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
This campground is in a populated area but the nature preserve is big. We rarely saw traffic once here. A train goes by a couple times but it was always during the day.
It’s pricey if you are from out of the county. We were hoping to camp at the primitive sites but they are walk-in only. Our teardrop wasn’t allowed. We settled at site 37 and enjoyed our stay. There are vault toilets but the large number of big RVs meant they were not used often leaving them almost like our private restrooms. Each site has water and electric. Trees are around the outside with few on the inside sites. All the sites have paved pads.
The highlight of our experience is the hiking. There are miles of trails. On one hike we were on paved, sifted gravel, grass and single trek trails. There are a lot of loops giving you options. When we left we still hadn’t hiked all of them.
If the price was more reasonable we would certainly be back. If you need the water/electric then this is a great choice.
As someone who normally camps in state parks with only electricity hookups, this site was a welcome treat.
Rig: 2020 Micro Minnie 1700BH + Ford F-250
Campers: 2 parents, 3 boys ranging from 7 years old to 2 years old
Campsite Pros: Water + 50amp hookups. Wide, open spaces for kids to ride bikes and explore wildflowers. Duck viewing. Quiet. Almost 100 improved sites. Full bars on Verizon. Amazing sunsets. Sites seem to be mostly level.
Cons: Walkup only - no reservations taken. $35 a night is a bit steep. AT&T signal is spotty at times. Water hookup is far behind camping pad - bring extensions!
Spent a couple nights here (site 3) for Vintage Illinois at a nearby park. Quiet, fairly level, gravel sites. Electric worn but fully functional. Lots of trees and shade. From map it looked like site 3 was isolated at end of loop - weeellll, it IS at the end of a loop - right across from camp host and adjacent to maintenance area for lock & dam - not very picturesque. Didn’t use bathhouse so can’t comment on that. Drink vending machines by bathhouse. Local guy across from entrance to park sells firewood. Site had fire ring and picnic table. One thing to note - trees drop some kinda “nuts” and when you drive over them they pop and it sounds just like you are dragging low hanging branches. I started to backing and swore I was hitting branches (even though I’d looked and knew it was clear) and DW said we were clear….
Went tent camping here and reserved our spot in advance. We bought fire wood from a locals front lawn at the entrance to the state park. Put 5$ in the bin and take a bundle. Its 30 mins away from Starved Rock and Matthiesson State Park. Good hiking. The river spots are all booked by large RVs and the tent spots have grills over the fire pits and picnic tables. lots of tree cover which came in handy when it rained in the morning. Otherwise great weather and not buggy. Dogs allowed.
This campground is very well maintained with all the amenities you could need: a small camping store, communal kitchen, firepits, and clean bathrooms. Check out the office for fun seasonal events like group hikes and geocaching contests.
Located in the Norwest suburb of Palatine, this campground is super accessible from Chicago and a fun getaway for suburban camping. Grocery stores and modern conveniences are minutes away. From the campground you have access to the entire Deer Park preserve and it's paved cycling and walking trails.
Cook County residents get a nice discount, as do veterans. Rates go up on the weekends. A one week limit for all stays unless you get approval from higher-ups.
RV spots are concrete, flat, and easy to get into.
Overall, a very clean and well-loved sem-urban camping experience.
Very large campground. Many seasonal areas. Will let you set up a group of campers in a circle in grassy areas. They do an extremely large Halloween event Columbus Day weekend. Jam packed for this event. Awards for site decoration. Campsites set up haunted houses, candy for kids, drinks for adults. Fun to see adults and kids all dressed up.
A good place to camp . Price is very reasonable and the people are great . Easy to get in and out . Lots are nice and well kept . Close to everything you need. Not a lot to do at this location
This campground was easy peasy and had an incredible view of the lake. We were right there on the lake. We went in September so I'm not sure how it would be in the summer since there is little to no cover.
There was nice hiking and we were able to get out into the woods for a while. My friend and I were surprised that such a nice place is so close to Chicago. There is a dock and the campground had good access to water, sink, and a nice bathroom. Lots of families were there when we went. Overall would recommend.
We tried to stay in site 14 that had 30 amp service. Our TT is 30amp. Our A/C unit kept tripping the breaker on the campground pole. Our breaker inside never tripped. They had someone come out and claimed their electric was fine and our A/C was broken. Went home bc it was 95 out and our A/C ran fine off a 20amp household outlet with no issues. Reported this so it could be fixed and the office still argued that their service was fine.
I love to camp at this place because the park has nice sites to camp. I stayed at the site #90 it was a big space and had alot of trees around that made a perfect shade. In addition, the park has a lake and you can rent a boat and have fun. The only thing i did not like was the people in the front of my site had a a party an making alot of noise and not following the park quiet hours. Enjoy camping everyone !
The following review was done by my thirteen year old daughter. I agree with the shower problems and add that it was our final cold showers in disgusting conditions that lead us to write the review.
“If I could give negative stars❌ then trust me I would. Normally I consider myself a good sport and can sit through a lot of things✌🏼 but not the showers here😡, they look like they haven’t been cleaned or cared for in months🤮 and often have no toilet paper in the bathroom stalls. When I took a shower I found a small frog🐸 in it and I wish I was joking about that. There were dead mosquitoes on the walls💀, dead moths on the floors, piles of hair on the floors🤢, and dirt in every crack. But they have a nice Rockwall🧗🏽♂️.”
