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Dawson , ILLINOIS

108 Reviews18 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Dawson Camping Reviews
Perfect

Best campground hands down mellow and friendly

Beautiful park

Had a nice site on loop by the lake, but not on the lake. A short walk downhill though the trees. We were able to tie up our canoe there once we launched it by the concession stand. Facilities were clean and fairly spacious. The trails were lovely but the best part was watching the hummingbirds at the north, marshy end of the lake. We sat and were amazed at how many there were. Also nice is the old schoolhouse museum and the friendly volunteers there. The history of the park is fascinating, many famous historical people once came to the site when it was a Chataqua. Canoeing on the lake is great, and many people were out fishing. Nearby Clinton is an interesting historic town.

Great Fall Weekend at Coon Creek

We spent the weekend at Coon Creek and had a great time.  I enjoyed our Site #14.  There was a path behind our site that led to a private "beach". Brought my camp chair down the path, and enjoyed my coffee enjoying the lake view while my kiddos were hunting for more frogs.  There are flushing toilets, but weren't that great to me… doors wouldn't lock and there were no soap dispensers. Other than that we really enjoyed our stay.

Beautiful/Quiet during week!

We stopped in to Wolf Creek State Park later in the day on a Wednesday after trying to stop at a different campground that was closed. We were worried about finding a spot as the sun was going down so we called even though no one usually answers phones at state parks (esp during COVID). The woman that answered was SO nice and I was so happy to hear a voice on the other end. So that’s a huge plus. You can reserve spots online in advance but clearly we did not because we didn’t know we’d be headed there. Same day is first come first serve. We are tent people and love primitive camping in spots where we can really be away from everyone and at least pretend like we’re alone. Rolling in in the dark, we weren’t motivated to checkout the walk-in campsites. And it wasn’t necessary because the area - which if full would’ve been pretty cramped for our taste- was absolutely empty. So we were happy. Many many spots for RVs all next to one another but there was tree cover for some and the possibility of a little bit of privacy but not much in that area.

We had an almost full moon, but otherwise I think the stars would’ve been pretty awesome. The next morning we woke up and took a little hike down to Shelby Resevoir to see what was around. We were at campsite 18 and it was about 10 min hike down over there. Beautiful and big! Maybe good swimming I would assume? Too late in the year for us.

We will definitely be back to checkout more of the primitive/walk-in/hike in sites! Hiking trails look interesting and fun and Eagle Creek State Park is just across the water (that’s the bigger one). The 4 stars was because the sites are pretty close together which- even with RVs- I think people mind- but maybe not? We love to be back in the woods ans I do think there is an option for that. We just didn’t have time to check it out. Will update!

Very nice showers and location

Quiet campground, although you can hear a train off in the distance and anyone on the water. The shower house is very nice, clean and private. You can see the lake from the campground and the marina is only a short distance away. Shelbyville is just 10minutes making it easy to pick up more firewood and other essentials if needed. Overall very nice stay. 4/5 stars only because the sites aren’t set back very far from the drive.

Clean campground

Clean campground but camping proximity is very close.

Beautiful lake

Really beautiful lake and lookouts and trail down to sandy beach. Close marina and even little food truck right off the lake. Good fishing. There are a lot of sites and we went on a packed weekend but sites arranged well and ours backed up to woods and felt as private as it could among so many campers.

Very nice state park

Nice big spots. 30 and 50 amp available. Right on lake Shelbyville. 309 spots 141 are reservable

5 stars with a caveat

This is a beautiful state park, but hopefully you won’t have the same experience I did with the electric hookup. I stayed here right after the fourth of July and because of the heat over this holiday weekend and a completely full campground, the electricity couldn’t meet the demand and a transformer blew. By the time I arrived the transformer was repaired, however the pedestals in the section I was supposed to stay in had a problem. I was supposed to stay in site 27, but after 3 attempts to get power at 3 different sites, number 24 was the winner and this was a great site! The campground hosts were fantastic in resolving the situation as well.

Site 24 is huge and level with a picnic table and fire ring. Electric but no water at site. The site is totally private on one side because of a lake inlet and there’s a large back area right on the lake. The gravel pad is located right near a large, old bald cypress. 

This park has multiple public use areas, 2 campgrounds, boat launches, fishing piers and a beach. I didn’t use the public restrooms because they were closed due to Covid-19. I was able to get internet with Verizon. 

This state park felt like it was dropped into the middle of cornfields and made for a fun drive. The sunset views and stars were awesome!

Hidden Gem in Southern Illinois

I should start this review by saying the day we got home from this trip, I booked the same campsite for the end of September. So yeah, it was great. 

Living on the north side of Chicago, we were looking for campgrounds in Wisconsin for this trip but then, alas, the quarantine rules went into effect so we turned our search southward. I'm so glad we did!  Illinois doesn't have a lot of lakes but boy is this a nice one. Rented a boat for a day and got to explore the lake and it's gorgeous. Also, there are a TON of campgrounds all around the lake and you could see from the water how many are right on the lake. I'm a sucker for a waterside campsite so I know I'll be back. 

The site we had was at the end of the loop (not really a loop, just a straight road with a turnaround on a little peninsula.) 

We had the lake on 3 sides and a private little area with trails to explore. This site was a buddy site so very large and plenty of room for two families. Social distancing was not a problem. 

The bathrooms and showers were about as clean as I've experienced. Probably just got lucky but seems like every time I went in them they appeared to just have been cleaned. We went during the week and it was super peaceful in the campground and on the lake. I'd imagine in the Summer on the weekend, it will be a bit louder in the campground and more boats on the water. 

One night our grand dinner plans were spoiled by a storm so I ran to Shelbyville and grabbed some pizza at Monical's Pizza. It was a quick 15 minute drive. 

All in all, great experience and, as I said, we'll be back at the end of September.