The best HIKE IN camping near
Dawson , ILLINOIS

42 Reviews9 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.

Loved it!

We rented two cabins for the weekend and loved the place. Cabins were modern and clean overlooking the pond. They offer kayaks, canoes, and peddle boats free to campers. There is an open cabin with games, books, and WiFi. Basketball court, play area, and outdoor games. Staff were friendly and helpful. Truly a gem of a find.

A sandy forest that is less visited with backcountry sites

This review is for the backpacking campsites within the Sand Ridge forest. The trail is a mix of sand and soil. It’s quite an unexpected discovery in Illinois. We didn’t see anyone else on the trail but we saw cars parked so hikers were out there. 

We stopped at 2 different campsites. They are just a short distance off the trail. Each was a small clearing with forest right up to the edge. A fire pit is also available. All the backpacking sites were empty so it seems that lots of options are possible. 

We didn’t come across water sources so we asked the ranger. He pointed out a couple spots the have spigots or hand pumps. Be sure to have a water supply before heading out. 

The longest loop is just under 15 miles but you can do different loops together to increase mileage. There is prickly pear in this area so be careful where you step. We also were told to avoid a trail because it was sandy and a tough climb. The man said he breaks horses by riding them up the hill. If this is a concern, I recommend asking around to find the best trail for you.

This is a hidden gem right in the middle of Illinois.

Nice place!

Quiet, well-spaced campground with nice concrete fire rings & picnic tables. There are only a few pull-through sites and there are several spots with size limitations for campers. The park has beautiful natural meadows, an old schoolhouse to explore, and a large pond with trails all the way around it. A WWII memorial is found along the pond and there are also boat rentals and plenty of good fishing spots. The park also has decent shower houses and more than one playground for the kids. Along the marina that have snacks/concessions as well.

Was a nice stay

Have camped here a few times and have walked the trails for years. I camped at the primitive sites my first time. The sites were clean and fairly well maintained for primitive. Picnic table and fire pit were in good shape. Plenty of shade! Camp host were very nice and helpful. Non flushable restrooms were clean and stocked. It stormed pretty bad the second night there. Woke up to find my tent wasnt so waterproof. But made most of it that morning because I was also leaving that day. On my second most recent trip we stayed in the loop on an electrical site. Once again the sites were clean and the fireplace was clean and ready. Camp host were once again very helpful and polite. The kids had a great time even though due to covid-19 the playground was closed. The only reason I am giving 4 stars is the fact that the trails and bridges were in horrible condition. It was heartbreaking to see them in this condition as I've walked them since a child.

Great family campground

Lots are spacious & grounds are well kept. Restrooms were clean. Lots of trails, Lake Sangchris is very close by for fishing & kayaking. Quiet campground; great place to unwind.

Great family friendly campground

Great place to stay and feel part of the community.  Pretty scenery to walk around.  Plenty of lakes/ponds to fish.  We couldn't boat while there due to COVID but look forward to going back and taking our kayaks.  Attentive and Friendly camp hosts. Pet friendly. Close to town if you've forgotten anything or want to have a restaurant dinner. Close to the highway for easy access.  Full hookup available. Monthly or Season also available.

Nice and peaceful

My family and I went mid April during quarantine because we needed to get out of house with kids. Campground was a perfect escape from reality for a weekend. Had a blast, pond was nice, did some fishing, rode bikes, walked trails. Will definitely go back again.

Great get away.

Lots of shade in old growth trees. Trails for hiking, also loop trail around Lake. Been here several times with water quality varies. Sometime water is cloudy other times not bad. Recommend filter on your hose when filling water tank.