Chicago: Side Trips

Starved Rock State Park

The sun shines on a waterfall in French Canyon at Starved Rock State Park in Utica, Ill., April 29, 2007 LaSalle News Tribune, David Manley / AP
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In a state that is known for its flat landscape, Starved Rock State Park is an unusual change of pace in the central plains. Take about a two-hour drive south of the city and spend an afternoon hiking the canyon-studded park, which isnamed for a group of Native Americans who fled to the hill and were besieged by the Ottawa and Potawatomi tribes. The tribes starved the Indians atop the butte, thus giving the area its name. Starved Rock became a National Historic Landmark in 1960. On the long drive down stop by Two Brothers Brewery in Warrenville, IL, a family-owned microbrewery churning out some of the best craft beers available in the Midwest. Pick up a six-pack of Ebel's Weiss, a light, crisp Hefeweizen that pairs perfectly with a long day of hiking.

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