Parks prepare for busy Columbus Day Weekend

Starved Rock State Park. Flickr Photo: gabe popa
Starved Rock State Park. Flickr Photo: gabe popa

UTICA, Ill. (KWQC) — If you’re looking for a fun weekend or day trip for the upcoming holiday weekend, you might want to make plans to head to a state or county park. But if you do, be prepared for big crowds.

Officials at Starved Rock State Park say the holiday weekend is their busiest weekend of the year. Visitors should expect traffic delays near the park and possible temporary park closures on Saturday, October 8 through Monday, October 10, 2016.

Motorists heading to Starved Rock State Park for a Columbus Day weekend visit are encouraged to arrive early, and to follow directions of park officials and law enforcement officers when they arrive.

Officials say if the park reaches maximum capacity (meaning no parking spaces remain), the park may be closed for safety reasons until parking becomes available. Motorists are reminded not to park along park roads or public highways. This may prevent emergency vehicles from getting through. Vehicles parked illegally will be towed at the owner’s expense.

Hikers at Starved Rock and nearby Matthiessen State Park should always observe park safety rules and pack out their trash.

Visitors heading to Starved Rock can check for information on park crowds and possible temporary closures as they near the park by tuning to the Starved Rock information radio station on 1610 AM. Visitors can also check for updates on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Facebook page and the IDNR Twitter feed @IllinoisDNR.

Starved Rock Lodge guests, as well as people with lodge brunch reservations, will be allowed to enter the park. Lodge parking will be restricted to lodge patrons with reservations.

For more information about Illinois State Parks, visit the IDNR website:

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