We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Matthiessen State Park

Box 509, Utica, IL 61373-0509
+1 815-667-4868
Review Highlights
Stunning scenery

Although we hoped to spend more time hiking the trails, the weather and previous rainfall limited... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Beautiful lower dells, great waterfalls, lots of springtime mud

We went there this weekend and throughly enjoyed our day. The lower dells hike down to the basin... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Rockford, IL
Read all 334 reviews
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
  • Excellent72%
  • Very good20%
  • Average4%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“dells area” (29 reviews)
“starved rock” (163 reviews)
Box 509, Utica, IL 61373-0509
+1 815-667-4868
Write a Review
Reviews (334)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More languages

1 - 10 of 334 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago

Although we hoped to spend more time hiking the trails, the weather and previous rainfall limited our time. The one hour we spent on the upper trails before the deluge provided a calm and peaceful time in a beautiful environment. Would definitely return in dry...More

Thank trishdf
Reviewed 2 days ago

We went there this weekend and throughly enjoyed our day. The lower dells hike down to the basin was well worth the muddy trail. DO not bring new shoes, bring something that you can get dirty and wet. The upper dells portion had a few...More

Thank Queen-Traveler
Reviewed 4 days ago

Many wonderful waterfalls wind through the park. there were quite a few people when we went, but still a nice park.

Thank Mike M
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

Lesser known than nearby neighbor Starved Rock, and our 7 and 9 year old kids liked it better. Trail options to get down by and into the streams (Dells area of the park). Less crowded than Starved Rock. A bit muddy in places after rainy...More

Thank DSandJK
Reviewed 1 week ago

We arrived around 1045 am and the main parking lot was almost full. Has a wash area, trail map, and restrooms right before you decend the stairs to start your hike. Lots of dogs, it was very muddy but expected because of all the rain....More

Thank R9386DVamandam
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

They best state park in northern Illinois. The experienced travelers drive two miles past Starved Rock and its hordes and go here. Better hiking, better waterfall, and if you want you can wade through the river.

1  Thank frequenttraveler630
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We are in the area for a couple days, and went to Starved Rock SP yesterday. Matthiessen is even a little more photogenic. Go early though as parking is limited.

2  Thank David G
Reviewed 13 April 2017 via mobile

What an amazing display of nature. The Dells here are beautiful. I would recommend going early because the crowds show up around 11:00. It might also be less crowded on a week day. Be sure to wear shoes that you can get wet. If you...More

2  Thank lbagwell2
Reviewed 11 April 2017

Had never been to this state park and was told by family to make a stop on the way to Starved Rock State Park, so we did. This was a total surprise how nice the hiking trails were and the water falls from the bluffs....More

1  Thank Aqua456
Reviewed 11 April 2017 via mobile

I took my kids aged 9 and 4 for a hike. The path was decent, similar to Starved Rock with lots of wooden stairs. My 4 year old whined but managed to walk to both upper and lower Dells. The stepping stones were fun for...More

1  Thank kprock
Nearby Restaurants
135 reviews
4.42 km away
Nonie's Bakery & Cafe
135 reviews
4.51 km away
MJ's Walnut St Pub & Grill
43 reviews
2.96 km away
Starved Rock Lodge - Main Dining Room
269 reviews
3.53 km away
Nearby Attractions
MJ's Pub & Grill
6 reviews
2.97 km away
Starved Rock State Park
1,142 reviews
3.38 km away
Illinois Waterway Visitor Center
60 reviews
4.39 km away
I&M Canal National Heritage Area
120 reviews
6.71 km away
Questions & AnswersAsk a question
Is there a ATV or Horse rental?
6 May 2017|
Answer Show all 3 answers
Response from Brian S | Reviewed this property |
No, there are neither at Matthiesen State Park.
Lauren C
any bike trails? are they paved or gravel/rock?
11 April 2017|
Response from RJD32 | Reviewed this property |
I know there are horse trails where you may be able to ride a bike, but I didn't see any bike trails. Trying to ride your bike through the walking paths would be ill advised, although I didn't see any signs that would... More
Is there a "proper" entrance to the park? Are there multiple entrances? Off what roads are they?
4 April 2017|
Answer Show all 3 answers
Response from RJD32 | Reviewed this property |
There are several places where you can park and just walk in. I recommend you stop at the visitors center. It's not anything fancy, it just looks like a small white house but they can give you a map and explanation. That... More