Thomas Woods Campground is in the Marengo Ridge Conservation Area and part of the McHenry County Conservation District. Spend a night in nature! We offer camping opportunities for groups and individuals. The District has five group campgrounds located throughout the county, one over night cyclist camping location, and one campground for individuals and families which accommodates both tents and RVs.
Limited to weekend camping, but spread out private-like tent sites. Camp hosts are super engaged and seem to love being caretakers. Hand pumps for water and well-kept pit toilets. Hiking galore! My "leashed" dog loves this place, as do I.
Larger site for an RV but I used a tent only. I enjoyed the fact the site was further off the main road which allowed for more privacy. Most of the sites were right on the road and you’d need to position your car right for privacy. The tent sites are clumped pretty tight together with a couple exceptions. There were some loud families the Saturday I was there but got fairly quiet after 10. I did hear some nearby house party well into the night.
Overall nice spot not to far from my home for a quick getaway.
Thomas Woods campground has some great sites, particularly the tent sites. Many of them are set off a short distance from the parking area. I stayed at site 30 which was less than a tenth mile from the parking spot. There are no trash cans at the site, the dumpsite is near the entrance. Most of the roads are one way so after dropping the trash off you must drive all through the campground to get back to your site. The site itself had plenty of room and privacy. The woods are dense and block all views of the neighboring sites. Unfortunately, I think some people think if they can’t see you, you can’t hear them. Every site has a raised pad for a tent. This was very nice. I did track in some of the small gravel into the tent, though. It looks like kitty litter. Not a big deal. It was nice sleeping flat and not sliding off my sleep pad.
Near Marengo Ridge is a bike trail called H.U.M. Trail. It is only 3.5 miles long. From what I understand is they lost funding for the project. The path is paved and offers a scenic forested view. The hiking trails of Marengo Ridge are the true stars of the area. I walked for almost two hours and still didn’t see them all. Some of the trails have wide paths of grass while others are single-track dirt.
As other reviewers have written, the mosquitoes are insane. Bring plenty of bug spray!
We did our first (family of 5) camping trip at Thomas Woods. We were at site 4 which is electric hookup and it was a huge area! The kids had so much space to run around and explore. They loved the well pump. We explored the campground both tent and rv. Both areas were well spaced out with enough privacy. There was another 3 groups there but didn’t noticed everyone was quiet. We also went on walks within the conservation, the trails were very easy and was a nice walk. We will definitely be going back to Thomas Woods
It was damp and buggy when we were there. The check in person was terribly disorganized and dealing with several small children. One pulled off her diaper and pooped on the floor while we were waiting to check in and pay. The spaces are smallish but ok for most tents. We put two, a four person and a two person, and it was adequate. The firewood for sale was green and wet and they fervently insisted we only use their wood. In fact a park ranger was apparently visiting the camp spot near us, well after dark, and decided to barge into our space from the bushes unannounced. It could have gotten him seriously injured. He was inspecting our firewood. I explained to him, very clearly that he was being very risky barging into a camp spots like that. He got pissy and we left the next day. Paid for 3 days and used two. We haven’t been back. Could be a nice quiet place to relax if it were operated better.
This is the third time we have gone to this campground. It is close to Chicago, we can get there in 1 hour), it is clean, and has nice hiking trails. The sites are in the woods with plenty of shade.
The mosquitoes are unbelievable, it made hiking in the woods impossible, we have given it 3 tries now over a few years and the mosquitoes have gotten worse every year. There is a nice prairie trail that the mosquitoes were not as bad on. Once we had a fire going the mosquitoes were a little better but not much.
They list a fishing pond, but it is a shallow small pond with weeds, it would be hard to fish on with out getting eaten by the mosquitoes
There are no showers, no flush toilets, one of the hand pumps was infested with ants (we could not get water without ants or ant parts) which caused us to have to drive to another site to get water.
The camp ground is only open on the weekend, and normally has open sites if you just want to drive up, or you can make reservations.
This was a well laid out campground, with some sites right on the roads and some buried back in the woods away from everyone (we chose the latter and felt like we had the place to ourselves). There are basic toilets (hole in ground style), a spigot for water, great trails (heavy on the mosquitoes, of course), and a very responsive team of folks running the campground. They were great about stopping by the campsite when we asked for more firewood ($5 / bundle). There is a two-tent limit per campsite, and parking for two vehicles (there is overflow parking very near the site).
We didn't go over but there was a separate area for RV camping, and a group camping area you could rent out (bunk-style cabins, I believe). Would come here again.
Great hiking trails, a pond for fishing, private camp sites.
I biked to this campground from the Woodstock Metra station. While the highway riding was occasionally a bit harrowing, it was absolutely worth it for the beautiful views and camping here.
I stayed in one of the tent camping sites with a little walk up (parking for a car available about 50 feet away). Nobody else was camping within sight of me, which was nice, though 2 other sites were visible from mine.
The camp host delivered my fire wood right to my site (which was extra helpful because no car). There were lots of bugs, but not too many bitey ones. Pit toilets and well water a short way away from my site were helpful.
Beautiful woods and prairie trails around here. Some really spectacular views to be had. Plus they now have online site reservations! I would definitely recommend camping at Thomas Woods.