This COE campground is conveniently located and just a quick off ramp from the Interstate. I stayed here one night as I headed south from Chicago. The one night only ultimately turned out to be a blessing. It seemed that I inadvertently booked a site in the middle of a family reunion. I don’t mind a good party, but when you leave your dog tethered to visit at other campsites and your dog is barking for hours, well, that’s not okay.
I was in site 30, located directly on the water in the Nighthawk campground. Site 29 is very close and the picnic bench is literally 8 feet away from the back of the pad of site 30. The class A rig in the video belonged to my neighbor, so you can see how close the sites were. Don’t expect much in the way of privacy. Otherwise, the site is shaded and fairly level with a nice lake view and direct access.
Unfortunately, I didn’t awake to sounds of nature. Early in the morning the sawing and woodchipping began. To make matters worse it was windy. All the woodchopping and sawdust was flying in the air which required us to close windows and hunker down inside until the park crew finished their work. I understand that maintaining the park is important, but why on a busy camping weekend?
The restrooms were a short walk across the road and up the slope from site 30. I didn’t use the facilities, so can’t speak to their functionality or cleanliness. I like to camp at lakes because I enjoy kayaking and this lake would allow for all kinds of water activities which is a plus.
Also, if you haven’t made a reservation and decide to do a walk up make sure you have cash. A couple was turned away and told to get cash because they don’t take credit cards or checks.
I might stay here again as a layover spot because of its convenient location to the interstate, but it wouldn’t be a destination for me.
My family and I stayed here just passing through and we checked in with the very friendly staff… The campground itself was not the greatest, but okay for just one night passing through! It’s location was great for us, traveling west, being about 45 min. out of St. Louis, MO. The site was pretty muddy, but they had been experiencing lots of rain. Wouldn’t recommend for a vacation, but for one night, passing through, it will be more than suitable!
Most of the sites are large and a good distance from the next one. Shower house is alright. The store/restaurant has been closed for a year or two now because of the Illinois budget. There's a dollar store in Farina and a grocery store in Kinmundy; both towns are less than 10 miles away. The lake is big enough for ski boats but nice for kayaks also. Swim beach is not well maintained due to the budget but also doesn't cost anything since they can't pay anyone to man the gate, but it's not horrible.
If you don’t know anything about this place, I would recommend it! The sites are level and clean, and the lady who checked me in was very nice and accommodating. You are a stones throw away from Katy trail which will take you to downtown St. Charles. The trail is about 1.5-2 miles to get to downtown. You can bike or walk there. You are on the final approach for the airport, so I’ll could be a lil noisy for some. The only bad thing which isn’t the campgrounds fault, is you can’t have a camp fire due to the city ordinances. But if that’s the worst….I’ll take it. Wish I had taken pictures of the campground but there was so much to do in St. Charles that I forgot to take them.
Let’s start with the good. The outhouses were clean and it was pretty cheap. Ok,on to all of the not so great. The trails were VERY unkept and there was poison ivy at nearly every step, the entry map shows a beach- there might have been 5 years ago but now absolutely nothing that even resembled a place to swim. If I hadn’t been tricked into thinking it was a decent campground, I might not have been as disappointed but we were looking for a specific type of camping experience and this place failed to meet even the lowest of expectations.
This is our favorite campground in Central/southern illinois. The sites are very nice and most have shade. There is a beach for campers to use, and a really nice playground. Their bathrooms and showerhouse were impeccably clean, and many sites are right next to the lake.
Overall this is a VERY nice campground. There is a camp store, firewood available, and even a pool! The trails around are nice and our family had fun hiking. HOWEVER: Unless you have a restroom in your rig, be prepared to walk up to the showerhouse. The pit toilets that were spread across the campground were in horrendous condition and had wasps, spiders, and other critters hanging out. With 4 kids in tow and a pop-up camper, we made the long treck to the shower house many times in one weekend. If we'd had a heads up, we would have stayed somewhere with more accessible restrooms.
Oh and lots of deer bed down in the grassy areas at night, which was a fun thing to see!
There’s not a bad campsite here. There are sites with electric, water, and sewer. Several sites are right on Rend Lake. Most sites have concrete picnic tables and fire rings. The bath houses are really nice, they are individual shower houses that are clean and well lit. The grounds are very well maintained. The park was full while we stayed there, but was really quiet. You can tent camp or use a camper.
After a massive disappointment at a nearby state park, we came to Sherwood Forest as a last resort. We were beyond pleasantly surprised!
First off, the camp host came and met me at 7pm on Sunday to get me set up. He took me on a golf cart to give me a tour of the available spots. He was so completely friendly and just all-around good!
The place is an amazing little resort-like campground. It’s nicely tucked away with plenty of shade.
The playground is super nice and very well maintained.
Our site is very large with an equally large grass lawn area.
