Council Overhang, Ottawa and Kaskaskia Canyons
About the Hike:
This hikes lets you see a lot of what Starved Rock has to offer all in one short hike. This 1 mile roundtrip hike first takes you to Council Overhang, a huge sandstone cavern, once used as a meeting place of local Native Americans. Ottawa Canyon, just around the corner, is a stunning canyon where you can view from behind for a beautiful photo. Kaskaskia Canyon, not too far from Ottawa, is a small, unique canyon definitely worth the extra bit to get to.
On the east side of the park there is a small parking lot containing the Ottawa Canyon Trailhead. Follow this trailhead to Council Overhang. When done, head down the stone stairs and keep right to Ottawa Canyon. There will be creeks to cross here. Exiting Ottawa Canyon, keep right again to head towards Kaskaskia Canyon. Leave Kaskaskia by taking an alternative trail by keeping right again. This trail will lead back to the trailhead and to the parking lot or simply come back the way you came in.
This is an easy hike with little stairs. However, expect muddy conditions, especially a few days after rainfall. Depending on water levels, you may have to cross a few creeks.