Nature, the arts and fun come together nicely at Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center in Oglesby, Illinois.

Groups encounter the natural beauty of Starved Rock State Park’s canyons and waterfalls, scenic river cruises and musical entertainment at the lodge and conference center.

The park and its lodge and conference center in north-central Illinois are easily accessed from Interstate 80.

Edna Daugherty, activities director at the lodge, said group tours love visiting the lodge and taking part in its activities.

“Our water cruises on the Illinois River, trolley tours and guided hikes along with amazing musical tribute shows combine to create a memorable experience,” Daugherty said. “Our comfortable lodge rooms are just a few steps away, making this a unique and wonderful combination.”

Activities include seasonal day hikes, waterfall and canyon trolley tours with moderate hiking, fall colors trolley tours with moderate hiking in October, eagle watching trolley tours with no hiking, wine tours (moderate walking), river cruises and the Musical Tribute to the Stars series.

canyon hike with waterfall in background starved rock
Eagle I river cruise, Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center, Oglesby, Ill.
Credit: Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center

Each musical tribute show includes lunch or dinner with a performance by talented entertainers in the historic ambiance of the Great Hall of Starved Rock Lodge. Performers in the series take guests back in time by performing well-loved songs of yesteryear. 

Daugherty emphasized a group visit to the lodge can be more than a day trip. Overnight packages can be coordinated, and multi-day itineraries are available.

Kathy Casstevens, marketing director, said the lodge makes a fine destination for a mystery tour.

“Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center is and has been an excellent destination for this type of trip,” Casstevens said. “Edna and her team are very qualified and friendly, so organizing a mystery tour works for everyone involved from the owner/operator to the attendee.”

For more information on Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center, call 815-220-7386 or go to