Spent a couple nights here (site 3) for Vintage Illinois at a nearby park. Quiet, fairly level, gravel sites. Electric worn but fully functional. Lots of trees and shade. From map it looked like site 3 was isolated at end of loop - weeellll, it IS at the end of a loop - right across from camp host and adjacent to maintenance area for lock & dam - not very picturesque. Didn’t use bathhouse so can’t comment on that. Drink vending machines by bathhouse. Local guy across from entrance to park sells firewood. Site had fire ring and picnic table. One thing to note - trees drop some kinda “nuts” and when you drive over them they pop and it sounds just like you are dragging low hanging branches. I started to backing and swore I was hitting branches (even though I’d looked and knew it was clear) and DW said we were clear….
Went tent camping here and reserved our spot in advance. We bought fire wood from a locals front lawn at the entrance to the state park. Put 5$ in the bin and take a bundle. Its 30 mins away from Starved Rock and Matthiesson State Park. Good hiking. The river spots are all booked by large RVs and the tent spots have grills over the fire pits and picnic tables. lots of tree cover which came in handy when it rained in the morning. Otherwise great weather and not buggy. Dogs allowed.
Very large campground. Many seasonal areas. Will let you set up a group of campers in a circle in grassy areas. They do an extremely large Halloween event Columbus Day weekend. Jam packed for this event. Awards for site decoration. Campsites set up haunted houses, candy for kids, drinks for adults. Fun to see adults and kids all dressed up.
This campground was easy peasy and had an incredible view of the lake. We were right there on the lake. We went in September so I'm not sure how it would be in the summer since there is little to no cover.
There was nice hiking and we were able to get out into the woods for a while. My friend and I were surprised that such a nice place is so close to Chicago. There is a dock and the campground had good access to water, sink, and a nice bathroom. Lots of families were there when we went. Overall would recommend.
We tried to stay in site 14 that had 30 amp service. Our TT is 30amp. Our A/C unit kept tripping the breaker on the campground pole. Our breaker inside never tripped. They had someone come out and claimed their electric was fine and our A/C was broken. Went home bc it was 95 out and our A/C ran fine off a 20amp household outlet with no issues. Reported this so it could be fixed and the office still argued that their service was fine.
The following review was done by my thirteen year old daughter. I agree with the shower problems and add that it was our final cold showers in disgusting conditions that lead us to write the review.
“If I could give negative stars❌ then trust me I would. Normally I consider myself a good sport and can sit through a lot of things✌🏼 but not the showers here😡, they look like they haven’t been cleaned or cared for in months🤮 and often have no toilet paper in the bathroom stalls. When I took a shower I found a small frog🐸 in it and I wish I was joking about that. There were dead mosquitoes on the walls💀, dead moths on the floors, piles of hair on the floors🤢, and dirt in every crack. But they have a nice Rockwall🧗🏽♂️.”
Other than the shower issues, the campsite🏕 was fine. It was easy to level, they give you free firewood with your stay, the staff is kind😇 at checkin and during rock wall activities. The location🗺 is the main draw, as we wanted to be close enough to visit Chicago and suburbs.🙂
We enjoyed the quiet camping. Not much to do but fish. No hook ups but they do have a dump station. Use to have a shower house but it was closed when we were there.c
Had a great time this weekend camping with my wife and two boys. We camp in an Hybrid trailer and really appreciated the price point with full hookups. Sites were decent size and had fire pits at each location. They had plastic picnic tables which where light to move and easy to clean. Decently quiet camp site with a pool for the kids to cool off made for an enjoyable weekend. Close to Kankakee and some of the other towns in the area for things to do. I would definitely come again to kayak on the Kankakee river. Unfortunately the water levels where too high for this trip as warnings had been issued
Great site, not far from Chicago, but feels well away from city life.
Tent sites around rim of a lake. RV sites and cabins as well.
Beautiful forest surrounds the lake, lots of hiking in the surrounding enormous forest preserve. Lake has fishing and boats as well.
I love the place, the sites are first come first serve with cash($12), no power outlets, no shower. If you just want to sit by the fire, or want to camp out during the hunting season, or fishing with your boat, it’s a good place to be, there are monster bass in this lake, I have got a 19-inch largemouth in 2017. Do remember to bring power source for you phone such as a power bank and water to drink, the water there taste funny.
As a Dyrt Ranger I was asked to try out the online reservation system at this campground (It’s super easy to use and worked wonderfully!). It’s close to places I have hiked and camped at but I have never heard of this place. I was eager to try it out.
The best feature about Camp Covel Creek are the hosts, Jules and Michael. They helped me out with questions (such as ‘can I bring my teardrop?’ and ‘can I bring my dog?’) before I even made a reservation. Upon arrival, they both stopped what they were doing to shake my hand and walk me around the entire property (their family home is just down the drive if you need anything). This human touch added to the enjoyment and lent a ‘I belong here’ feel to my stay. Jules and Michael are in the process of updating the property and will be adding valuable experiences for campers. Michael even brought me over some wood to start carving into spoons. This couple is above and beyond wonderful!
