Initial Visit: August 26th, 2015
Description: Located just a stone’s throw away from Starved Rock State Park, this state park is pretty. Pretty ravine, pretty relaxing, pretty views, pretty waterfall.
Overshadowed by nearby Starved Rock State Park, don’t let this one slip under the radar. It is a less popular destination for your average hiker, but should be be on every Illinoisian’s list. Actually, you could stay at a local lodge and hike both Matthiessen and Starved Rock over a weekend.
Matthiessen offers quite a few trails to walk and none are really a challenge. The trails are well-worn and laid out, so you can easily follow them. There are stairs that lead down to the ‘ravine’ area where you are staring up at ~50′ rock walls. Around the perimeter, there are horse-riding trails. I may or may not have gotten turned around and walked the horse trails for awhile until I was able to find the park entrance and hop back on the trails.
If you have every seen anyone standing in front of a waterfall while hiking, and they are from Illinois, it is probably from here. I even got my photo in front of it. It’s a bit of a challenge to get to it, but the payoff is a great photo op!
2500 Illinois Route 178
Oglesby, IL 61348