Starved Rock State Park and Lodge wins #1 Illinois attraction

Starved Rock State Park and Lodge wins #1 Illinois attraction
Starved Rock State Park near Utica, Illinois
This is all about one of my favorite places to visit.   When my family wants to get out but doesn't want to travel hours to a destination, we always return to Starved Rock State Park and the Starved Rock Lodge.  It's no wonder they are and Illinois Fan Favorite.
It was an epic showdown between 64 attractions in the state. Starved Rock State Park in Utica was voted the Illinois Fan Favorite attraction in 2012.  Runner-ups included the Museum of Science & Industry, Brookfield Zoo and Galena’s Main Street.
The contest was launched by the Illinois Office of Tourism to boost awareness of Illinois attractions and increase traffic to the state’s Facebook page.  “You have bragging rights for infinity,” said Jessica Gallagher of JWT for the IL Office of Tourism.
The contest began with 64 brackets (like NCAA playoffs). The four original categories were: outdoor adventure, family fun, Illinois history and architecture. Starved Rock State Park is a National Historic Landmark and the Lodge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Lodge’s must-see Great Hall is the centerpiece of the pine-and-log structure, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Many of the paths, bridges, shelters and cabins built by the CCC are still around today.
Mother Nature has been very kind to the 2,630 acre park, which features 13 miles of hiking trails, seasonal waterfalls, canyons and bluff views of the scenic Illinois River Valley. Starved Rock has a name with a rich history, dating back to a 1760s incident in which a band of Illiniwek Indians took refuge on top of a 124-foot butte made of St. Peter Sandstone. The geology and cultural history, combined with the Lodge, forests and river make for an unexpectedly unique destination located at the crossroads of the Midwest (just a few miles from the intersection of I-80 & I-39).

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