Camp details: There is space cleared out in Timber Ridge for tent camping to fit in. Sites are not numbered but I think there are 5 of them. One was separated by a walk-in path but the rest are close together. My dog and I were the only ones there this rainy weekend and it was perfect and secluded for us. I could imagine it might be different if it was full. There was a communal fire pit in the center and another one by a screened-in pavilion. There are no picnic tables so bring your own. Parking is across the way in a grassy field. It’s close by and right next to the outhouse. There are no hookups but the owners will provide water if you need it. An overlook is around the corner that directs your attention to beautiful sunsets. As night fell I heard the Memorial Day traffic quite clearly. A reminder that we are not too far from town.
One important note: The pin that Google drops for directions takes you close but not all the way. I called Jules when I got there and she quickly directed me to the right drive.
Local details: Camp Covel Creek is just a couple miles from the town of Ottawa. I’ve bicycled through Ottawa many times on the I & M Canal path. Its a beautiful small town with good restaurants and shops. They had live music this weekend.
My dog and I love hiking and this is perfectly situated near multiple state parks. Starved Rock State Park is the most popular and offers plenty of hiking, a visitor center and a restaurant. Matthiessen State Park offers hiking trails into water filled canyons. We went across the Illinois River to Buffalo Rock State Park to avoid the crowds (It was Memorial Day Weekend). We hiked by the bison and through some burial mounds to find views of the river. The I & M canal path can take you all the way to Chicago if you are looking for a longer bike ride.
Ratings: Jules and Michael make this experience better. They deserve more than 5/5. The primitive camping sites were wonderful for us but would be too close together if it was filled up - 4/5. The price is a bit high for the camp as it is now. I’m used to paying $40 for a campground with at least showers but it’s also in a great location. This with the road noise is 4/5. Overall, Camp Covel Creek gets a 4.5/5 from us but I expect it to only get better as the improvements continue. You should definitely try out this place.
We stay there once a year. The pool is nice as well as the hot tub. The hot tub is supposed to be adult only but it isn’t really enforced. That’s a little disappointing. The mini golf was really neat……when it was built in the 70’s probably. It hasn’t been updated since. The last time I was there most of the holes were dilapidated and shoddy. Too bad, because it could be great. The playground gets a thumbs up from my son. There is a large seasonal section that I presume pays the bills. Some of the permanent sure are pretty neat. The only problem with seasonal guests is that they like to use a gas powered pressure washer bright and early in the morning. Apparently everything he owned needed to be washed, went in for a couple hours. The staff didn’t think it was an issue. The next morning another resident decided to use his skill saw cutting about 1000 boards bright and early. Again, the staff was less than helpful. They employ a lot of teenager, which is good, but I don’t think they get a lot of training in customer service. I guessing they don’t dare make the cash cows mad. The hay ride is cool, and the outdoor movie is neat. Actually shows pretty current movies. The sites are full hookup, but several times we have been at sites where the sewer dump pipe sticks up over 8” above the ground. Higher than the outlet of my trailer. It doesn’t take Archimedes to see the problem here. What’s worse is the dump station I was forced to use. OMG what a disaster. It’s a relic from decades ago. Uneven and puddles of “water” all over the dump area. Really happy to track that into my coach and truck, not. With a little care and money it could be a terrific destination.
This is a small, bare-bones operation, but it's safe and friendly; a great stop-over for passing through Chicagoland or Joliet. Level sites, full hook-ups. Not far from Chicagoland Speedway.
Located right on US45-US52. Lots of truck traffic stopping at the intersection makes lots of noise at night.
We’ve camped here a few times and it is always a great experience. Each site comes with a free bundle of oak firewood which is nice to use on the fire pits.
What’s great about this location is the access to the miles and mile of MTB and hiking trails just out the front step of your campsite.
We live 15 minutes away so like to take midweek camping trips to break up the work week.
It’s probably the closest camping to downtown Chicago. About 5 years in existence. Clean facilities with a few trails. Camp Sullivan is used a lot by scouting groups. There are lots of trees and it is somewhat woodsy. The best thing to me is Jack Gibbons’s, a restaurant directly across the street.
McKinley Woods offers me a lot of nostalgia since I grew up in the area. In McKinley Woods proper there is a large camping area and two of the sites have concrete pads for ADA accessibility. Further west along the I&M Tow Path is another camp site; that's were my friends and I stayed. Three of us biked in and two hiked. The spot is more secluded than the ones in the park proper, but it still receives a lot of visitors through out the day. A person could kayak in; there is a concrete boat ramp into the Illinois river. The main draw to this place is the tow path. I high recommend bringing a bike to enjoy the trail. The trail is also part of the Grand Illinois Trail network. Fire wood is scarce near the camp site, but we were able to find plenty further up the path.
For my write up on our trip click here.
For my video click here.