Influx of visitors prompts safety worries at Starved Rock

Influx of visitors prompts safety worries at Starved Rock. (WRSP)

Officials at Illinois' Starved Rock State Park say they're seeing a rise in emergency calls with a rise in visitors.

The News Tribune in LaSalle reports that the park had 412,000 visitors during July -- an average 13,300 people per day. Starved Rock State Park officials are looking to keep visitors safe following the July 29 death of an Indiana man, who fell 50 feet (15.24 meters) from a restricted area.

Complex superintendent Kerry Novak says attendance numbers have been "amazing" but he and his staff urgently need ways to manage crowds and keep visitors safe. He said he's pressing for walkways and railings to keep people on trails and prevent accidents.

Novak says conservation police and the park also need more staff to maintain an acceptable staff-to-visitor ratio.

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