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Aledo, ILLINOIS

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Cute and Quaint

Little Bear Campground is located right off I-80 at the West Liberty exit. It is right next to a trailer park. There are a few tent sites ($22/ night)and Rv sites($33/night). We pulled in late to stay the night. It had full hook ups with a fire ring and picnic table. The spot was good sized and clean. There is an office/ gift shop and a convent store within walking distance. There is 2 cute little cabins which run $49 a night. There is a pool(closed for season), and a playground for kids. I was surprised that the interstate noise was much quieter than I thought it would be. All and all it was a pleasant place to stop over.

Small campground right on the river - check for flooding before traveling

This is a very small campground. Parts were closed because of flooding so maybe your experience will be better. There were half a dozen sites available this weekend. Each site has direct water access for an easy fishing experience. A boat launch and day use parking area were seeing activity too. Vault toilets are at the end on the camp host side. 

Other than fishing or watching the water flow by, there wasn’t much else here. The drive in is through active farmland. You could walk along the gravel roads. Another option is to visit Loud Thunder forest for hiking. They also have boat rentals. 

A local church held a communal breakfast on Labor Day so check out the small local towns while you’re here.

Multiple campgrounds within a forest near the Mississippi

Registering for any site means stopping at the main ranger office. We waited while a line of people rented pontoon boats, canoes and kayaks. We found site 6 in Silva Campground to be nicely set apart. 

Silva is wooded and has more seclusion than the other camps. River campground has campers right in a line with no shade around them. Silva was good for us. 

Some sites are close together- perfect for a small group. Others are open and along the road. 6 was carved out of the woods- we felt immersed in the forest. One set of 4 vault toilets serves this campground. Water can be found in a couple locations. Our site had full sun during the day so our screen tent saved the day.

A variety of hiking trails are here. Some are used by bikes and horses too. Rock Island is a short drive away and we hiked on Sylvan Island there. Many people are here for fishing. 

We didn’t like the large family gathering at the site across from us. They disappeared as soon as the rain came but there was a lot of activity going on. Some of the picnic areas would be perfect for these moments but they didn't move to them. We still enjoyed our stay.

Stuck between a fairly busy road and the slough

Squeezed between the slough and the road, a campground awaits. Close enough so that one side of your campsite is against the road. The sites were not mowed super recently so the greenery was about 6” tall in spots. Evidence of recent rain was found in the small ruts in the one roadway. There are no trails or even a sidewalk by the road. 

This campground isn’t that enticing but it’s nice to know that there are options if everything else is full. On Labor Day weekend there weren’t any campers - this was enough to send us further down the road. Loud Thunder is just down the road and might be a preferable place. 

We did see people parking in the day use lot and launching their boats for a morning of fishing.

Great staff, awful bathrooms

 I’d like to start by saying the staff is wonderful. They’re very friendly and kind. 

However,  The bathrooms could really benefit by some simple tuneups. In order to run the shower, one must hold down a rusty slimy chain. The floors are also very porous, which would make them very difficult to clean (hence the filthy floors) 

Also, there were some other campers playing loud music which was annoying. It was not bad enough for us to make a fuss (we only stayed one night), so I have no idea how that might have been handled by staff had the need arisen.

Tent camped for 5 days

Awesome place by the Iowa river.. clean and quiet, no drinking water…

Good stopover while traveling

Great staff and RV park amenities. Camped for two nights and it was quiet.

Quiet, beautiful, close to fishing and kayaking

Fished here for a few years but camped here for the first time with my travel trailer this year. The campground is well laid out. If you are in a group you can reserve spots 8 and 9 together or there are some long spots in the Eastern part for double occupancy if you want. If you want more privacy and easy access to the lake for kayaking I'd go for 14, 15, and 16. I'm in 32 and it is private and very pretty.

Nearby lake has a beach and a boat ramp for launching boats (whole lake is no wake zone) or kayaks. If you are into fishing, this place has large mouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish.

Plenty to do

Our site was at Indian Meadows and it is large enough to fit my big 8-person tent, a picnic table, my truck, and all our other stuff with room to spare. The sites are very close to each other. The sites at Riverview and Silva both seemed smaller. The Riverview sites had great shade and a breeze coming off of the Mississippi river but had very little privacy. Each site at Indian Meadows and Silva are surrounded by a wall of trees. Our site had a picnic table and a fire pit with a swing over grill. There was no trash can, though. My plan was to collect the garbage then walk it to the trash point, a dumpster up the road. Unfortunately, while we were at the shower house raccoons got into it. I was better prepared the second day. Just remember to bring trash bags and dispose of your trash often, the raccoons out there are brave. The Loud Thunder office is top-notch. They sell a few necessities like batteries, firewood, ice, and stuff for s’mores. Service was incredibly helpful and nice.

