The 10 Best Camping Spots in Illinois!

Camping provides an escape from the daily grind and an opportunity to connect with nature. Illinois has thousands of acres of serene camping spots in a variety of terrains ranging from canyons to marshlands. Whether you prefer rustic, primitive camping or more civilized camping spots equipped with modern luxuries, there are plenty of options in Illinois. The following camping spots are scenic and full of outdoor activities for the entire family. 

1. Starved Rock State Park, Oglesby, IL

Starved Rock State Park is nothing short of a camper’s haven. Located around Oglesby, this gorgeous state park features towering trees, stunning canyons, beautiful waterfalls, and extraordinary views of flourishing nature. Campers have access to 13 miles of hiking trails, boating on the Illinois River, and 133 premium campsites equipped with electricity. There’s also plenty of RV hookups and open grassy spots ideal for pitching a tent. 

2. Apple River Canyon State Park, Apple River, IL

Apple River Canyon State Park offers scenic canyon areas, massive cliffs, and lush vegetation filled with a wide variety of wildlife. The Apple River Canyon has cut through the limestone for centuries, forging the current landscape and exposing numerous fossils. Campers are provided with nearly 50 campsites and six group sites. Winter camping is also available in this beautiful state park. 

3. White Pines Forest State Park, Mt. Morris, IL

Camp under the towering pines at White Pines Forest State park around Mt. Morris. This serene forest offers flowing streams, moss-covered cliffs, trailing vines, and ample wildlife watching for campers. Enjoy plenty of shaded picnic areas, seven marked hiking trails, cross-country skiing, and many other nature-filled activities year around. White Pines also offers over 100 campsites, youth group camping, and three electric hook-up sites. 

4. Giant City State Park, Makanda, IL

Horseback riding, fishing, hiking, and rock climbing are just some activities campers can enjoy at Giant City State Park near Makanda. This breathtaking state park features giant sandstone bluffs formed over 10,000 years ago. Campers can also take in the many varieties of towing trees, wildflowers, ferns, and mosses throughout the park. The well-kept campgrounds offer nearly 100 campsites, some of which are fully equipped with electricity, water, and sanitary facilities. More primitive campsites are also available.

5. Cave-In-Rock State Park, Cave-In-Rock, IL

Experience a true natural wonder at Cave-In-Rock State Park. Named after a 55-foot-wide cave that overlooks the Ohio River, this awe-inspiring state park is the perfect weekend camping spot. Explore the park’s hiking trails and tranquil forests, plus access the Ohio River for boating, fishing, or watersports. Campers have over 30 fully-equipped campsites and 25 tent sites available. 

6. Illinois Beach State Park, Zion, IL

Explore over six miles of sandy shoreline and over 4,000 acres of natural beauty at Illinois Beach State Park. This beautiful natural setting is thriving with natural wildlife and hundreds of plant species. Campers can explore the sprawling marshes, oak forests, and wet prairies. The campground offers over 240 premium sites and three handicap-accessible sites. 

7. Castle Rock State Park, Oregon, IL

Castle Rock State Park is distinguished by rock formations, ravines, and a sandstone bluff perfect for exploration. Located in the Rock River Hills region, this beautiful park offers six miles of marked hiking trails, over a mile of bank fishing, and scenic picnicking. Camping at Castle Rock State Park is very rustic and ideal for campers who really want to experience nature up close, without modern luxuries. The primitive camping area is only accessible by boat or canoe. 

8. Mississippi Palisades State Park, Savanna, IL

The Mississippi Palisades State Park is known for its limestone caves, steep cliffs, and intriguing rock formations. Rich in American Indian history, this 2,500-acre state park is teeming with wildlife including many bird species such as eagles, woodpeckers, and wild turkeys. There are over 240 campsites available and two youth camping areas. Fishing, rock climbing, boating, picnicking, and hiking trails are just some of the activities available for campers. 

9. Shawnee National Forest, Harrisburg, IL

Shawnee National Forest is rich in geological history and features many stunning panoramic views of rock formations. With two beach areas, rock climbing, fishing, boating, miles of diverse hiking, and ample sightseeing, campers have plenty of opportunities to connect with nature. Shawnee Forest also offers a variety of camping options ranging from primitive spots to a developed campground with electricity and showers.  

