What To Do When It Rains in Starved Rock

You're all set for day of hiking through beautiful Starved Rock State Park, but then the skies open up and the rains come down.  You check the weather, and it doesn't look like the sun will come back out.

Your day isn't over!  There is still a lot of exploring to do in Starved Rock Country.

Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort
Image Credit:  facebook.com/grandbearresort/


Head on to Grizzly Jack's Resort and hit the waves at their indoor waterpark.  You and your family will enjoy the great water slides, the fun mini golf course and tasty meals.  Make it a family vacation and spend the night, taking advantage of some of the fun crafts, movies and other activities for registered guests as well.


The Lone Buffalo and Tangled Roots Brewery and the Tasting Room at August Hill Winery and Illinois Sparkling Co. are great places to sit back, relax, and let your taste buds go on an adventure.  Ottawa's The Lone Buffalo has amazing farm-to-table entrees, and recently introduced their first farm-to-foam beer named "Forty1 Eighty8."  The beers change seasonally, giving you the perfect reason to head back.  Utica's Tasting Room at August Hill Winery and Illinois Sparkling Co. Order a wine flight and find your favorite while relaxing in their lounge, then head over to the wine bar in the next room to purchase a bottle that you can take home.

Hegeler Carus Mansion
Photo Credit:  Kathy Casstevens


LaSalle's Hegeler Carus Mansion is a National Historic Landmark that also appears on the National Register of Historic Places.  This mansion was built over a century ago in 1876, built by the artichitect W.W. Boyington (who designed the Chicago Water Tower) and August Fielder (talented designer in Chicago during the late 19th century).  A tour through this mansion is a 60-minute journey through the main rooms of the first two floors of the house, learning more about the families and workers of the mansion. 

Did you know that Ottawa, IL is the home and final resting place of William Dickenson Boyce, one of the founders of the Boy Scouts of America?  You can learn more about the history of boy scouts, girl scouts, campfire and the local area at the Ottawa Historical Scouting Heritage Museum.  The museum contains extensive exhibits relating the past 100 years of scouting.  Don't miss the Geocaching Trail that has drawn visitors from around the world.


There are many places to find antique treasures throughout Starved Rock Country.  Utica's Clark's Run Antiques prides itself on carrying items that are rusty, old, recycled, weathered, refurnished, shabby, vintage, antique, chippy, trendy or just plain cool. 



Yes, there is a Himalayan Salt Cave in Ottawa, IL.  Head on over to SaltTreeYoga, and relax amongst 6,000 tons of pink Himalayan salt.  The room has a calming effect, and you will find that even after a few minutes - you'll be breathing easier and feeling better.  SaltTreeYoga also has a dry hydrotherapy aquaescape bed, full spectrum infrared sauna, and red, blue and infrared LED light therapy. 


Rain doesn't mean your day of adventure is over.  In fact, whether you visit the places above or find some of the other hidden gems (and there are many of them), your adventure is just beginning.  You may just even want to turn your day trip to a multi-day trip in one of the beautiful hotels or bed-and-breakfasts in the area.

Dan Mulka - Heritage Corridor CVBABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Mulka is the Marketing Manager for the Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau.  Dan fell in love with the Starved Rock area on his first trip.  He's completted the Starved Rock Country Half Marathon, been a judge at the Midwest Morel Fest Homebrew Competition, and spends a lot of time "Flocking to the Rock" with his camera to try and get a perfect eagle photo.

Flock to the Rock
Eagle watching, winter fun, and more!
Ale Trail Digital Passport
Win free stuff by drinking craft beer

Scenes from Around the Corridor