At the center of Loud Thunder is Lake George. Lake George is a boon for kayakers and anglers. For us, it was the highlight of the trip. Loud Thunder rents kayaks, john boats, pontoons, and mini-pontoons. I had never heard of a mini-pontoon prior to this trip; they are amazing and now I want one. For 30 dollars we navigated the lake for two hours. My son loved steering the boat. Even though we were in the sun there was a nice breeze. We could have easily spent another two hours on that lake.

There are also plenty of trails for horses, bikes, and hiking.  The trail we went on started as a wide gravel path then narrowed to a single-track dirt path.  It had one hard climb.  The trail was very nice and led to some great views.

Read about my adventure at https://www.lost13.com/camping/2019/7/26/loud-thunder

First to Review
Awesome family fun

The park is clean and family friendly. The beach is a great addition for some family fun.

The water to the rv smells so bad it makes me gag.

Bring plenty of bottled water for consumption.  The water has an awful smell.

Very Nice

I booked a full hookup daily site but they accidentally put me on a seasonal site l. It was on the pond, very quiet and away from a lot of the activities…which was fine for me. The regular sites look nice as well. Lots to do…pool, mini-gold, volleyball, etc. Only a 30 minute drive to Davenport. The only down side of my site was a ton of goose poop…it was hard to walk the dogs with so much to tempt them.

First to Review
Nice place

$15 a night, electric only. Well maintained though.

Decent

Friendly staff. Only stayed one night. Sites were decent sized. Bathrooms needed refurbished But had good hot water The grass had just been cut and the bugs were awful. Suggest they keep grass cut more often.

Hidden Gem

After hours on my motorcycle I needed a place to set up camp for the night. Found this place out of pure luck. Set up camp in the dark, when I woke up the view was amazing! Beautiful little river runs right by the campground. Amenities are basic, but in reality that's all you need.

Nice and quiet.

We were in a tent spot with power, on a somewhat level pad, with a great view of the lake. There were few people there. As with most municipal parks (my experience), facilities are mediocre. It was long walk to the bathroom, and the showers were hot, but not very private. Personnel were very friendly. It was raining, so didn't get to take advantage of all they have to offer. City wifi was free, reliable, but slow from our site.

Friendly, Accommodating, Quiet, very clean

Very friendly owners, nice little town , the campground has “The Best” gift shop. 

A wonderful experience camping here !!!

Private family owned

Beautiful private family owned campground. New owners around last year, very accommodating. Nice small town atmosphere. Almost all sites are 50 amp pull through. Level gravel. Full hookups. Borders a long canal that has a very nice bike trails for miles. Plenty of shade. Highly recommend this campground. The owners make it an enjoyable experience. Directly easy access off route 80. 

Beware of low bridge in town. Follow campground signs off exit or you will chop off your a/c if you have a fifth wheel.

Small, family campground with lots of shade and small pond!

Quiet park with lots of shade trees. 5 minutes from everything!

Nice county park.

Sadly lost many ash trees, but still has some shade. Decent shower restroom building. Campground flat with electric, water and sewer at sites. Very reasonable rates. Open year around.Park has five small lakes for fishing and boating, easy hiking trails and a tough disc golf course. Quiet nice place

Ranger Review: Rom Pack at Langwood Education Center

Campground Review:

Surrounded by hardwood forests and native prairie, Langwood Education Center, located in rural Wapello, Iowa is the perfect spot for nature retreats, family gatherings, outdoor education classes, and more.

With rates starting as low as $99 per day/$194 per overnight for up to 100 people, Langwood provides a quiet and serene setting for camping, hiking, canoeing, and reconnecting with nature.

There is plenty of space for individual tents, as well as 5 electrical hookups for RVs for $10 per night per RV. An A-frame bunkhouse is also available. The bunkhouse is a split level with a total of 21 single beds on the first and second level. Campers will need to bring their own bedding. While Langwood is open through the winter months, water is shut off, so campers will need to bring their own water supply. Check in time is after 1:00pm and check out time is 11:00am.

Campfire rings and outdoor picnic tables are available. Langwood’s 92 acres houses a lodge with a full kitchen, and ample seating including tables and chairs. There is a separate, modern restroom within short walking distance of the bunkhouse and lodge.

