Rock River Valley is home to 385 acres of paradisiacal forest, perfect for weekend getaways and family recreation. White Pines Forest State Park offers a serene backdrop for an ideal camping trip, smack dab in the heart of the vast rolling forest and dramatic Illinois bluffs. Featuring modern camp facilities, as well as up-to-date lodging, it’s easy to see why one might consider taking a voyage here. Not only are the amenities plentiful, the local geography is pretty stunning too. Gentle creek beds run against rich earthy banks through the park’s mossy cliffs and dangling vines. During the spring, wildflowers become plentiful, as trout lily, bloodroot, spring beauty, hepatica, and more all blossom into full bloom.
One of the most notable features of the park is a concrete ford which spans across the creeks. This enables drivers to pull directly up to the creek bed, and drive through the various streams. There’s even an accessible path leading straight to the bank for those interested in checking out the wildlife or taking advantage of the fishing nearby.
It goes without saying that picnicking is extremely popular here. In fact, there are over 100 campsites that feature their own picnic area, as well as various benches and clearings placed strategically throughout the park.
Thanks to the variety of campsite options, it’s really easy to find camping here at any time of year. White Pines is unique in that it boasts Class B/S Campsites vehicle access and spacious shower/flush buildings nearby. There are also 3 electric sites, however they are non-reservable. Likewise, group campgrounds cannot be reserved so be sure to wake up early for priority camping!
I drove out here from the Chicago area this last nice weather weekend in October 2020. I haven't been here in years, but as every campground in Illinois was booked-up from everyone getting out during the pandemic, I took a chance on the few walk up sites still available according to Reserve Amereica. They were open, but I took a hard pass. I forgot about the "ford" crossing into the campground. It's where the water crosses the road about a foot high. My husband would have been joining me later, and I knew he would not have been happy seeing that on his motorcycle. The few walkup sites still available were in the Sunny Crest loop. I've never seen so many people camping so close together. The sites all had some form of firepit. Some had a table, but many didn't. There were hundreds of people camping on hilly terrain. It looked like a music festival, only without music and lots of families who looked like they had never been outside before so they were set up about 15 feet apart. Even if the campground would have been empty, all of the tent sites are in the open right next to the next one. Winnebago county forest preserve has a few campgrounds nearby that are much more private. This kind of "camping" is not for me.
Great park for the newer"primitive camper". Beware the sites that are on an incline. Vault toilets very accessible through out the park It's pretty cool that you have to drive through the crik to get to the campground. Fishing was lackluster, but it was also the second weekend after quarantine. Camp hostest is super nice!
If you're a hiker, there are hills here for some decent elevation change (not bad for the Midwest). There are many trails which you can combine to get a good amount of miles in.
The camping here is always good. The sites are not huge, but not too tight and are pretty well spread out. The lodge is at the top of the hill with a nice little giftshop and restaurant as well as cute, quaint cabins for an overnight stay.
This camp site does not have very secluded spots. I would have enjoyed a more quiet plot of land amongst some pine trees.
We did not get out to see much of the park. Would like to come back and experience the actual beauty of the park not just the family campground.
Great forests and trails! Nice for camping in that the campsites are not too close together but there are still bathrooms
I've stayed at WP for many years, but will now avoid holiday weekends. Made the mistake of staying there over the 4th of July. Very crowded with some sites with 4 tents on them. Woken up at 2 AM by a guy and woman screaming at each other in some kind of domestic dispute. Shower building was filthy with overflowing toilets. Not sure who takes care of these things, but they really dropped the ball.
Regular weekends have been fine but can be noisy during high season. If you're a light sleeper, be aware that BNSF trains blow their horns for a nearby road crossing and possibly the bridge on the north side of the park.
The cabins are nice and the lodge restaurant serves decent food at reasonable prices.
Well kept camping sites. Easy drive up style. Picnic tables and fire pits on site. Bathrooms and dumpster close by. River that is walk and drive through!
Cleanest IL State Park I had been to. nice camp sites not too close together. Loved driving through the fjords. On-site restaurant was nice, cabins were clean and cozy.
Inn has been closed and new owner.
Though the campsites are pretty close together, the park itself is HUGE. so many trails to choose from and tons are areas to dip in the water. all around beautiful spot
Great place for family camping. Very clean, and beautiful hiking trails. My only complaint would be that at the private cabins you are not allowed to cook out. We did tent camping and there were grills, but a separate time we did a private cabin and they would not let us grill. So you basically had to either eat at their lodge, or drive into town about 15 minutes away to eat. However, the cabins did have beautiful fire pits at each site. It was nice to be able to sit around the fire throughout the day and night.
it was fun to be able to fish in the creek there, and just relax!
Overall it is a beautiful place. Last time we were there a new hbo series was being filmed, so a lot of stuff was blocked off, however it was pretty awesome to see the production of it come together.