The best camping near
Bluford, ILLINOIS

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Most Recent Bluford Camping Reviews
Shaded sites right on Rend Lake

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.

Ehhh, ok.

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!

Easy on and off I-64

Quick overnight stay on our way West. Staff was friendly and welcoming on check in. Easy on and off Interstate 64.

Good separation

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.

Southern Illinois treasure

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.

Restroom situation needs attention

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!

So beautiful

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.

Quiet, Clean, Great Sunsets

Boulder Rec is a quiet, clean, COE camp on Lake Carlyle. Well kept, well tended. Site was relatively level (w/in couple inches) and had fire ring and picnic table. Stayed at Site 35. Absolutely gorgeous sunsets across the lake.

Well kept campground with spacious sites

Very nice kept up campground. 

Reservable sites are hard to book. Only negatives is that this campground is not open year-round.

Water lovers paradise!

Anything you’d ever want to enjoy on the water is all at your finger tips! Hundreds of campsites, marinas with boat rentals, beaches and stores nearby in case you need something. This area is truly a southern Illinois gem!

Great park near saint Louis!

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

Okaw valley is very nice

Very nice clean park nice pool plenty of room for kids to play .close to I-70 having said that the traffic noise is not bad . owner on very nice camp store is well stocked

Love this place!

We love the large beach. The campsites have a nice set up and are a decent size. The kids loved the playground. There were kids everywhere and everyone was very friendly! Fun spot!

Best campground on Rend Lake!

This is hands-down the nicest campground on Rend Lake. With hundreds of sites to choose from with some being tucked into the woods and others sitting right on the lake including some walking intense fights this campground is one of the nicest that you’ll find in Illinois. Plenty of bathrooms and bath houses as well as playgrounds and spacious campsites for larger RVs and plenty of access to the lake.

Beautiful Rend Lake campground

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.

Clean sites, friendly staff

We camped here on a pretty hot weekend, and most of the sites are well-shaded and mowed. We liked that we could walk down to the water and that there was a bike trail nearby that we could walk on.

EXCELLENT

Great campsite

Black top pads

very clean

excellent view of the lake if your lucky enough to get a lake front spot

fills up very fast

extremely clean showers

Love it!

Stayed here over 4th of July weekend. Every site was booked so it was packed but the sites are comfortable size. Lots of activities were planned and we had so much fun! Loved the aquatic center!!!

Wonderful location

Stayed at site 6. Had full hookups, plenty of space, lots of shade, and a wonderful view. The site is level and also has a picnic table and fire ring. Overlooks the marina so you can watch boats come and go. Would definitely stay again.

Great all around campground

Nice clean campground. Most sites are pretty large. Nice pool with water slide. They just need better walking trails.

Camping Without Equal

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.

Good for a quick stop

No grass and crushed limestone. Nice pool. Friendly people.

Lotsa trees

Ranger Review: Primus at Harmonie State Park

I recently visited Harmonie State Park near New Harmony, In. https://indianastateparks.reserveamerica.com/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=IN&parkId=570048 Just a heads up when camping in Indiana there is a fee to visit the State Parks. I always carry cash for that , laundry and in some states bathroom use. So, the number one thing that stuck out to me about this campground was the shade. For the most part it’s level (floodplain…I saw no standing water) And all the sites are nicely shaded (we are talking full growth) and good size. The sites are electric only, no water, no sewer. There are centrally located water hydrants and a dump station on the way out of the campground. The campground wasn’t very full when we visited, but there is a plethora of activities to enjoy. An Olympic size pool which back in the day my kids woulda loved. Hiking paths (very wide), one right by the campground and a connector trail to the mountain bike trail area. There’s also a bike section on the paved roads. You could spend a comfortable week here and not be bored.

Product Review: As a Dyrt Ranger I get to occasionally try out outdoor products while camping and this trip I brought along some Primus “kitchen gear” https://primus.us/ . Primus is known for its camping stoves , the kitchen accessories are pretty sweet too. I have the Trailsporks , a long spoon , a spatula for grilling , campfire plates and a campfire knife. These are very sturdy made accessories and pack in my kit without taking up a lot of space. There are a lot of options on the site to fit your packing needs too, from family fireside to fastpacking . I’m building my fireside kitchen kit .

We camp here every summer!

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!! 😉

Very nice

Right next to Carlyle Lake. Clean campground with electric sites only. Reservations available on line at Reserve America.

Well maintained

This campground is beautiful with lots of gardens and potted plants at a lot of the campsites The host is very friendly, the pool is well maintained, they have a dog park The Host even led us to our spot..

Another Wonderful COE Campground

We visit this campground on a regular basis. Large waterfront campsites, full hookup loop, and 4 other large loops that have electric. Nice new bath house for those who need it. This is a COE campground and takes our senior pass. If you are needing a full hookup site, make sure you book early!
Great campground for taking long walks and bike rides.

Our Favorite Campground!!!

We have been visiting this campground for 4 years! The campground has it all. Full hookups, reservable sites, walk up sites, and all sites are large! Full hookup sites are booked solid so make sure you go online 6 months out or you are out of luck. The campground is perfect for taking long walks and bike riding.
There are two swimming pools close by but none in the campground.
This is a COE campground and takes our senior pass. This is, by far, one of the nicest campgrounds we have been to and we are so fortunate that it’s so close to home.

First come first serve!

This is an ACOE so it is inexpensive and clean😊. There's lots of shade, level lots and waterfront sites. Though there is no water access on each site, it's not far from anyone. Tents are permitted on grass, which you will want to do because the pads have a large gravel on them. Sites are not reservable and campground has been crowded the entire time I have been here. Two weeks is the maximum stay. And it is enforced. [$18 per night]. They do accept America the beautiful pass.

Very clean and family friendly.

They have a great swimming pool. They do fun things for families to join in. They have bike trails all throughout for you to bike on. Very kid friendly!!