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Wanting to explore some of the Shawnee Forest, we selected Giant City as it was recommended by a friend (and one of the few places that accepts reservations ahead of time!) The campsite was good and we loved that it backed up to some woods, which our kids explored often. The vault toilets were fine and the play ground was good. We really enjoyed the hikes, seeing the sandstone "walls" that makes the area famous. We found several short but gorgeous hiking trails, which was perfect for our young children. We also had the entire loop of the campground to ourselves, as it was early spring and our spring break was an off time. We ate a great dinner at the lodge, which has beautiful panoramic views and the food was tasty too. We liked the family style fried chicken dinner! Very prompt service, too.
Sites/Facilities: Sites are spaced well apart. Each site has a generous sized paved pad plus an additional paved space for a second vehicle. Each site has a large metal picnic table, fire grate, electric hookup, water, and lantern hook. Site 172 has no visible neighbors to the north and has a filtered water view through the trees. In my opinion, the best sites in the Pine Tree Loop are 172 and 173 plus 183-186; all of these have filtered water views.
Bathhouse: The bathrooms are VERY small and basic (no soap, no hooks) – one tiny sink and two stalls (no showers) but clean. Campers were encouraged to use the facilities in their RVs but we don’t have that option.
Activities/Amenities: There are a nice playground and a nearby beach/boat launch area, which is separate from the campground. There is also a paved bicycle path that appeared to connect the beach area to the campground, but I didn’t access it so cannot verify this.
Conclusion: We arrived late, just missing checking in(booth closed at 6 pm but check-in is not until 5 pm?) and departed by 10 am the next morning so we could not take advantage of the bike path or other potential amenities but for the price ($10 seniors), it is a very good value; the only thing keeping this from a five-star review is the TINY bathroom and I did not see a dumpster to get rid of our garbage (might have missed it). We would definitely return.
Beautiful and spacious camp sights in a quiet environment. We have had deer playing on an adjacent site to us. Fun place to camp with family and friends. Never want to leave.
This is a nice campground on Rend Lake. The sites themselves are nice and the lake is beautiful! Our only issue is that the sites on not very level. Ours had a significant slope when we backed up the electric hookups. But it was a concrete pad with a concrete picnic table, firepit, and a tall hook for a light or garbage out of bear's reach. We saw a nice playground for kids. We would stay here again, just scout for a more level site.
The campground is amazing. There are a number of hiking trails in the park. We only hiked one of them but the views in and around the lake were beautiful. The campground sells firewood at a very reasonable price. The only draw back would be the sites in the Mississippi. The train comes through both day and night. Love the train and whistle but it’s a bit close.
I really enjoyed the drive in for this one- crossed the dam, saw tons of deer, fairly large so lots of sites but descent space between them. The view off the lake at sunset was beautiful! However, our site didn’t have water hook up which I though let it should (some did, some didn’t so maybe just missed on my end). Our site was pretty trashed from the people prior and the fire was actually still burning. And heard the highway sounds all. night. long. I thought we were far enough away but not the case. Also had a train, some planes, and neighbors were up very early. It was a pretty campground for sure but overall not an enjoyable experience.