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Expect holiday crush at Starved Rock: Even on a Tuesday holiday

Starved Rock State Park file photo.
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources sent out an early warning or heads-up for the crowds expected for the Fourth of July holiday.

Here is the word from the IDNR:

Arrive Early if Planning a Visit to Starved Rock

During the Holiday Weekend

Expect temporary closures of the park when parking lots are full

UTICA, IL – Independence Day weekend is expected to be busy at Starved Rock State Park, and anyone planning a visit to the site should arrive early in the day and be alert to likely temporary closures on Saturday, July 1 through Tuesday, July 4.

During the Memorial Day weekend in late May, more than 93,000 people visited Starved Rock, and nearly 22,000 people visited nearby Matthiessen State Park during that three-day weekend. Starved Rock State Park was closed temporarily for several hours each of those days when parking lots reached capacity.

For regular updates, social media users should check the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Facebook and Twitter feeds during the extended holiday weekend.

IDNR Conservation Police will strictly enforce safety rules at Starved Rock, including :

• No possession of alcohol on trails

• No entering restricted areas

• No hiking off trails

• No climbing rock walls and cliffs

• No Swimming

• No defacing sandstone walls with paint or etchings

• No littering

• No being on trails after dark

All hikers at Starved Rock State Park should stay on designated trails. St. Peter sandstone in the park can crumble and be slippery when wet.

When Starved Rock parking lots reach capacity, access to the park will be closed temporarily for safety reasons until parking becomes available. Motorists should not park along park roads or public highways as that may prevent emergency vehicles from getting through. Vehicles parked illegally will be towed at the owner’s expense.

Starved Rock Lodge guests and lodge restaurant guests with brunch reservations will be allowed to enter the park. Lodge parking will be restricted to lodge patrons with reservations.

For updates, visitors may check for information on park activities and possible temporary closures as they near the park by tuning to the Starved Rock radio station on 1610 AM. For updates via social media, like the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on Facebook and follow the IDNR on Twitter @IllinoisDNR.

Follow the IDNR on Facebook and Twitter

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