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Importance of Winter Shoe Traction

Updated: Jan 18

A reminder to stay safe on the icy trails.
a boot with winter shoe traction attached

It’s that time of year where trails can get extremely slick! Not only in canyons, but on boardwalks, stairs, and dirt trails, snowpack melts during the day and freezes overnight creating a hard slick layer of ice. Non-slip shoes do not provide enough traction when on the icy trails.

Adding extra traction to your boots with Yaktrax or Microspikes, is highly recommended during the winter season. These spikes will give you that extra bit of grip to prevent slipping and falling, which can be extremely dangerous at Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks.

The fit, durability, elasticity, grip, and weight of the spikes are all important factors to consider when shopping for ice spikes. Wintertrax is another brand we had have luck with, and spikes like these can be found online at Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Walmart. They can also often be purchased in-store at Menards and Farm and Fleet.

If you'd like to support the park, the spikes can be purchased at the LeRocher Gift Shop, which is located inside of the Starved Rock State Park Visitor Center. The gift shop is operated by the Starved Rock Foundation, the nonprofit friends group that provides funding for programs, supplies, presenters, and more at the park. 100% of proceeds from the shop benefit the park.

Planning a visit to the park soon? The annual Eagle Watch Weekend is occurring soon! Join the Eagles and Flock to the Rock on January 27th and 28th for Eagle Watch Weekend! Eagle watching at the park is stunning in itself, and is one of the most relaxing activities at the park. This is one of the most special weekends at Starved Rock State Park, as there is plenty to see and do! Bundle up and brace yourself for an unforgettable winter experience as you witness the majestic eagles soaring high in the sky, hunting for their prey and nesting in their natural habitat. Learn more about the event here.

No matter the goal of the hike, safety should always be the first priority. We hope you stay safe on the trails as you enjoy all that winter has to offer.


Don’t forget to tag us and use the hashtag starvedrockhikers when sharing all your winter hiking memories! We’ll also do our best to keep hikers informed via our Hikers group on Facebook. Click here to join for free!

See you on the trails!

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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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