Quality Days Await Wheelchair-Bound Adventurers
Kathy Casstevens-Jasiek | Feb 20, 2012, 10:43 a.m.
“Spending time in nature has restorative effects on both body and spirit,” said Dawn Williams to me. She’s right. But what if you or your significant other is wheelchair bound or has trouble walking, but you don’t?
Starved Rock Lodge and State Park offer a wide variety of fun things to do - even if you’re in a wheelchair. For example, Bald Eagle Trolley Tours are offered throughout February and there’s a wheelchair lift on one of the Lodge’s Trolleys. The largest collection of chainsaw woodcarvings is located on the grounds of Starved Rock Lodge. The “Art in the Park” exhibit is free to see and a self-guided tour map is also free. It’s fun to try to find all 30-plus carvings whether you’re in a wheelchair, or not! The sidewalks and shelters are easy to visit by wheelchair, as well. If snow has fallen, it’s best to head outside later in the day, once all the pathways have been cleared.
The biggest hidden gem is just a few miles from Starved Rock State Park and that’s Matthiessen Lake Falls. By taking the entrance to Deer Park Country Club (off of Route 71, just west of the Lodge) you’ll find one handicapped parking place. From there, cruise down the ramp and cross to the middle of the beautiful bridge. When you look down, you will be amazed. The paved path extends from the bridge far enough into the woods to feel as if you’re on a hike. This sidetrip is not advised in deep snow!
After an outdoor experience, relaxing in the Great Hall, next to the warm glow of the fireplace is always the perfect ending to a day in the park. There are both handicapped accessible rooms and cabins at the Lodge. The indoor pool has one sauna with a door big enough to allow a wheelchair inside and the pool has a chair lift!
To learn more or book a getaway, visit the Lodge’s website at www.starvedrocklodge.com or call 815-220-7363.