Plenty of Water at Matthiessen State Park!

     As many who follow my blog or channel know, I often visit Starved Rock State Park in Illinois. For quite some time, I've known that there are multiple other state parks right in the same area as Starved Rock. Included in those state parks would be Buffalo Rock State Park, Illini State Park, and Matthiessen State Park. I finally ventured to Matthiessen. Needless to say, I was not disappointed one bit!
     There have been some photos that I've seen of Matthiessen in the past involving stone steps crossing water and such. That was the main spot I wanted to find while I was there. With a slight amount of internet research, I found that the area I was looking for is in the Dells area of the park. I quickly found that my GPS was not bringing me to the right place-- in fact, it was bringing me to a closed road. Luckily there were several signs in the area which redirected me.
      I would say I was surprised as to how many people were there, but there is a pretty decent explanation. It was Saturday, April 1st, and about 55 degrees out. What made the biggest impact was that the main parking lot at Starved Rock was flooded and closed. Many people would have been left searching for alternative parking or even hitting up a different park. This is what I attribute the business at Matthiessen to that day.
     Parking was easy when I got there, though the lot was filled by the time I left. I ventured past the fort and took the loop on the right first. I headed down the inner trail at Lake Falls. The falls were really coming down! If you didn't guess by the fact that Starved Rock's parking lot was flooded, there had been plenty of rain recently. In fact, there was almost too much water in many areas. The trails were muddy, which I didn't mind. Many of the cool rock crossings were covered by water though. Some of the normal attractions Matthiessen has to offer were not accessible without getting your feet wet... and probably up to your knees as well. Being a little chilly outside, this wasn't ideal.
     I ended up heading back up to the main trail at Cedar Point. I continued on to the left loop, only really peeking down into the inner trail. The thing is that those inner trails (the green ones on the map) are mostly through the water. My volunteering shift at Starved Rock was in just a couple hours, and I didn't have a change of socks or shoes. With that said, of course I accidentally ended up completely submerging my boots and getting soaked.
     After finishing the left loop, I returned to my car. My attempts to dry my boots and socks were all in vain... I spent three hours volunteering at the visitor center desk with wet feet. Regardless, Matthiessen was pretty sweet to check out. Though the waterfalls are awesome in spring, going in the late spring or in the summer might work better. The water levels probably wouldn't be quite so high. Even if they were, at least it would be warmer outside if you get wet.

The waterproof cases that make my water shots possible:


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