Illinois state parks experiencing closures due to storm damage cleanup

Local News

It has been announced that, due to damage from severe weather conditions, parts of one state park and all of another state park in Illinois will be closed until further notice.

According to a press release from the State of Illinois, main areas and trails at Starved Rock State Park are closed for the time being to clear downed trees, limbs and debris caused by heavy rains and 80 to 100 mph winds.

Matthiessen State Park, which the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (Illinois DNR) says experienced significant damage, will remain fully closed at this time.

“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 DNR. “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, Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Center will remain open. The State of Illinois says visitors who have reservations at the lodge are asked to use Starved Rock’s south entrance off Illinois Route 71.

Starved Rock’s campground is also open. The State of Illinois says campers who wish to change their reservations are welcome to do so by accessing their reservations here.

According to the State of Illinois, several state parks, fish and wildlife areas and recreational areas across Illinois experienced various levels of weather-related damage. It is recommended that guests interested in visiting specific parks should call ahead to check closures and availability of recreational opportunities.

The latest information on Illinois state park closures is here and here.

Follow the Illinois DNR on Facebook and Twitter for more updates.

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