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Cobden, ILLINOIS

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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.

Great campground

Turtle is great. She runs the campground and loves kids. Campground is on the lake. Has a beach for swimming and you can rent all the fun items like paddle boards, kayaks, and boats.
Some of the sites are a bit close together, would have liked a bit more space but it worked out very well.
Good place to fish.
Shower had hot water!! 😋

Other reviews must be old

Let’s start with the good. The outhouses were clean and it was pretty cheap. Ok,on to all of the not so great. The trails were VERY unkept and there was poison ivy at nearly every step, the entry map shows a beach- there might have been 5 years ago but now absolutely nothing that even resembled a place to swim. If I hadn’t been tricked into thinking it was a decent campground, I might not have been as disappointed but we were looking for a specific type of camping experience and this place failed to meet even the lowest of expectations.

Meh capground but worth it for the trails

The sites are gravel and some are extremely unlevel. Electric hookups. Pit toilets but the shower house was nice and clean. The trails in this CCC era park are marvelous. We also loved the Lodge for dinner and climbing the water tower. We will definitely be staying here again.

It's your average state campground

Electric only, no water or sewer hookups. Pit toilets. Nice and clean. People kept cutting through our campsite on their way to the playground, which is whatever, but some people are bothered by that kind of thing. Very laid back place overall.

Great family spot

The concessionaire stocks ice and wood, folks drive nice and slow for the kids, and there is a little playground for the kids to play on as well. Each campsite is surrounded by trees and it is nice and quiet. We love this campground!

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.

A hidden gem in southern IL

A little hilly and the gravel sites are close together, but it has full hookup options, as well as just electric. The marina shop also provides kayak and canoe rentals. Little Grassy is a beautiful lake to explore!

Good spot deserves 4 1/2 stars

Had very nice trails, very clean. Forest is beautiful. We camped at the primitive area spot 11. Spots are pretty dam close to each other. There is camping you can walk off to. We stayed for 1 night at the Turkey Ridge, so we stayed closer to the parking. Was only 1 other group camping on a Wednesday. There are “out houses” close by. Although they were pretty bad my buddy said “storm of flies came shooting out the hole like a tornado.” So I do agree they deserve some slight repercussion for the lack of cleanliness. All and all a great area to camp. A great hidden gem!

Super Clean

We had a wonderful stay! Camp Host was very nice and helpful. One of the cleanest parks we’ve stayed at. Lots of hiking options. The only bad thing was we had to come home.

Very nice

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

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!

Great place

Gary and his family are very polite and very happy to be helpful. Great prices. Burn pit and cooking grill above the pit at every site I visited. Clean Air condition in the bathroom. Showers work great. I stayed here twice, my family and I had a great time and met some really nice people.

Converted Golf Course w/fishing ponds

Relatively new. Has great potential. Located in Vienna, IL near Shawnee National Forest. It has 3 fish & release ponds. Sites were a bit hilly which stands to reason since it was converted from a golf course in 2016. Some sites are pretty long. It accommodated our 35ft. MH with attached car. Some sites are close together with very little shade. The campground had lots of open sites during our stay (3rd week in Aug), but during our stay 2 other short stay campers came in & they parked them right next to us. -Full hook ups available -Hosts were very friendly & provided insight to area. -Bath house - provided air conditioning. Although new & spacious there were only 4 in the entire campground & the toilet & shower were in same space. Upon arrival only 1 was open near us. Subsequently the 2nd was closed due to a water valve malfunction & wasn’t re-opened during our stay. My husband likes level sites & facilities he could use. He said he wouldn’t come back any time soon.

Quaint campground

Yesssss! 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

#1 in Illinois !!

Our favorite in all of Illinois!! 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

Our IL #1

This campground is an absolute gem and is by far our favorite in Illinois.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

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.

Lovely park, standard campground

This is your run of the mill campground. Lots of RVs, close sites, not much privacy. That being said there is nothing wrong with it, it’s just not a campground I’d go out of my way to stay at again.

Enjoyed our stay

New campground and trying to get established. Sites are large, staff is very nice and helpful. Didn’t go in restrooms but they look new and very nice. Price was right and we will DEFINITELY be back.

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!

Small and cozy

My parents stay at this campground a lot when they come to visit us. It has big sites and lots of grass. No pool or anything and a very small play area but it works well for them because they are older and don’t care about those things.

There is a big grassy area in the middle of the loop of wanting to play games and run around.

Highway pull off

This is a campground that is not great for camping. The sites are close together, no shade, mostly cement. If you want a place to get off the highway for the night and the jump back on… this is for you.

Great Campground

Great place to go. Lots of shade and always clean. Has a nice pool.

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.