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$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.
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.
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.
Camped here twice-once tent and once in new camper. Well kept campground. Nice lake-good fishing. RV sites fairly close together with not many/any trees for privacy. Tent sites a bit more spread apart however all traffic from campground routes by tent sites due to one way traffic. There are more hike in tent sites that would provide more rustic experience.
The layout is fairly straightforward here, entrance has a spot for firewood purchase (honor system) and then the dumpsters. So getting to firewood and garbage will take a little time if you're toward the back of the park.
Many spots for RV/campers, and as you venture further in, you'll find large open fields with camping spots - some are electric or not, so check while you reserve. The open field camping really lends itself to a community feel, some people have wonderful setups and especially at night, the more luxurious configurations attract the kiddos to checkout. People overall very considerate and nice, welcoming, friendly. VERY family oriented atmosphere - there was no nonsense loud drunkards in the evenings, relatively quiet and relaxing. This was a huge bonus to us, as we had younger kids and loud idiots would have freaked them out.
We reserved site 111, which had a nice long concrete pad for parking cars on - fits easily 2-3 cars. Firepit, a tree, pretty standard stuff. Close to the bathrooms.
Bathrooms are a basic affair, typical dirtyish campground pit toilets. Don't expect much, bring cleaning wipes etc if you want to help neaten the place up a bit.
If you're more into wooded areas/seclusion while camping, this place has them too - see site 123 or 124, along the lake - on reservations those are the square sites, not long rectangles. You'll be near the lake, probably could walk in and out of the lake if you wanted.
Site 123 in particular is directly across from the bathroom, but has thick wooded areas to keep things private and well shaded…but with an open area for some suntanning or whatever. We wandered over to 123 from 111 to see what it was like, and were so impressed we reserved it for this year.
Simple campground…simple is the key. Not a whole lot of fluff with this campground. The reason to camp here is to make sure you get to fish or be on the water. The location is nice as it is in central Illinois and one of the few in the area. Costs can be a little expensive to some but reality is it is right in par with the state. You need to make sure there is good weather coming here as there isn’t too much to do minus the lake. Sites are electric and some are right in the water which would be ideal for kayak/canoe. It is a pretty big park and it is normally booked up so better to reserve early.
I’ve stayed here a few times and we have always stayed with friends sharing sites as it is always better with friends along. It is located close tot he bike paths for mountain bikes so that is an added bonus. Nice little get away at the end of it.
It’s a nice get away from the city. I haven’t stayed at any of the backpacking sites, but the main campground. It is located under a bunch of tall pines, and feels fairly open. You’re close to others, and there isn’t a lot of privacy, but it is pretty. There are a lot of trails, but keep in mind a number of them will have you walking in sandy paths (hence the name). You can even spot some cacti out there, which is a site when you’re in the Midwest. There is also a verse camp, which I have walked through. It has a large pavilion, and all the sites have 0 shade. It’s about 3 hours from Chicago, so I like to hit it up for a quick get-away to avoid paying Wisconsin prices. I have never seen it packed.