The weather in late October is usually pretty crappy around here. I can't remember a Halloween in recent years where it hasn't been cold and rainy or even freezing and snowing! But this year, it was amazing! So for my birthday hike we headed back to Starved Rock to take advantage of the sweet weather. We decided to do the Lasalle Canyon trail and swing through Tonty Canyon on the way out. It was so nice out we were going to attempt to hike to the trailhead from the Visitor's Center, but we got to the parking lot and realized that we for got the carrier! So we ended up driving to the trailhead and Weston ended up taking his first hike without being carried part of the way!
Since it was so nice out, there were soooo many people at the park! We managed to find a parking spot close by - despite a European tourist group trying to park their giant camper van in a parking lot made for regular cars - and start hiking pretty quickly.
The Lasalle Canyon trail starts off pretty flat, drops down towards the river's edge and then winds around the riverside into Lasalle Canyon. Of course there is the ubiquitous steep staircase to climb down; but it makes the trail so much nicer and accessible.
We met a Mom and her small daughter on the trail and Mom was teaching her how to take pictures. Weston saw and for the rest of the trip he wanted to take pictures of things we saw on the trail. He captured this cool hollowed-out tree pretty well, but the rest, well, lets just say he's learning ;)
At the bottom of the staircase the trail winds around around follows the river. There is a nice spot to sit and enjoy the view and have some snacks. The rocks by the water are slippery though, so make sure you stay close to little ones.
The trail then turns into Lasalle Canyon. Unusual to Starved Rock, this trail actually loops behind the waterfall and you can hike back on the other side of the canyon! It was pretty neat to be under the waterfall, although I am not sure Knox knew what to do as water kept dripping on his head. We met a nice family who took our picture for us and I planned to use it for our New Years card, but I never got around to making one!
After going under the waterfall you can head back the way you came or loop around to hike on the other side of the canyon. We chose to loop around and check out Tonty Canyon, a side trail. I don't have many pics of Tonty Canyon. The trail was narrow and once we got in the canyon it was a little muddy and slippery. But we took our time and helped Weston negotiate some narrow spots and slippery rocks. We definitely got our feet wet, but it was worth it. The rock formations in Tonty were pretty cool and although there was only one this late in the year, it usually has a double waterfall!
2688 East 873 Road
Oglesby, Il 61348
Phone: (815) 667-4906
Trails open Sunrise to Sunset
Check website for lodge hours
HIKING WILDLIFE VIEWING HORSEBACK RIDING CANOEING/KAYAKING/RAFTING CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING SNOW SHOEING ICE CLIMBING HISTORIC LODGE PICNIC GROUNDS CAMPING
RUSTIC TRAILS - BRING CARRIER
STEEP BLUFFS - KEEP CHILDREN CLOSE AND WATCH YOUR STEP
TRAILS IN THE CANYON CAN BE WET AND SLIPPERY - BRING CHANGE OF SHOES IF SHOES ARE NOT WATERPROOF
DOG FRIENDLY - NO DOGS ALLOWED INSIDE EXCEPT FOR GUIDE ANIMALS
SEE YOU ON THE TRAIL!