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2023 Highlights | Letter from our Co-Founder


Dear Starved Rock Hikers Community,

As we approach the end of 2023, I'm thrilled to reflect on the incredible journey we've had as a community of outdoor enthusiasts. This year has been marked by exciting developments and shared adventures, and I'm delighted to share some of our standout moments.

Custom Map Unveiled: Starved Rock Hikers announced the launch of our brand-new map for Starved Rock State Park. Guided by our commitment to enhancing your experience, this map is designed to be your companion in exploring the breathtaking landscapes that Starved Rock has to offer. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a first-time visitor, this map, spearheaded by our Co-Founder Kyle Petersen, is your key to maximizing your time in Starved Rock. Click here to download the map for free on our website.

Calendar Project Success: In collaboration with our community, photographers, and local businesses, Starved Rock Hikers proudly supported the annual calendar fundraiser project. We provided an online platform for sales, leveraging our growing social media presence. Nearly half of the total donation from the calendar fundraiser was generated through our website, amounting to an impressive $3,224, was donated to benefit Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks. Read more here.

Park meets Community: Our commitment to sharing the beauty of Starved Rock extends beyond the trails. We're delighted to share that our wooden map is now available at Bruce and Ollies, a charming specialty ice cream and coffee shop in Utica, IL. This first of a kind collaboration allows us to bring a piece of Starved Rock to the heart of the local community.

Stylish Trail Companions: This year, we proudly released high-quality beanies featuring our custom Starved Rock eagle design. Designed for warmth and style, these beanies are a symbol of our shared passion for adventure and the great outdoors. We're thankful for the overwhelmingly positive response.

Enhanced Visitor Experience: To keep you informed and engaged, we introduced a new Events feature on our website. Now, visitors can easily discover and plan for upcoming park events, ensuring you never miss out on the exciting happenings within Starved Rock State Park.

Community Milestone: In 2023, our Hikers community gained over 1,000 new members. Every week, community members engage in trail discussions, park conversations, answer questions, and exchange awe-inspiring photos, creating an inclusive space where every member's love for the outdoors is warmly embraced and celebrated. We're grateful for each new member who has joined us, and we look forward to fostering even more meaningful connections in the coming year.  Click here to join for free.

As 2023 comes to an end, I want to thank everyone who has supported us, no matter how large or small. Your enthusiasm and shared love for the outdoors have made this year truly exceptional.

May your holidays be filled with joy, laughter, and the spirit of exploration. Here's to a festive season and the promise of new trails and experiences in the coming year.

See you on the trails,

Matthew Klein

Co-Founder | Starved Rock Hikers

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Every time you purchase a product from Starved Rock Hikers, you are also helping the park. A portion of our annual proceeds are donated to the Starved Rock Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports Starved Rock & Matthiessen through educational programs, guided hikes, exhibit updates, and more.

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