Starved Rock State Park

We drove to Starved Rock for a two or three hour hike before continuing to Des Moines. Dogs are allowed on the trails as long as they are on a six-foot or shorter leash. They are also allowed at the outdoor cafe and on the veranda at the restaurant! The boat dock was closed due to the heavy rain, but I read a review that indicated dogs were allowed on the boat, too. It was a first-person account, and her dog was allowed. No mention of the size or breed of dog.


We set out on the river trail. It was an easy walk with most of it a boardwalk.



We started toward Lovers Leap and Eagle Cliff. Great views, but it’s all more impressive in November as bald eagles migrate there! We only saw a couple other human clans as we started our walk shortly after 9 am. Kenobi was after squirrels and chipmunks. I got a picture of a mud – covered turtle that he ciuldn’t seem to detect. It was standing still.


The boards ended, and we had to trudge through some pretty muddy areas. At times it felt as if might lose my shoes. We did see an abandoned pair of shoes along the way. One had lost its sole.


We did see waterfalls after having to turn back. The trails do not all connect. Some lead you to a parking lot and outhouse. Then, you need to return the same way to connect or go back to the lodge. The awesome thing about the trails is that they are marked as to which trail they are and if you are heading away or toward the lodge. I like that very much.


Kenobi preparing to leap into the fall.

After viewing our first fall where Kenobi jumped into it helping himself to swigs of water and cooling himself, we followed the sign to another canyon. This trail was extremely muddy. I slipped and fell. Kenobi, concerned, jumped up and down against me to be sure that most of my clothes were covered in mud.


This was another dead end, and we had to head back again. On the way back, we tried to stay to the other trail for a variety. This trail had a lot of flowing water–falls and streams. It was a very enjoyable trek back to the lodge. We met other dogs, too.


We still needed to take some time outs to cool down after climbing serious staircases. The planned 2-3 hours turned out to be four, and we didn’t see everything. I’d like to return in the fall for eagle viewing and when all trails are open as well as the boat dock. This would be a great place to spend the night and get a daybreak start to see everything on the trail maps. They do offer dog – friendly rooms.

One last picture:


Upsetting. Take what you bring in out with you. There are clear signs announcing the last bin before the trails. How difficult is it to carry a plastic bottle. Why bother going to a park if you don’t respect it? Seriously. Take care of your own trash. It’s no one else’s job to clean up after you.

Climbing off the soapbox. Go. Take your dog, carry water with you, and enjoy.


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