The best HIKE IN camping near
Elkhart , ILLINOIS

69 Reviews12 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Elkhart Camping Reviews
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.

Nature. Nature. Nature.

This campground surprised us. We got there in the dark and woke up to Fall colors, Canadian geese, trails, playgrounds. We got in without a reservation and upgraded to a beautiful spot on the water. The LTE was a bit weak, that’s the only downside.

Primitive camping at Tall Timber.

We walked in to do camping and we only had spots available at Tall Timber. It’s primitive along with nice trail.

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.

Nice quiet place

Nice quiet place, lots of areas to fish and take a kayak, or paddle boat.

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.

Tent and RV shaded camping

A suitable local choice for camping if you desire more trees surrounding your site. There are a few very short hike-in primitive sites for extra seclusion.

All depends on timing

The sites always fill up fast and campers are mix of RV’s with lights, generators and noise as well as tents. Neither camper types who venture here are looking for peace and quiet. Some newer primitive hike-in or boat-in sites are on the muddy lake shores, but are mostly secluded. Also heavily used by local Boy and Girl Scouts.

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.

Different areas of campsites vary widely

We went here with a group of tent campers sight unseen, so that’s always rolling the dice. We stayed until the main part where you could reserve online through reserve America. Would not recommend that area to anyone. Sites are right on top of each other in every direction. Not sure who would seek this out or agree to it after seeing it.

Upon finding the rustic tent sites, we’d wished we’d known about that area before going. Those were still a little close together but were at least wooded and you could walk from your car.

The dispersed camping sites were the closest to what I’d been used to coming from New Hampshire, but it was more of a hike than I would be looking for.