Alternate routes and closures for Starved Rock Marathon due to Illinois River rising

Flooding Starved Rock State Park Parking Lot Floods Flooded

Flooding Starved Rock State Park Parking Lot Floods Flooded – file photo Studstill Media

The Starved Rock Marathon will be occurring this Saturday, May 11th. The park road will be closed to traffic from 7:20-7:45 a.m. The eastern canyon parking lots at Illinois, Ottawa, and Kaskaskia will be closed during the marathon.

Due to the heavy rains earlier this week the Illinois River is rising again and Dee Bennett Road may be unsafe for runners. Because of this, a decision was made to use the alternate route for the safety of everyone.


The Half Marathon will start in Starved Rock State Park and run North to Route 178. The route will then turn Left to Route 71. Runners will then head East to Ottawa. The route will turn Left on Route 23 over the River bridge to the finish line.

The Full Marathon remains unchanged to Starved Rock State Park Entrance/Route 178. The course will the turn LEFT to “the four corners” where they turn Left on to Route 71 and follow that to Ottawa, IL Route 23.

5k Route remains unchanged.

The park road will reopen after 7:45 a.m. with the west entrance from route 178 as entrance only and visitors can exit through the South Gate to route 71 until the marathon is completed on Saturday. After the marathon is completed (late morning) the west entrance will be closed to thru traffic for the weekend. Visitors can access the park from route 71 at the south gate. Visitors are asked to park at the overflow parking lot or lodge parking lot. Visitors may access trails from those areas or take the stairs behind the lodge to the visitor center and lower areas. All trails at Starved Rock State park are now open.

The lower parking lot and boat ramp remain flooded and closed.

Park maps can be found at every intersection on the trails to help guide visitors through the park. Visitors may download a free trail map at under the Parks and Recreation tab -Starved Rock.

The Starved Rock Lodge, Visitor Center, Campground and trails are open. Matthiessen lower dells and horseback trails remain closed to visitors. All other trails and parking lots at Matthiessen are open.