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We stopped for a night on our way through. Had a nice quiet spot right on the river. With the locks closed this year, the traffic on the river was way down. It would have been fun to watch the boats but oh well. Easy in and out right off the interstate. Not busy at all mid week.
Love going to this campground. Always nice and clean. Bath/showers are very clean with hot water. Nicely kept grounds with a beautiful lake for dock and boat fishing. You can rent boats and they have a nice camping store. Downside, not too many other things to do. Long drive to get into town and not much there but a gas station and grocery store.
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.
We have been to Shabbona a few times, and have always had a great time! We really enjoy their pontoon boat rentals and fishing. The view from our site was great. Appreciated the little path behind our site that lead to the water. My kiddos enjoyed hiking throughout and catching frogs. I was disappointed that the water was already turned off (the lady at the store said she thinks it was due to covid??). It was also disappointing that the camp store closed on a Saturday, didn't give notice that the last day to buy firewood was on Friday, and then it would be first come, first serve. Because of the water/campstore closing I did give it 4 stars instead of 5. My husband said the latrines in Canvasback Cove were "decent". The main shower house with flushing toilets was clean. Sites are not very private, but the fall colors made up for it. We did name the tree our camper was under "baby spider tree". Oddly, our last day we woke up to TONS of baby spiders all over our campsite dangling from the tree… pretty gross, but we can laugh about it now, lol. Overall, we will be back next spring since it is a close campground. May try a campsite in the other circle.
I have tent camped here for years. Sometimes we've even just come to fish for the day. I've caught bass and trout mainly along with some small perch and sunfish. The campground gets busy during the summer, but being an ILDNR state-run campground it's open all year with more limited amenities in the off-season. In the summer I like the reservable sites (119-116) overlooking the lake in Canvasback Cove. Across the same loop wooded sites (136-141) offer a little more privacy with less of any kind of view. Those are my favorite sites to camp with little kids because they are close to the "stocked" kids fishing pond which makes them feel so happy to easily catch a little fish. They become fishermen/ladies for life. They are not near the bathhouse though which is just a quick walk or drive.
In the off season, Canvasback Cove is not usually closed like the other side of the campground. Without little kids in the colder months, I still camp at those sites. One year I made the mistake of camping at 117 in December. I have no problem winter camping, but that time of year the winds blow over the semi-frozen lake making it about 20 degrees colder.
During the summer the campground is often packed. I hear some sites are better than others and of course you never know how rowdy people can get.
Still the fishing is awesome and you can bring your own boat or rent one, so on the water it's pretty tranquil if you love to fish.
Will definitely be back!
First time taking the camper out and it was the perfect campground. Got there early Saturday morning and there were only a few sites left. I would suggest making reservations or getting there on a Friday. Our site was wooded which we loved. Neighbors all around but still secluded. Lake was beautiful! Boat rentals available.