This COE campground is conveniently located and just a quick off ramp from the Interstate. I stayed here one night as I headed south from Chicago. The one night only ultimately turned out to be a blessing. It seemed that I inadvertently booked a site in the middle of a family reunion. I don’t mind a good party, but when you leave your dog tethered to visit at other campsites and your dog is barking for hours, well, that’s not okay.
I was in site 30, located directly on the water in the Nighthawk campground. Site 29 is very close and the picnic bench is literally 8 feet away from the back of the pad of site 30. The class A rig in the video belonged to my neighbor, so you can see how close the sites were. Don’t expect much in the way of privacy. Otherwise, the site is shaded and fairly level with a nice lake view and direct access.
Unfortunately, I didn’t awake to sounds of nature. Early in the morning the sawing and woodchipping began. To make matters worse it was windy. All the woodchopping and sawdust was flying in the air which required us to close windows and hunker down inside until the park crew finished their work. I understand that maintaining the park is important, but why on a busy camping weekend?
The restrooms were a short walk across the road and up the slope from site 30. I didn’t use the facilities, so can’t speak to their functionality or cleanliness. I like to camp at lakes because I enjoy kayaking and this lake would allow for all kinds of water activities which is a plus.
Also, if you haven’t made a reservation and decide to do a walk up make sure you have cash. A couple was turned away and told to get cash because they don’t take credit cards or checks.
I might stay here again as a layover spot because of its convenient location to the interstate, but it wouldn’t be a destination for me.
My family and I stayed here just passing through and we checked in with the very friendly staff… The campground itself was not the greatest, but okay for just one night passing through! It’s location was great for us, traveling west, being about 45 min. out of St. Louis, MO. The site was pretty muddy, but they had been experiencing lots of rain. Wouldn’t recommend for a vacation, but for one night, passing through, it will be more than suitable!
Most of the sites are large and a good distance from the next one. Shower house is alright. The store/restaurant has been closed for a year or two now because of the Illinois budget. There's a dollar store in Farina and a grocery store in Kinmundy; both towns are less than 10 miles away. The lake is big enough for ski boats but nice for kayaks also. Swim beach is not well maintained due to the budget but also doesn't cost anything since they can't pay anyone to man the gate, but it's not horrible.
Very nice people. Kind. Clean site with excellent WIFI. Park was full and we were streaming video. Had only three interruptions for buffering but they were short. Even though they have cable, some sites will be snowy. They do not know why. It seems to be rig specific. They should list this on the web site but they do not. It is listed when you check in. We will be back.
This is our favorite campground in Central/southern illinois. The sites are very nice and most have shade. There is a beach for campers to use, and a really nice playground. Their bathrooms and showerhouse were impeccably clean, and many sites are right next to the lake.
Overall this is a VERY nice campground. There is a camp store, firewood available, and even a pool! The trails around are nice and our family had fun hiking. HOWEVER: Unless you have a restroom in your rig, be prepared to walk up to the showerhouse. The pit toilets that were spread across the campground were in horrendous condition and had wasps, spiders, and other critters hanging out. With 4 kids in tow and a pop-up camper, we made the long treck to the shower house many times in one weekend. If we'd had a heads up, we would have stayed somewhere with more accessible restrooms.
Oh and lots of deer bed down in the grassy areas at night, which was a fun thing to see!
There’s not a bad campsite here. There are sites with electric, water, and sewer. Several sites are right on Rend Lake. Most sites have concrete picnic tables and fire rings. The bath houses are really nice, they are individual shower houses that are clean and well lit. The grounds are very well maintained. The park was full while we stayed there, but was really quiet. You can tent camp or use a camper.
Took grandkids there for the day. There’s a pool, playground, fishing pond and small arcade room. You can rent a peddle type cart that holds 4 people who all peddle. They really loved them. You can also rent golf carts.
It’s very shaded and relaxing. From the road you only see an open field with some campers in it. That appears to be mostly people who are spending time at the nearby lake. I’ve driven by it for years without realizing what was beyond that part.
Great weekend except for the rain this morning. Can’t say enough about the hosts at this campground they are wonderful! They came through this morning during the storms just to check on the tent campers on their day off! You don’t see that most places! Only bad thing is the federal government has chose to close this campground for the next camping season which is horrible for this area! Please contact the local Us Representative to say please save this campground!
After a massive disappointment at a nearby state park, we came to Sherwood Forest as a last resort. We were beyond pleasantly surprised!
First off, the camp host came and met me at 7pm on Sunday to get me set up. He took me on a golf cart to give me a tour of the available spots. He was so completely friendly and just all-around good!
The place is an amazing little resort-like campground. It’s nicely tucked away with plenty of shade.
The playground is super nice and very well maintained.
Our site is very large with an equally large grass lawn area.
I didn’t visit the bathhouse or laundry facilities but judging by the cleanliness of everything else, I’m sure those are exemplary.
I will most certainly be back!
If you live in the St. Louis area and are looking for a great park for a weekend getaway near the water then look no further. Tons of reservable and walk up sites for primitive and RV. Most sites have plenty of shade and room in between so you were not right on top of your neighbors The only thing that would be a complaint about the sites is that many of them have a metal culvert running under the entrance to each campsite so if you’re not careful backing your camper out you can run over those and possibly cut a tire Other than that it is a great campground that boasts the only swimming pool in an Illinois state park. There is also a small store that has all of the basics and even has a built-in laundry mat The only other small complaint is that there is only one fill station to fill your freshwater tanks. So during busier times there can sometimes be a line of people waiting to fill their freshwater tanks so if you can do that at home I highly advise it
This is an older state park but still has hundreds of well-maintained sites and if you get to some of the first come sites at just the right time you will have a lakefront campsite to enjoy. Easy to get around and plenty of facilities with bath houses and bathrooms as well as playgrounds for the kids and hiking and biking trails.
This place is unlike any other. Very clean, usually quiet, rangers drive through everyday making sure all is well with everyone. There is swimming, fires, biking, walking, pretty much everything you’d need when one thinks of camping. Very decently priced. There is something for everyone whether you have just a tent, or a pop up, or a full size RV! If you camp, this HAS to be a place you at least try. Amazing people.
Just finished our second trip/vacation here. We stayed in the rental cabins, but are in the waiting list for a seasonal site. Right next to the lake. Plenty of room for everyone, from tents to the massive RVs. The pool very clean and never gets over crowded. Staff are knowledgeable and polite. Friendly/quiet dogs allowed. Wonderful pirate ship playground. Weekend activities for the kids. Electric golf carts allowed. Very inexpensive compared to campgrounds closer to me.
We love Lake Carlyle and Dam West is a great place to camp. CLEAN (and air conditioned) bath houses. The sites are beautiful and well maintained! Great place to bike, hike, and swim at the beach. Close to Wal-Mart and McDonalds!! 😉
We visit this campground on a regular basis. Large waterfront campsites, full hookup loop, and 4 other large loops that have electric.
Nice new bath house for those who need it.
This is a COE campground and takes our senior pass.
If you are needing a full hookup site, make sure you book early!
Great campground for taking long walks and bike rides.