Starved Rock and Matthiessen state parks: Closures related to storm damage will hold through weekend

If planning a weekend trip to Starved Rock or Matthiessen state parks, be aware of significant closures — completely in the case of Matthiessen until further notice — caused by storm damages; some other sites also have closures.

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A file photo of one of the many waterfalls at Metthiessen State Park, which is completely closed by storm damage until further notice. Crdit: Dale Bowman

A file photo of one of the many waterfalls at Metthiessen State Park, which is completely closed by storm damage until further notice.

Dale Bowman

If your weekend included plans to go to the complex around Starved Rock and Matthiessen state parks, better come up with plan B.

Blame the storm, the derecho, Monday afternoon.

Matthiessen is closed until further notice while the trails and main areas of Starved Rock are closed. And the Illinois Department of Natural Resources tweeted Friday that those closures would hold at least through the weekend. Camping and the conference center at Starved Rock are open, but call first for details.

If considering or headed to other sites, especially in northern Illinois, it would probably be a good idea to call on ahead, there are other closures.

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

Main Areas, Trails at Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks Closed Due to Storm Damage SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Following severe weather which included heavy rains and 80 to 100 mile per hour winds, main areas and trails at Starved Rock State Park will be closed until further notice to clear downed trees, limbs and debris. Matthiessen State Park, which also experienced significant damage, will remain fully closed until further notice. Roads and trails at both parks sustained a significant amount of damage – mostly from downed trees and limbs – during the derecho which swept through northern Illinois, said Von Bandy, director of the Office of Land Management for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). As our staff continues to clear main areas and trails at both parks, we’ll reassess the possibility of reopening these areas of the park. While trails, picnic and fishing areas, and the boat ramp are closed, the Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Center remains open. Visitors who have reservations at the lodge are asked to use Starved Rock’s south entrance off of Illinois Rte. 71. The campground at Starved Rock State Park also is open, though campers who wish to change their reservations are welcome to do so by accessing their reservations using ReserveAmerica.com. Several state parks, fish and wildlife areas and recreational areas across the state experienced various levels of weather-related damage. Guests interested in visiting specific parks should call ahead to check closures and availability of recreational opportunities.

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