Forty-eight Starved Rock Walkers (+2 dogs) used this sunny day after Christmas to climb the Rock, enter French Canyon, and see Eagle Cliff.
There weren't a lot of winter coats and gloves seen today.
To go from the Lodge to the Rock you have to descend the 150 metal tread staircase down the South Bluff.
Two-thirds of the climb up the Rock is an asphalt ramp.
Sixty-six more stairs and you reach the boardwalk that circles the top of Starved Rock.
In this view from the Rock to Leopold Island you can see the beach and rip-rap around the island that has been under water about 180 days this year.
This second flag pole, 100-feet of stainless steel, was gifted to the Park by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1988. They also supplied the first pole in 1913.
A view of Starved Rock Lodge from the west side of
Back down the 66 steps and headed for French Canyon. Cocoa the dog has been a SR Walker as long as I have.
Now down the ten carved sandstone steps into French Canyon.
The waterfall on the headwall of French Canyon, seen today in mostly trickle mode, is probably the most photographed waterfall in Illinois.
Today's youngest hiker escorted by far from the oldest of today's hikers.
About forty walkers comes close to filling the floor of French Canyon.
Once you have walked up the waterfall to enter the canyon, walking down it to exit is not a problem.
All who entered the canyon also got out without getting wet.
Hikers like muddy trails that are mostly leaf covered.
A turkey-tail "fun guy" party on a trailside dead tree in French Canyon.
The last three flights of the 144 step main staircase to the top of the South Bluff.
A "Boxing Day" view of the hungry butte from Lovers Leap.
I asked her if I could have an Oreo.
This is not her "yes" face!
There is always something to see from the Eagle Cliff platform. We did see one bald eagle on today's walk.
It looks like some of the new lock chamber gates, to be installed next summer, have arrived at their destination.
To quote most of this week's
social media users,
"MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!"