I didn’t visit the bathhouse or laundry facilities but judging by the cleanliness of everything else, I’m sure those are exemplary.
I will most certainly be back!
If you live in the St. Louis area and are looking for a great park for a weekend getaway near the water then look no further. Tons of reservable and walk up sites for primitive and RV. Most sites have plenty of shade and room in between so you were not right on top of your neighbors The only thing that would be a complaint about the sites is that many of them have a metal culvert running under the entrance to each campsite so if you’re not careful backing your camper out you can run over those and possibly cut a tire Other than that it is a great campground that boasts the only swimming pool in an Illinois state park. There is also a small store that has all of the basics and even has a built-in laundry mat The only other small complaint is that there is only one fill station to fill your freshwater tanks. So during busier times there can sometimes be a line of people waiting to fill their freshwater tanks so if you can do that at home I highly advise it
This is a great little campground with a fishing lake. Sites are gravel but well maintained. Sites are fairly close with most shaded. Getting around is a little right for bigger rigs but still doable as long as you’re careful. Make sure you fill up at the dump station before you get to the campground because there’s no easy way to turn around if you miss it. It’s approximately a mile before the campground on your left. Be aware that there are no showers though, only bathrooms. Fifty-one Class BE campsites, 95 Class C campsites, an equestrian site with eight stalls for horses, and four Class D (primitive) campsites are available throughout the area. A group camp area has its own shelter, stone fireplace, electricity and tables. Some campsites at Randolph County SRA can be reserved online through Reserve America at www.reserveamerica.com Randolph County State Recreation Area is a mecca for outdoor recreational activities. Fishing, hiking, picnicking, boating, hunting and camping are just a few of the choices on the 1,101 acres at the site. Located five miles northeast of Chester, Randolph County SRA lies in the rolling hill country of southern Illinois. Offering a cool retreat from hot summer days, well shaded picnic areas, hiking trails and scenic forest stands await park visitors.
West Central Illinois
4301 S. Lake Drive Chester IL 62233
N: 37.968 W: -89.802 History In 1958, land was purchased and plans started to build a dam and spillway for a 65-acre lake. The lake was completed in 1961, and since that time, recreational facilities have been added to provide picnic shelters, toilets, a boat ramp and a concession stand at Randolph County SRA..
Directions All access to Randolph County SRA is from the west entrance off Palestine Rd. Coming from the North on Route 3, visitors will turn east on Shawneetown Trail south of the town of Ellis Grove. At Palestine, turn south on Palestine Road and proceed two miles, then turn left at the entrance sign. Coming from the north on Route 150, turn west on Shawneetown Trail and proceed to Palestine, then turn south on Palestine Road and proceed to the entrance sign and turn left into the area. Coming from the south from Chester, head north on Palestine Road to the entrance sign and turn right into the area.
This is an older state park but still has hundreds of well-maintained sites and if you get to some of the first come sites at just the right time you will have a lakefront campsite to enjoy. Easy to get around and plenty of facilities with bath houses and bathrooms as well as playgrounds for the kids and hiking and biking trails.
Big things happening at Country Bend Campgrounds in Montrgromy Co, IL. This beautiful campground has many things to offer and is only a few minutes from the local drive in movie theater in Litchfield Illinois. It has a pool, swing sets, playground, cabins, ponds with stocked fish, beautiful walking trails, camping, welcome center, baseball field, volleyball, games, horseshoes, paddle boats, miniature golf, and so much more. This family run business is under new management and is welcoming new seasonal campers and day campers with competitive pricing. This beautiful campground is nestled in a scenic area in the country and is pet friendly. It has clean shower houses with warm water. We just purchased our seasonal campsite earlier in the season. Come check out this amazing campground and all it has to offer! Our rough collies will be joining us at this dog friendly campground! There is always something to do here and the owners strive to make it a family place by providing many activities on the weekends. The owners have done an amazing job on this campground and have made it one of the best campgrounds around to create that lasting experience with our children before they grow up!!!
We stayed there July 4th weekend we had a great time. Everyone was friendly they had many activities plus a swimming pool, putt putt golf, paddle boats and fishing. It rained our 1st night there we had a big mud hole asked if there was anyway to get rock and they brought rick to get it dry for us. Already booked our next weekend there. Can’t wait to see how the improve the campground.
This place is unlike any other. Very clean, usually quiet, rangers drive through everyday making sure all is well with everyone. There is swimming, fires, biking, walking, pretty much everything you’d need when one thinks of camping. Very decently priced. There is something for everyone whether you have just a tent, or a pop up, or a full size RV! If you camp, this HAS to be a place you at least try. Amazing people.
We love Lake Carlyle and Dam West is a great place to camp. CLEAN (and air conditioned) bath houses. The sites are beautiful and well maintained! Great place to bike, hike, and swim at the beach. Close to Wal-Mart and McDonalds!! 😉