10. Pere Marquette State Park, Grafton, IL

Enjoy spectacular views of the Illinois River, year-round recreational activities, local geology, and ample wildlife habitat at Pere Marquette State Park. This nature-lover’s paradise offers 12 miles of marked hiking trails, 20 miles of horse trails, bird watching, hunting, fishing, boating, and other outdoor activities. Camping opportunities are plentiful and include an 80-site campground equipped with electrical hookups, two cabins, a youth tent camping area, and organized group camps. 

Illinois Search
Best Campgrounds and Camping Sites Near You
Best Campgrounds and Camping Sites Near You
4201 Shabbona Grove Rd, Shabbona, IL
Just miles west of Chicago, off U.S. 30, urban landscape gives way to 1,550 acres of rolling prairie and a 318.8-acre man-made fishing lake. Shabbo... Read More
119 Tomahawk Drive, Pocahontas, IL
About Us: We provide a restful atmospher, modern clean facilities in a rural setting a beautiful spring fed lake. Well worth the short drive to an... Read More
1023 North 500th Street, Ingraham, IL
About Us:   Kuhl's Kozy Kampground was established in 1976 with a 5 acre lake for fishing and swimming.  Picnic tables are available, a... Read More
20100 Hazlet Park Rd, Carlyle, IL
It seems appropriate for one of the largest campgrounds in the Illinois state park system to be located on the largest manmade lake in Illinois. El... Read More
1341 East 1650 Avenue, Brownstown, IL
About Welcome to Okaw Valley Kampground We're glad you found us! Under new ownership in 2013! We are a family-owned, full-service campground. Lo... Read More
Vandalia Lake Route 185, Vandalia, IL
Vandalia Lake provides high quality camping facilities for overnight camping. The campground includes sites with electric outlets, modern shower wi... Read More
12246 Binney Road, New Douglas, IL
Rustic Acres offers a wide variety of activities. Family and friends alike may decide to spend a nice pleasant day at our large swimming pool or ta... Read More
15927 Carlinville Lake Road, Carlinville, IL
Carlinville Lake and Campground is located 3 miles from Carlinville, Illinois south off Route 4. The campground is located on Lake #1 and offers a ... Read More
22756 Whitepark Lane, Litchfield, IL
Hours Monday -  9 AM - 5 PM Tuesday -  9 AM - 5 PM Wednesday -  9 AM - 5 PM Thursday -  9 AM - 5 PM Friday -  9 AM - ... Read More
4372 Park Road, Ellis Grove, IL
Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site preserves the time-worn earthen remains of Fort Kaskaskia, constructed by the French ca. 1759 to defend the town... Read More
4301 S. Lake Dr., Chester, IL
Randolph County State Recreation Area is a mecca for outdoor recreational activities. Fishing, hiking, picnicking, boating, hunting and camping are... Read More
13520 Community Lake Road, Percy, IL
18500 Conservation Drive, Nashville, IL
Wildlife abounds in the Washington County State Recreation Area located four miles south of Nashville in southern Illinois. Visitors will marvel at... Read More
2054 West Stearns Road, Bartlett, IL
Mission Statement:We Create Fun!...by providing the finest in Parks, Programs, and Recreational Facilities for our Community. The Bartlett Nature C... Read More
111 South Wood Dale Road, Wood Dale, IL
The White Oaks Nature Trail is available for you to enjoy the natural surroundings as you walk, jog or bike on this interpretive loop trail. You ca... Read More
7318 Harlem Road, Loves Park, IL
Chiseled out of the state's far northern region is Rock Cut State Park in Winnebago County. Nearby are other "rocky" landmarks - the mighty Rock Ri... Read More
235 Giant City Rd, Makanda, IL
With its breathtaking natural beauty and unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation, a trip to Giant City State Park near Carbondale is sure to... Read More
401 Ottawa Street, Morris, IL
History buffs, nature lovers and sportsmen will thrill to the sights and sounds of the 96-mile route of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Along its ... Read More
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