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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.
$8. The staff isn’t always there, so you could end up with a free place to stay (especially if you come late.) Lots of trails nearby, and plenty of beautiful green trees. Outhouse on site. One of the more quiet sites that doesn’t get a lot of action.
Stayed one night in July. We tent camped in site 1 of the primitive campground. There are 7 sites well spaced with a picnic table, fire ring, trash can and three sided shelter in each site. Pit toilets are in the middle. Each site is along the tree line with plenty of shade. These are walk in sites ranging from 0.10 miles to 0.50 miles from the parking lot. Just $6 a night. Hiking trails, kayaking and fishing are available but we didn’t get a chance to take advantage of those things. Very friendly and helpful campground host drove over from the RV campground to register us and even offered to take our stuff to our site. Great experience. Only 3 sites in use on a Friday night.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I really enjoyed my stay at Evergreen Lake. The rustic tent sites are located on the opposite side of the lake from the RV's in an area called White Oak. These sites are the way to go for privacy. It was roughly a quarter-mile hike to site 14, where I stayed. It initially took me longer to find the site since there are no signs along the way. I eventually found site 12 then 11. I turned around and made my way to 14.
Site 14 is very spacious like it could be used as a group site. I was surprised to see three picnic tables. It also had a fire ring with grill and a separate grill. There was always shade and two pairs of trees that are perfect for a hammock. The best part was the view of the lake. There was a spot that a person could get a kayak or canoe into the water but I opted to use the dock. The dock was just a short walk away. It’s very cool that the folks at Comlara put that dock there for the tent campers to use.
One thing to be aware of is the trash point is at the parking lot. Also, keep in mind that sound travels across a lake very easily. I could hear other campers that were a few sites over very clear as well as people fishing on the lake.