And about an hour and a half from central Chicago is Illini State Park, a comfortable slice of wilderness. Offering RV sites with electric and water hook-ups, as well as drive-in tent camping, the camp portion is divided into two different areas, with the Whitetail partially abutting a lock and dam. Each individual site features at least one picnic table and iron grill (fires only allowed in the grill)
For $10 a night I got a semi-secluded spot for my tent (the RV sites by the Army Corp of Engineers lock and dam was much more crowded), and for $6 a bundle at the nearby ice cream store I got firewood.
After reserving the site with the camp host (cash or check only) and picking up my wood (cash or card), I settled in for the night, enjoying the beginning of fall, which lots of color on the ground, the cicadas singing their last, and squads of migrating geese bedding down for the night. Also a little traffic noise from the nearby highway, but c'est la vie.