an ideal place to explore in peace. As you hike through the park, be prepared to encounter an abundance of unique wildlife, including the Monarch Butterfly, various birds and beautiful wildflowers.

The park also offers picnic areas, camping nearby, and E-bike rentals for those who want to explore the park in a different way.

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Live Bison

Buffalo Rock is home to 3 bison - Coco, Pebbles, and Hope! Be sure to stop by and visit.


Walking/Running Trails

Buffalo Rock features river bluff, woodland, and prairie trails which attract many walkers and runners.


Full of Nature

It's common to spot many favorites - such as Monarch Butterfly's, a variety of birds, and beautiful wildflowers at Buffalo Rock.


Once an island perched in the middle of the Illinois River, Buffalo Rock State Park was established as an Illinois State Park in 1928, but its story began long before that...

Step back in time to the days of early French explorers and the Illinois Indians, when Buffalo Rock was a location of conflict between the two groups. It served as a military and trading post for the French and was also the site where LaSalle and Tonty gathered almost 4000 Indian warriors to form a confederation against the Iroquois.

Fast forward to the late 1800s, when the Crane Company took over ownership of Buffalo Rock, and maintained it through 1927, before it was turned into a state park.

Legend has it that the park was coined "Buffalo Rock" because Native Americans used to herd bison into a blind canyon at the park for hunting. Today, the park is home to three live American Bison, Coco, Pebbles, and Hope.

Explore the rugged terrain and uncover the secrets of the past as you hike through the park's winding trails, where adventure and history come together to create an unforgettable experience.

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