Starved Rock is one of the premier natural areas in the Midwest. There are 18 canyons cut by melting glaciers at the end of the ice age. They sparkle seasonally with waterfalls or ice falls. Fifteen miles of trails traverse old growth forests and sandstone bluffs with an amazing diversity of trees and wildflowers. The Illinois Audubon Society was instrumental in acquiring Plum Island as a sanctuary for the birds. With more than 225 species, The Rock provides excellent birding year round. Look for Louisiana Waterthrush, Scarlet Tanager, Pileated Woodpecker, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, and Brown Creeper. Bald Eagles congregate in the winter and fall warblers pass through in droves. The most productive sites are Point Shelter and Illinois Canyon at the east end along IL-71, the bottomland forest south of the main boat launch and picnic grounds west of the visitor's center. The Visitor Center hosts guided hikes, nature programs, and a small museum with relics from the Native American and French Periods.
The campground has 133 Class A premium campsites complete with electricity, showers and flush toilets, a separate youth group camping area and a children's playground. Permits may be obtained from the park office or at the permit booth in the campground.