Other than the shower issues, the campsite🏕 was fine. It was easy to level, they give you free firewood with your stay, the staff is kind😇 at checkin and during rock wall activities. The location🗺 is the main draw, as we wanted to be close enough to visit Chicago and suburbs.🙂
Had a great time this weekend camping with my wife and two boys. We camp in an Hybrid trailer and really appreciated the price point with full hookups. Sites were decent size and had fire pits at each location. They had plastic picnic tables which where light to move and easy to clean. Decently quiet camp site with a pool for the kids to cool off made for an enjoyable weekend. Close to Kankakee and some of the other towns in the area for things to do. I would definitely come again to kayak on the Kankakee river. Unfortunately the water levels where too high for this trip as warnings had been issued
Great site, not far from Chicago, but feels well away from city life.
Tent sites around rim of a lake. RV sites and cabins as well.
Beautiful forest surrounds the lake, lots of hiking in the surrounding enormous forest preserve. Lake has fishing and boats as well.
As a Dyrt Ranger I was asked to try out the online reservation system at this campground (It’s super easy to use and worked wonderfully!). It’s close to places I have hiked and camped at but I have never heard of this place. I was eager to try it out.
The best feature about Camp Covel Creek are the hosts, Jules and Michael. They helped me out with questions (such as ‘can I bring my teardrop?’ and ‘can I bring my dog?’) before I even made a reservation. Upon arrival, they both stopped what they were doing to shake my hand and walk me around the entire property (their family home is just down the drive if you need anything). This human touch added to the enjoyment and lent a ‘I belong here’ feel to my stay. Jules and Michael are in the process of updating the property and will be adding valuable experiences for campers. Michael even brought me over some wood to start carving into spoons. This couple is above and beyond wonderful!
Camp details: There is space cleared out in Timber Ridge for tent camping to fit in. Sites are not numbered but I think there are 5 of them. One was separated by a walk-in path but the rest are close together. My dog and I were the only ones there this rainy weekend and it was perfect and secluded for us. I could imagine it might be different if it was full. There was a communal fire pit in the center and another one by a screened-in pavilion. There are no picnic tables so bring your own. Parking is across the way in a grassy field. It’s close by and right next to the outhouse. There are no hookups but the owners will provide water if you need it. An overlook is around the corner that directs your attention to beautiful sunsets. As night fell I heard the Memorial Day traffic quite clearly. A reminder that we are not too far from town.
One important note: The pin that Google drops for directions takes you close but not all the way. I called Jules when I got there and she quickly directed me to the right drive.
Local details: Camp Covel Creek is just a couple miles from the town of Ottawa. I’ve bicycled through Ottawa many times on the I & M Canal path. Its a beautiful small town with good restaurants and shops. They had live music this weekend.
My dog and I love hiking and this is perfectly situated near multiple state parks. Starved Rock State Park is the most popular and offers plenty of hiking, a visitor center and a restaurant. Matthiessen State Park offers hiking trails into water filled canyons. We went across the Illinois River to Buffalo Rock State Park to avoid the crowds (It was Memorial Day Weekend). We hiked by the bison and through some burial mounds to find views of the river. The I & M canal path can take you all the way to Chicago if you are looking for a longer bike ride.
Ratings: Jules and Michael make this experience better. They deserve more than 5/5. The primitive camping sites were wonderful for us but would be too close together if it was filled up - 4/5. The price is a bit high for the camp as it is now. I’m used to paying $40 for a campground with at least showers but it’s also in a great location. This with the road noise is 4/5. Overall, Camp Covel Creek gets a 4.5/5 from us but I expect it to only get better as the improvements continue. You should definitely try out this place.
This was a fun campground. We were there the week before peak season opened so none of the pools or splash pads were open, but they were very accommodating so that we could still play mini golf and ride around on the pedal cars.
We stay there once a year. The pool is nice as well as the hot tub. The hot tub is supposed to be adult only but it isn’t really enforced. That’s a little disappointing. The mini golf was really neat……when it was built in the 70’s probably. It hasn’t been updated since. The last time I was there most of the holes were dilapidated and shoddy. Too bad, because it could be great. The playground gets a thumbs up from my son. There is a large seasonal section that I presume pays the bills. Some of the permanent sure are pretty neat. The only problem with seasonal guests is that they like to use a gas powered pressure washer bright and early in the morning. Apparently everything he owned needed to be washed, went in for a couple hours. The staff didn’t think it was an issue. The next morning another resident decided to use his skill saw cutting about 1000 boards bright and early. Again, the staff was less than helpful. They employ a lot of teenager, which is good, but I don’t think they get a lot of training in customer service. I guessing they don’t dare make the cash cows mad. The hay ride is cool, and the outdoor movie is neat. Actually shows pretty current movies. The sites are full hookup, but several times we have been at sites where the sewer dump pipe sticks up over 8” above the ground. Higher than the outlet of my trailer. It doesn’t take Archimedes to see the problem here. What’s worse is the dump station I was forced to use. OMG what a disaster. It’s a relic from decades ago. Uneven and puddles of “water” all over the dump area. Really happy to track that into my coach and truck, not. With a little care and money it could be a terrific destination.
Grass camping. The spaces are pretty level. The trees will be terrific in about 20 years. There is nothing much to do here, or nearby. It’s clean and the comfort stations are new. There is electric at the sites and water spigots throughout, although not really at each space. I saw where some campers hooked about 150’ of hose to spigots behind the loops to run to their campers. The dump station is good. It’s expensive, for what is there, if you are not a Kane County resident. There appears to be some equestrian space and trails. Quiet.
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.