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Parking at
Starved Rock, Matthiessen, and Buffalo Rock State Parks

Be prepared and know where you can safely park

Convenient Parking Options for Your Visit:

To make your visit as smooth as possible, each park offers several parking lots. Below you will find a list of available parking lots along with Google Maps pins to help you easily navigate to your desired location. Parking is free at all Illinois State Parks.

Looking for the park rules and information? Click here.

Starved Rock State Park

St. Louis Canyon Parking Lot

This parking lot is situated near the trailhead for St. Louis Canyon, providing quick access to one of the park's most popular attractions.

Click here for directions.

Visitor Center Parking Lot

The Main Visitor Center Parking Lot is the largest parking area in the park and provides easy access to the Visitor Center, restrooms, and the main trailheads.

Click here for directions.

Lodge Parking Lot

Located near the Starved Rock Lodge, this parking lot is ideal for guests staying at the lodge or visiting the lodge's restaurant and amenities.

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Overflow Parking Lot

During busy days and often on weekends, additional parking is available at the Overflow Parking Lot. ​

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Parkman's Plain Parking Lot

The Parkman's Plain Parking Lot is useful for accessing LaSalle Canyon and the river trail, resulting in a shorter hike than departing from the Visitor Center lot.

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Gravel Lot Across from Hennepin Canyon Trailhead

This small gravel lot is located across from the Hennepin Canyon trailhead, providing a convenient parking option for accessing Hennepin Canyon.

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East End Parking Lot

Located near the Council Overhang, Ottawa Canyon, and Kaskaskia Canyon trailheads, this parking lot is perfect for those looking to explore these unique features of the park.

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Illinois Canyon Parking Lot

The Illinois Canyon Parking Lot is a smaller, more secluded option that provides access to the beautiful and less-traveled Illinois Canyon.​​​​

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Lone Point Shelter Parking Lot

The Lone Point Shelter Parking Lot offers parking for visitors using the Lone Point Shelter, a popular spot for picnics and gatherings.

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Matthiessen State Park

Dells Area Parking Lot

The Dells Area Parking Lot is the main parking area providing access to the park's most popular attractions, including the Upper and Lower Dells, the fort, and picnic areas.

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River Area Parking Lot

Located near the Vermilion River, this parking lot offers convenient access for those looking to explore the river and its surroundings.

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Overflow Parking Lot

During peak times, additional parking is available at the Overflow Parking Lot. 

Click here for directions.

Lake Shelter Parking Lot

This small parking lot provides easy access to the lake, lake shelter, and lake falls. Due to it's size, this lot is often closed on weekends.

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Horseback Parking Lot

An equestrian campground for horseback riders and their horses.

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Buffalo Rock State Park

Main Parking Lot

This lot provides easy access to the park's main attractions, including the observation areas, and trails. This parking lot is ideal for visitors looking to explore the scenic River Bluff Trail and enjoy views of the Illinois River.

Click here for directions.

Shelter Parking Lot

This parking lot is ideal for those utilizing the shelter. 

Click here for directions.

Tips for Parking

  • Arrive Early: Parking lots can fill up quickly, especially on weekends and holidays. Arriving early ensures you get a spot and can start your adventure sooner.

  • Consider Carpooling: To reduce congestion and help preserve the natural beauty of the park, consider carpooling with friends or family.

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