When we do day trips, I usually look for boat or trolley tours, so we can see as much of the area as we can. The trolley tour gave us a nice overview of the park and gave us an idea of which canyons to visit when there are waterfalls in the spring. It was relaxing to sit back and enjoy the beautiful weather and fall foliage all around us.
The guided hike to Ottowa Canyon was easy (though I almost slipped on the mud a few times) but it was worth doing for the beauty. The sandstone and the size of the canyon was striking, and it was interesting to hear that the Council Overhang got its name because they think Native Americans used to meet in that area.
After our tour, we hiked over to Starved Rock and Lover’s Leap for stunning views of fall foliage and the Illinois River. The trail is mostly paved, but it does require many steps to get to the top of the overlooks. The views from the top are worth every step.
Chris and I had so much fun exploring Starved Rock State Park that we hope to have a chance to come back in the spring to see all the waterfalls.