For an additional fee, campers can use the ropes course located by a large pond on the property. Six canoes are also on site for use. There is no additional fee for the canoes, but a waiver must be signed in order to use them.

For the women's outdoor retreat weekend I attended, I chose to bring my tent and camp out rather than utilize the bunk house. The area for tent camping is quite large with a variety of shade trees, and offers a fair amount of privacy.

With hiking trails throughout the property, the woods offer prime area to see migratory birds such as kingfishers, herons, and a multitude of warblers. At night, great horned and barred owls can be heard calling back and forth.

Langwood provides quiet walks through Iowa prairies and clear, star-gazing nights. This spot is perfect for larger gatherings, offering privacy and a quiet space away from the busyness of everyday life.

Product Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time. This time around I had the opportunity to test out the three-in-one RōM Pack from RōM Outdoors. https://romoutdoors.com/product/rom-pack/

I’m always up for giving a new backpack a try. I was really interested to see how the RoM Pack compared to my other daypacks and backpack. The RoM Pack is unique as it offers a twist on the traditional pack; a three-in-one pack, blanket, rain poncho combo.

I took the RoM pack with me on the recent women’s outdoor retreat at Langwood Education Center. It seemed like the perfect weekend to test out the versatility of this pack. From prairie seed collection, to orienteering, to night hikes, the pack offered something useful throughout the retreat. The pack includes two detachable, smaller saddlebags; great for throwing a water bottle and snacks in for the prairie seed collection hike.

Between sessions, we had the opportunity to wander the grounds and take time to relax. This presented the perfect opportunity to break the pack down and try out the blanket. It was a cool autumn day, and lounging in the sun was a nice reprieve from the busy morning activities.

While it didn’t rain during my stay, I did decide to try on the poncho to see how it fit. It was a little bulky, but would definitely help repel rain. It was easy enough to take off and flip back over to blanket mode.The outer material is meant to resist water, so whether you’re wearing it at as a poncho or using it as a blanket, you’ll stay dry. Another plus is the removable stuff sack located inside the pack. I used it specifically to store my dirty clothes from the first day of the retreat.

The pack itself is made of a durable, water resistant material, and includes two mesh side pockets good for stowing water bottles, and bug spray. While the pack is slightly heavier than my other daypacks, 4.6 lbs, I would consider using it for shorter day hikes, but will get the most use out of it to store and carry clothes and gear on camping and fishing trips. I’m also a shorter individual, so the pack was a little big on me. I was able to adjust the straps enough to get a fairly secure fit.

The RoM Pack also comes with a small booklet with step by step directions on how to put the pack back together after breaking it down. The booklet also includes information on identifying poison ivy, oak, and sumac as well as different ways to build a campfire; a nice addition to the pack itself.

RV and tent camping

Mainly an rv Park campground but they do have tent and cabin camping. Access to a lake with paddle boats and kayaks available. Swimming pool and a great camp store.

Nice County campground, well maintained

Wooded sites, clean, wildlife, trails, shelter, and cabins available. Pool, Pioneer Village, gold course, Pride Lake, fishing, bike & horse trails.

Nice open campground along woods

Sites are well maintained with grassy pads. Near gold course, host at campground is helpful. Trails, wildlife, historical pioneer village near by, swimming [pool also.

Older campground along Mississippi River backwaters

Primitive tent site, fire ring/grill, cheap stay. has small camp store and newer nature center, canoe/kayak rentals, shower house, wood for fee. Can be very buggy depending on season, right along backwaters, good fishing, wildlife viewing. Has a pontoon for tours.

Nice County Campground on east shore Lake George

Primitive campsites (non-electric) surrounded by natural area with access to a boat ramp and docks on Lake George, flush toilets, water access, playground, picnic area, and pavilion.

Nice campground along Mississippi River.

Has clean facilities including showers, restrooms, small camp office with host. Some sites right on river with beach shore for fishing. Near town of Buffalo for any needs. Boat ramp, lots of parking.

First to Review
Smaller campground along Wapsipinicon River

Primitive sites with fishing, boat ramp needs work but fine for paddling, newer shower house, across river from great nature center- Wapsi River Env Ed Center that has live raptors, snakes, turtles, and exhibits. Good place to gather wild edibles.

Another good campground along Mississippi river

Great fishing, near Fairport Fish Hatchery, and Wild Cat Den State Park.