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Bull Valley, ILLINOIS

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Most Recent Bull Valley Camping Reviews
Wonderful

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

Great in the off season

This park has a fair amount of trees throughout which gives a greater sense of privacy than most state parks. As usual, the facilities were well maintained and the park was clean. The beach was great for morning walks but that draw makes it seem that this park is probably packed in the summer. Location of hiking trails from campsite isn't super clear but head south for the longest trails. If it's been raining a lot I'd be wary as many of the sites were completely underwater when we went. It's a great place to take your dog with you! (Beware if they have long hair though, the pine trees meant I had to cut sap out of my dog's hair in several places.)

Amazing hiking and beautifully kept but a bit pricey

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.

Family fun!!

Great place to take the fam, big sites not to close to other campers. Lots of trees to hang a hammock and relax, great beach, good hiking. Going back for a weekend to check out the walk ins.

Water Hookups for the Win

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!

Always a great choice

We visited this fall and were happy. I always forget that the sites in the 340’s are awesome. There was some flooding but it didn’t effect our trip.

This is not an camp ground it a RV condo ass

Nice place though

Beautiful park

The park is clean, lots of shade, host on site and very well maintained. The almost 100 sites are all gravel with electric and water for a great price. Reservations can be made thru Real Racine but half of the sites are available for walkins. There is a shooting range close and RR to the west and Mitchell Airport to the north but they aren't bad.

The people who work there are great!

The people who work there are wonderful and even most of the seasonal campers we met were very nice people. We did have a few run ins with some not so good people however and the cops visit there often. The owners do their part to make things right however and immediately made the people causing trouble to leave. We were there for about a month and overall it was a good place to stay. Our tent site was right next to the playground, pool and bathrooms which made it convenient for our children, however kids run all over at night on the weekends until 2 am so the noise at that hour can be annoying. We also went through several storms while there and were offered parts for one of our canopies that blew away and the security guy who was always nice to us tied our other canopy to a tree when it also blew away to prevent it from going farther and being more damaged. Bathrooms I would give a 2 star rating alone.

Very nice friendly people

Bathrooms and outhouses were very clean! Not a lot to do but quiet and friendly atmosphere.

Laid back

Nice park pretty laid back. Had some cool amenities like the off road park and multiple fishing spots. Has a winery and cool dive bars all within 10 min. Only downside is all the noise from the road and the drag strip near by.

Large sites, nice showers and beautiful Lake Michigan!

The sites are large and nice. There are some sites that aren't very level so you do need to check that out if you're in a larger rv. We had the beach mostly to ourselves. We camped from Monday to Thursday after school had started back. We will be returning to this campground. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay there. The only down side we found was the limited shower and toilet facilities for such a large campground. We didn't have any trouble because of the time we were camping but it would be a problem if the campground was pretty full.

Great!

Great enviorment

Great family campground!

Always have a great time here. Easy to get around and very calm environment. Close drive to starved rock state park

Quiet and Clean

Went on our maiden voyage with a new trailer and loved this place. Flat sites, some shade in the center sections. Outer sites backed to woods for most sites. The campground takes reservations 7 days out or drive up. We saw a lot of bigger rigs but so much space between sites it didn't feel like we were crowded. Even the Saturday night it was full still felt quiet and peaceful. Bathrooms were clean. About a mile hike to Lake Michigan but easy flat route-goes along community park thru a small neighborhood. Amazing view! Racine is only a 15 min drive away. No camp store or office. Camp Hosts helpful. Stores nearby. Great place to go for space, flat sites and trees.

No privacy

I enjoy Illinois beach state park for a quick getaway. It’s a great spot to cook out and have a beer. However it is generally loud, with no vegetation between you and your neighbor. It’s not an ideal spot to connect with nature. The beach is pretty but it’s more interesting to look at the derelict old buildings and nearby out of use nuclear power plant.

First to Review
Clean & Safe Urban Campground On County Preserve

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.

It might be the timing

We had a wooded site in the Sunset campground, mid-week.

The sites are rustic but nicely groomed with a tree line between most campsites, although almost none of the spots had occupants. The camp hosts were very nice and very communicative about all the happenings. Picnic table and fire pit included. Long enough drive in for RVs. But enough grass for tenting. Not many trees available for clothes lines.

Unfortunately, we might have had bad timing. The beach was closed due to high levels of bacteria. The pit toilets closest to us were also closed due to a bee hive being found so we ended up driving to the flush toilets if there was any urgency but could walk if you wanted. We also picked a spot by the water fountain. The water was yellow from iron. It had just stormed so the bugs were bad and everything was wet. So mostly a series of unfortunate events but we still enjoyed our time.

