The best camping near
Carmi, ILLINOIS

170 Reviews 73 Campgrounds
EXPLORE
Most Recent Carmi 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.

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.

Great Site Near Garden of the Gods

I’ve always used this site as a backup if Garden of the Gods is full when I get there. To be honest, this site is prettier, its just further out from the hiking I usually come to the area to do. The sites are well maintained and the area is BEAUTIFUL. The only negative thing I might be able to point out is that there seems to be poison ivy just about everywhere.

Sumn serious scary

Ddinosaurs are coming back soon ,  i think I've had enough of Earth life

Great location

Nice camping, the restaurant/diner was really good. 

The cavern was a great respite on a really hot day!

Very nice

Great camping, limited facilities, no showers within 10 miles. Awesome views.

On the river

Beautiful seen..the Tower Rock Camp ground is by the Ohio river..and is very open. Doesn't have many sites so you'd have to get there at an earlier time.. but it has a great view of the Ohio river and across you can see Kentucky

Beautiful

First night being in the shawnee national forest and this was one of the first places I stayed this is an excellent campsite..very nice and clean it's also by the garden of the God which if u haven't seen you should def take a trip to see

Perfect

Couldn't have pick a better spot I definitely recommend red bud campsite.. the sites are spread out so you don't have close neighbors.. and the area is beautiful very quiet and peaceful..

Great day hikes and options for overnight !

We did a quick day hike and really enjoyed the trails! Several options for beginners and experienced hikers. For the beginners, bring water and a map!

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!

You can’t beat the natural beauty here

It is so beautiful here but if you need an actual bathroom, the pits were so gross this last trip.  You can’t beat these views!  One of the prettiest in Shawnee Forest in my opinion.

Very nice RV camp here!

This was a very peaceful and beautiful place to camp and explore. We took a break from cooking one night and ate at the Lodge located at the park. We also visited the cave and explored Garden of the Gods. We rode the Ferry to KY and picked up more camping supplies. We will definitely return!

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!

Fun terrain

Fun hiking trails and beautiful sites! Hidden away gem for a fun afternoon of hiking. Can be hard to navigate at times but easily worth the climb up and down.

Great place to spend a few nights

Great hiking and great camp site. No shower but the springs offer a refreshing soak after a long day of hiking. Water is easily accessible and clean. Definitely lots of ticks but you’re in nature so it’s a given. Can’t wait to return!

Great place to camp near Bell Smith Springs

Within hiking distance of the springs and very spacious. Lots of places to set up tents and drive into camp. Water access was easy and out houses clean.

Beautiful place!

Great place to go hiking and get surrounded by nature. There’s even a great spot to go swimming and cool down after a day of hiking. Highly recommended for any adventure enthusiasts.

Good times

A lot of good hiking and the view is great

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.

Our favorite IL park!

This campground is an absolute gem. Tucked into the tall pines of the Shawnee national forest, this park offers a handful of gorgeous sites for campers to enjoy, many that back right up to Lake Glendale. The sites are mostly private and have water hookups as well as electric. A nearby beach is available to enjoy during the summer as well as hiking trails. While this campground is certainly off the beaten path it is perfect for those that want to get away and enjoy some quiet time. No reservations though so you’ll want to get there ahead of time to ensure yourself a spot If you enjoy a very

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.

Nice, kid and family friendly

This is a small campground. Campsites are tight but all centered around a decent sized bath house. There is a lot to do at this park, playgrounds, bike and walking trails and a good sized lake with a beach, all within walking distance. I would definitely do this one again.

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!!!

One of our favorite places

This is one of our favorite places to camp. Very clean and lots for us to do!

Great all around campground

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