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Sunset Kayak

Kayaking near
Starved Rock State Park

Experience tranquility and adventure on the waters of the midwest

About Kayaking near Starved Rock State Park:

Discover the breathtaking beauty of Starved Rock, Matthiessen, and Buffalo Rock State Park's from a unique perspective by kayaking along scenic waterways. The Illinois River, Vermilion River, and Fox River offer diverse paddling experiences that showcase the park's natural beauty. Whether you are a seasoned kayaker or a beginner, kayaking in the Starved Rock region provides an unforgettable adventure amidst stunning landscapes.

A few basics to remember:

  • Safety First: Always wear a properly fitted life jacket and inform someone of your kayaking plans and expected return time.

  • Check Weather Conditions: Ensure you check the weather forecast before heading out to avoid unexpected changes.

  • Stay Hydrated: Bring plenty of water and snacks to stay energized and hydrated.

  • Know Your Limits: Choose a route that matches your skill level and physical condition.

  • Kayaking is allowed from sunrise to sunset, providing ample daylight to explore the waterways..


Equipment and Rental Options:

  • Bring Your Own: Kayakers can bring their own kayaks and equipment.

  • Local Outfitters: Rent kayaks and book guided tours with local outfitters like Kayak Starved Rock.


Kayaking River Routes:

  • Illinois River: Perfect for those looking to cover more distance and enjoy the majestic bluffs of Starved Rock State Park and Buffalo Rock State Park.

  • Vermilion River: Ideal for intermediate to advanced kayakers seeking adventure with occasional rapids.

  • Fox River: Great for beginners or those desiring a tranquil and relaxed paddling experience.

Let's preserve the beauty of the park:

  • Respect Wildlife: Maintain a safe distance from wildlife and avoid disturbing their natural habitat.

  • Leave No Trace: Carry out all trash and personal belongings to keep the waterways clean.

  • Stay on Designated Routes: Stick to designated kayaking routes to minimize environmental impact.


All kayakers must follow the Illinois Department of Natural Resources rules, regulations, and guidelines, which can be found by clicking the link below. You will be redirected to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website.

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