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Starved Rock/Matthiessen: Labor Day weekend parking/use alerts

A fall view of Plum Island from the top of Starved Rock at Starved Rock State Park, where vehicle fees are being proposed.
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

The rains have the Illinois River on an extended high-water level and it will likely impact parking for one of the busiest weekends of the year around Labor Day for Starved Rock State Park.

And the wet conditions will limit trail usage at the nearby Matthiessen State Park.

Here is the word from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

Starved Rock State Park Parking Limited Due to High Water

Visitors Should Expect Delays, Temporary Closures Labor Day Weekend

UTICA – Travelers planning a trip to Starved Rock State Park near Utica over the Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-5, should be prepared for limited parking and park closures. Due to recent rains, the Illinois River has reached the parking lot, limiting available parking spaces on what is expected to be a busy weekend with a high volume of park visitors.

Once visitors reach the park, they should follow directions of park officials and law enforcement. Visitors should plan to arrive early. Matthiessen State Park multi-use trails will be closed over Labor Day Weekend due to wet conditions. Hikers in Starved Rock should observe park safety rules and pack out their trash.

Stay informed about park crowds and closures by monitoring Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Facebook and Twitter feeds. Visit the IDNR Facebook page: or Twitter feed: or follow @IllinoisDNR.

If the park reaches maximum capacity (meaning no parking spaces remain), the park may be closed for safety reasons until parking becomes available. People are reminded not to park along park roads or public highways. This may prevent emergency vehicles from getting through. Vehicles parked illegally will be towed at the owner’s expense.

Lodge and wedding guests, as well as people with brunch reservations, will be allowed to enter the park. Lodge parking will be restricted to lodge patrons with reservations.

For more information about Illinois State Parks in your area, visit: