Midwest Adventure: Eagles and Ice Falls

Starved Rock State Park

Just a quick 90 minute drive from our home on the west side of Chicago is a spectacular Midwest treasure — Starved Rock State Park.  Today, Kyle and I decided to take a day trip out to Starved Rock to explore.  We were both surprised about the beautiful landscape and wildlife that is just a short trip outside of the metropolis of Chicago. To be honest, I was slightly skeptical about visiting this park during the winter.  However, last week someone told me that Starved Rock is the perfect place to spot Bald Eagles during January and February and I had to see it for myself.  And I must say — we were not disappointed!  During our stay at the park, we saw about 10 Bald Eagles soaring above the Illinois River and perched like kings in the trees on Plum Island.  Apparently, the best times to observe the eagles are between 7 – 9am and 4-5pm.  Even though we were not there during those hours we saw plenty of active Eagles.  This park offers amazing outlooks over the lock and dam.  These locations are prime Eagle watching sights.  Kyle and I spent hours perched up in these outlooks watching the eagles soar.  Such fun!  We even spotted an adult Eagle sitting in a pine tree just a mere 20 feet away from our outlook.  Sadly, our camera (my phone) was unable to capture this majestic creature. After talking to a Park Ranger, we decided to undertake a quick 3 mile hike to see one of the many canyons the park has to offer.  The hike to Wildcat Canyon was an icy one, however, when we reached the canyon we were greeted by an amazing ice fall…

Ice Falls -- Starved Rock
 Wildcat Canyon 

This park is an easy drive for those coming from Chicago looking for a fun day in nature.  For us, gas was the only expense — around $15 total since entry to the State Park is free.   Go and check it out!

Starved Rock
 Starved Rock  
Eagle
The Eagle that was about 20 feet away…
(I need a better camera) 
IMG_20140112_1057089862
The Illinois River 
IMG_20140112_1138398072
Lover’s Leap Lookout 
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Eagle Soaring above the Illinois River 
Wildcat Canyon
Wildcat Canyon from Above
 
 
 
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