Because this is a prairie, there is so much to look at! The hiking trails are great through prairie and woods. The sunrise over the prairie and the sunset colors of the sky were great.

Not my favorite

We went here for a friend's birthday. It felt like we were packed in like sardines. Barely enough space to use the fire pit. Not much for shade and the only separating you from your neighbors are driveways/roads. The best parts was the full hookups, the pool, and the live music.

I do not think we will return to this campground.

Fort Atkinson Yogi Bear

We had a great time camping over the summer! Plenty for the kids and adults.

Tent camping near lake

Tent sites are in hickory hills area. Easy walk to showers/toilets over across from site 100. Tent sites are much more shaded and private than electric sites. We were traveling with another family so had two sites. If you have two parties I'd recommend sites 27 and 31 which have a little private path and potentially 53 and 5 which also appeared to have a path between them. Our sites 47 and 53 were big and shaded but not very flat for sleeping. Boat launch very close if you bring your own kayaks or canoes. There are also some for rent at the other end of the park. Park and ice at concessions.

Large wooded sites- near loud road

The campground is well kept with several bathrooms and showers. We have a 30ft travel trailer, and it was easy to maneuver around the campground. We did have to wait in line to fill the water tank, but the water pressure was good and it didn’t take too long. We stayed at site 327e, which was very easy to back in to and was mostly level. Easy access to electrical and plenty of space for slide outs. A nice big fire pit with large flat grate for cooking, one of the best set ups I’ve seen. Would be perfect, but there’s a loud highway WI-67 traffic about 20 ft from the campsite. Tons of loud motorcycles and trucks with constant traffic. If you want solitude I would avoid sites 305e-328e, all of the odd number sites back up to the road. Evens, except for 328e, are inside and are better. Video shows traffic and noise. I would come back, but pick a site inside the campground and away from highway.

Lots to do

There are a ton of activities here to include two bouncy pillows, three play grounds, a pool, water slides, a kids water activity area, beach, water obstacle course, inflatable slide, RC car track, laser tag, mini golf, giant chess, and I'm sure I'm missing something. Great place for families. Don't allow Saturday checkout.

Good open place to camp

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

Great campground!

Camped here the past few years for my son’s birthday. Last year we heard out their fall package and got 3 weekends for a very much discounted price. Loved it so much we got it again this year! We will again spend most of September here! So many activities for the kids and adults! Yes it’s pricey, but you know that going into your reservation. It’s not like you have to pay extra for the wristbands at every other campground. They’re already included. The package we have includes 2 Halloween weekends. We have been to other campgrounds for Halloween, including 2 last year. We gave up standing reservations we’ve had for about 10 years now to spend Halloween at jellystone only.

Amazing views, great quick getaway from Chicago

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.

Gem of a campground

Lots to do, fishing, hiking, exploring. Good size campsites with nice shade trees. Close to all areas. Wildlife. Bait shop and camp store. Was there on 4th of July excellent fireworks display.

More of a trailer park, not a campground feeling

Half of camping sites closed due to flooding. Big sites, not a lot of bugs or critters, electric available, pool but was closed at our visit. Neighbors were not friendly at all, permanent campers just didn’t socialize. Workers never told us about activities our kids could do, we had no clue they were available. Showers were nice though. Water on site, not from other campsites. Beach was amazing!!

Our all-time favorite place

Absolutely beautiful, reasonable prices, electric available. Tons of restrooms, showers, laundry, and wonderful camp hosts. Huge beach area, dog park, fishing as well. Shop to buy items you may need and absolutely wonderful place. Open all year round

Great state park for family RV camping

I love everything about this park except the beach, so it didn’t get a 5 star. We stayed at site 98- just barely big enough to fit our travel trailer in and right next to the showers and bathrooms. Not a great location, but fine. Took a walk around and found plenty of other large, private shaded electric sites. If we came here again I would go for a site away from the bathroom. The tent sites looks fantastic- large and private. Plenty of hiking trails here, a decent playground, and tons of large fields to picnic in. Park has a Facebook page where they post activities. Friday night we saw a presentation on the cranes of Wisconsin, and Saturday morning we did a parkwide scavenger hunt. All fun for the family. We would definitely camp here again. The beach is across the very busy road, and has about 10 ft of sand before the road. Fine for a dip, but not relaxing. Very crowded. Other beaches are nearby but not free. Town of Lake Geneva is very cute in an upscale tourist way. Our kid found the museum a lot of fun.