Illinois State Parks

Illinois
Anytime
2 guests

Escape to Illinois' Iconic State Parks

From the monolithic mountains of Illinois' State Parks to their spry baby deer, the diversity of natural wonders you will encounter here is incredible. Come ice climbing, rappel down a mountain face, or watch otters frolic in canyon-threading rivers. At these top Illinois State Parks, you are sure to make memories that you will always treasure.

State Parks in Illinois: Top Accommodations

Apartment ∙ 10 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
Portage Park, Chicago, Illinois
from $26
Vrbo
4.2
View deal
House ∙ 3 guests ∙ 1 bedroom
Anna, Union County, Illinois
from $110
Vrbo
5.0
View deal
House ∙ 4 guests ∙ 1 bedroom
Peoria Heights, Richwoods Township, Illinois
from $126
Vrbo
4.9
View deal
Apartment ∙ 5 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
Virginia, Virginia Township, Illinois
from $44
Vrbo
4.9
View deal
House ∙ 4 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms
Albany, Albany Township, Illinois
from $80
Vrbo
4.9
View deal
House ∙ 5 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms
Creal Springs, Williamson County, Illinois
from $143
Vrbo
4.7
View deal
House ∙ 4 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms
Murphysboro, Murphysboro Township, Illinois
from $114
Vrbo
5.0
View deal
House ∙ 4 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms
Murphysboro, Murphysboro Township, Illinois
from $139
Vrbo
4.9
View deal
House ∙ 4 guests ∙ 1 bedroom
Freeburg, Freeburg Township, Illinois
from $80
Vrbo
5.0
View deal

Best Illinois State Parks for Families

Baby deer and rushing waterfalls, gaping caves and legendary creatures are some of the draws of these Illinois State Parks for families on vacation:

  • 1. Starved Rock State Park

    Widely considered Illinois' premiere attraction, Starved Rock supplies limitless recreational opportunities for families. Melting ice in springtime brings waterfalls, when fawns wobble in the meadowlands and a blaze of wildflowers adorn the park's trails. Look out for bald eagles overhead and otters splashing in the canyons' rivers. Climb the ice, cross country ski, canoe or horseback ride through the park. Visit historical attractions listed on the National Register of Historic Places, or take part in the Junior Rangers Program.

  • 2. Pere Marquette State Park

    Your whole family will be awed by the archaeological treasures on display at Pere Marquette State Park, which was once a meeting place for Native Americans. Hike along twelve miles of trails to burial mounds or ascend McAdam's Peak for panoramic views. Children love to look out for the legendary Piasa bird said to inhabit the park. Its likeness is maintained on the Mississippi Bluffs some twenty miles from the park. Take a family horseback ride, boat and fish, or enjoy a picnic and your freshly grilled catch.

  • 3. Cave-in-Rock State Park

    Like a gigantic mouth in the mountain bluffs, Shawnee National Forest's 55 foot wide cave entrance is a delight for children to see. Eroded from the limestone by water, the cave overlooks the sparkling Ohio River which provides excellent fishing and boating opportunities.

Best Places to Stay for State Parks in Illinois

House ∙ 2 guests ∙ 1 bedroom
Niantic, Niantic Township, Illinois
from $72
Vrbo
5.0
View deal
House ∙ 6 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms
Effingham, Douglas Township, Illinois
from $141
Vrbo
4.7
View deal
House ∙ 6 guests ∙ 1 bedroom
Whittington, Ewing Township, Illinois
from $166
Vrbo
4.7
View deal

Best Illinois State Parks for Hiking

Walk as silently as a Native American brave through parkland inhabited over a thousand years ago. Tread softly as you spot raptors and silent deer. Discover secret waterfalls and more at these Illinois State Parks for hikers:

  • 1. Mississippi Palisades State Park

    Retrace the footsteps of the Native Americans who lived at Mississippi Palisades a thousand years ago. Located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Apple rivers, this 2,500 acre park is replete with history. Discover its secrets as you explore fifteen miles of hiking trails. The briefest of them ascends to the Oak Point lookout and is accessible for physically impaired nature lovers.

  • 2. Matthiessen State Park

    Hike through diverse landscapes like canyons, forest and prairies in Matthiessen State Park. You will come upon geological marvels like sandstone outcrops and canyons, and mineral springs frequented by deer. Hike the sandy bluffs to hickory and oak forests where the scent of honeysuckle floats on the breeze. Hawks and buntings soar over the forests paths in this two thousand acre park.

  • 3. Ferne Clyffe State Park

    It is no surprise that Ferne Clyffe is a popular hiking destination. Waterfalls a hundred foot high welcome you to its trail system. Venture through whispering woodland and ascend rocky bluffs where you can visit the 150 ft long Hawks Cave. In the fall the Big Rocky Hollow Trail is especially dramatic.

Recommended Accommodations for State Parks in Illinois

House ∙ 6 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
Carbondale, Carbondale Township, Illinois
from $184
Vrbo
4.8
View deal
House ∙ 4 guests ∙ 1 bedroom
Buncombe, Elvira Precinct, Illinois
from $136
Vrbo
4.9
View deal
House ∙ 6 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
Carlinville, Carlinville Township, Illinois
from $85
Vrbo
5.0
View deal

Best Illinois State Parks for Adventure Sports

Plunge into outdoor activities at these dynamic State Parks. Rappel down ledges and dive into the crystalline depths of Lake Michigan. Here are some of Illinois' most thrilling State Parks:

  • 1. Rock Cut State Park

    Hewn from Winnebago County stone, this historic park has become a favourite with adventure sport enthusiasts. Hike forty miles of trails, fish for bass, bluegill and sunfish, or hunt deer and turkey. A warren of trails slice through the snowy paradise come winter and cross country skis and snowshoes can be rented at the Camp Store.

  • 2. Giant City State Park

    Ride on horseback along a twelve mile trail which loops through wild flower lined trails, across burbling streams and between sandstone outcrops in Giant City State Park. The park's Visitor Center offers more insight into the origin of these monoliths, as well as the wildlife inhabiting the park. Rappel down cliffs or go rock climbing. Hunt, fish, or follow scenic hiking and biking trails such as the picturesque Trillium Trail.

  • 3. Illinois Beach State Park

    Scuba dive in the crystal waters of Lake Michigan, or jog along its seven mile beach. Cycle through the 4,000 acre park, swim, boat or fish at the water or go cross country skiing in the wintertime. Geocaches are secreted throughout the park for you to find.

Top Offers for State Parks in Illinois

House ∙ 6 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
Murphysboro, Murphysboro Township, Illinois
from $118
Vrbo
4.9
View deal
House ∙ 6 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
Chatham, Chatham Township, Illinois
from $111
Vrbo
4.8
View deal
House ∙ 2 guests ∙ 1 bedroom
Woodlawn, Chicago, Illinois
from $25
Airbnb
3.8
View deal

The Weather in Illinois

36°
19°
37°
21°
54°
34°
64°
43°
75°
55°
84°
63°
86°
66°
86°
64°
81°
55°
66°
45°
52°
32°
43°
28°
Jan.
Feb.
Mar.
Apr.
May
June
July
Aug.
Sep.
Oct.
Nov.
Dec.
- Rainy days

Average Nightly Rental Prices in Illinois

Vacation Rental Price Information in Illinois

Vacation Rental Availability in Illinois

Rental Availability Information in Illinois

Other Popular Destinations for State Parks

image-tag