Hike Starved Rock's French Canyon

Starved Rock Visitor Center

The closest and easiest hike in Starved Rock State Park starting from the visitors center. Easy for families with children to access to enjoy the water fall at the trails end.

Starting from the visitors center or the parks restaurant, depending on where you parked. If you were forced to park by the restaurant because of a busy day, you will start the trail head with a map of the park. You will follow the tallest stairs of the park down to the visitors center where the trail splits into two ways. Up the stairs or turn to the right. You will take the right and follow the trail until you get to another fork. You will continue to walk through the trees to French Canyon. This trail is an out and back where you will have to walk up slippery rocks if the waterfall is flowing, depending on the time of year you decide to visit. After the 0.4 miles hike you will enjoy the canyon's fresh air, breeze and its beautiful waterfall.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Water
  • Snacks
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RT Distance 0.4 Miles
Activities Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Easy one

If you aren't much of a hiker or explorer but are interested in waterfalls, definitely check out French Canyon. The most challenging part is walking down and up the flights of stairs. After reaching the canyon the cool air will be all worth the sweat. This is a fairly easy hike. The easiest one in the park.

Waterfalls in Illinois?!

It is crazy to think that there are waterfalls in Illinois. If you are in Chicago, take the trip down to Starved Rock for the day! The waterfalls in this canyon and many others are incredible, go in the spring run-off season for the best waterfall flow!


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