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Thread: Hike in Starved Rock State Park

  1. #1

    Hike in Starved Rock State Park

    I'm taking my Dad for a 3 day trip to Starved Rock State Park - his first "hike in the woods" since his injury 6 years ago. He's paraplegic (L3 ASIA C) and walks with AFOs and crutches. Very strong arms/quads, but balance issues....

    He loved hiking in the past. The leaves are at their peak, and there will be lovely drives and one paved path. He will really want to try something deeper in the park. We'll see what he can manage.

    Any pointers for a first hike? Has anyone been to this park lately (Illinois)?

  2. #2
    Haven't been there in many years...camped there in the spring when I was in grad school in Chicago. It rained the whole weekend, but it was a lovely park.


  3. #3
    I have no advice on the park, itself. Watch for the depth of the leaves on the trails. That's a gotcha I've learned the hard way. Easy to trip if you can't see rocks or uneven ground. Otherwise, it sounds fabulous and I hope you have a great time!

  4. #4
    KLD - I haven't been there since I was a child. It brought back a lot of memories... It was a beautiful trip.

    truly - great advice, and I used it. Tree roots hidden under leaves were common.

    We had a really nice trip. The weather was beautiful and we arrived as the weekend crowds were leaving. The park employees were not very helpful trying to direct us to manageable hikes, but fortunately we stumbled on a couple on our own. My Dad was driven and made it through with no falls!! He has mixed feelings since he remembers adventures in the park from when we were kids - he told lots of stories of climbing up ladders, crawling in caves and sneaking behind waterfalls..... but this time, I hope just walking in the woods was enough for him.

  5. #5
    I'm so glad you had a nice day of hiking. I could relate to your comment about mixed feelings. As much as I love to get out on the trails, it always reminds me of how much easier it used to be. But then...that can be said about a lot of things. I'm sure your dad treasured the opportunity to get back to something familiar.

  6. #6
    HLH - I bet your dad values that you went with him. I know I would if my son went with me on a hike. Truly - I always have that annoying feeling of how it used to be easier as an AB and that that older, out of shape person would have never passed me on the trail - but then I let go of that thought and try to have a good day. It helps me to hang out with other paralyzed people and joke around that paralysis and paraplegia isn't so bad once you get used to it. We are being sarcastic and we break into a lot of laughter.

  7. #7
    Hey arndog,

    The trip did a lot for his confidence. Unfortunately, he doesn't value that I went with him, and in fact only complains that we didn't "let him" do more. That's typical for my father though. At least he went, as he basically refused to go until 2 days before.... I think he'll remember it as a good trip.

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