Starved Rock named a top fall
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UTICA -- Starved Rock State Park in Utica has been named by
MSN as one of the top 10 destinations in the United States for viewing fall
foliage. MSN is an online service provider comprised of various Web pages
and sites operated by Microsoft and its affiliates and visited by millions
of Internet users daily.
Starved Rock State Park, operated by the Illinois Department of Natural
Resources, is a showcase of autumn color throughout October.
The international recognition of a
natural wonder in Utica is a contrast to attention focused last
spring when natural disaster struck Utica. Gov. Rod Blagojevich
named Utica a state disaster area after a tornado caused extensive
devastation and claimed eight lives.
Starved Rock shares the distinction of
being named to the top 10 list, along with sites in New England, the
Appalachians and the Pacific Northwest. Perched on the Illinois
River bluffs, the park provides broad vistas of up to 10 miles to
observe the scenery.
"People may not realize they can
stay close to home and still see the most beautiful fall foliage in
the world," said Department of Natural Resources Director Joel
Brunsvold. "In fact, the park is an ideal day trip, whether you live
in Chicago, Peoria, Decatur or Rockford."
"It is an honor to be put on a list
like this, and we expect even more visitors to the state because of
it," said Jan Costner, tourism director. "As people make their fall
travel plans, Illinois will be one of the places they want to
In the coming weeks, the town located near Interstates 80 and 39
will host hundreds of thousands of tourists coming to enjoy the
splendor of Mother Nature's autumn palette. Starved Rock State Park
is located one mile south of Utica and midway between the cities of
LaSalle-Peru and Ottawa. It is a 90-minute drive from Chicago,
Peoria and Rockford.
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The park is etched with 13 miles of groomed trails along 18
canyons and river overlooks. Four miles of the park trails include
sandstone bluffs on the south side of the Illinois River. Stairs
provide easy access to some of the higher observation perches.
"There are 50 species of trees in the park. That means,
throughout October, there's a constant variety of trees in full
color," said Bill Wengelewski, Department of Natural Resources
Naturalist-guided tours are available Saturdays and Sundays at 10
a.m. and 2 p.m.
For more information, e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org or call (815) 667-4726.
Fall foliage viewing information is available on MSN at