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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.
If you like your hammock, or anything you can string between trees, this is the place. The campground is in a stand of tall lodgepole pines with no lower branches. This means there's little privacy, but lots of shade and trees everywhere.
There is a nice man-made lake for canoeing/kayaking or fishing. No power boats.
There is a row of hike-in tent site along the trail connecting the campground to the lake. At the lake, there is a General store and above that, a nice restaurant serving farm to table food and snacks.
There is also a historic Round barn museum on the grounds. Nice trails that are pretty easy to hike.
There is one cabin available to rent, which is quite secluded with a view of the lake. Nearby attractions are the Woodland Palace home and park, Historic Bishop Hill town and the Corner Coop Cupcakes & Ice Cream.
We visited the first weekend in November so we still had some leave to peep. The weather was unusually warm and beautiful so we were able to hike both days of our visit but it was packed with people who had the same idea. Also, as we left the park to go to our campsite (around 2 PM) the camp was getting a rush of afternoon hikers. The place is busy!!!
The campsite itself is off the State Park premises,which isn’t bad since it’s not swarmed park attendees not spending the night. It has an electrical hookup on each campground for RVs. There is also a bathroom with running showers and toilets, pretty nice. And there is a camp store (which is currently closed for the season). The campsites themselves vary in size and fire station. Our campsite was a little small but if you want fully forested campsites I suggest you keep your choices between #s 30 and 100.
We had a blast, the state park itself was fantastic, plenty to see. Starved Rock and the other peaks were fantastic and Wildcat Canyon was a sight to behold. Illinois Canyon is huge and worth the visit. I understand that with the spring runoff there are many waterfalls to behold. We plan on coming back then. Great place to camp!!!
If you want more trees and privacy stick to the east loop if you want more flat land that is easy to drive up and camp, go to the west loop. The Camp store is cute but tiny. There is also a vending machine by the bathhouse and a 24/7 wood vending machine by the camp store.
3 state parks are within a 5-10 minute drive making early morning hiking very easy. Welcome to the Disney Land of outdoors!
The campground itself is off of Starved Rock’s main entrance but we think it’s perfect because I don’t need that much traffic with cars and people constantly walking/driving by. I do wish there were walking trails off the campground though.
We had the entire campground to ourselves on a cold weekend stay. There isn’t much area to explore- just the campground and the river shoreline within it. However we witnessed the most spectacular sunset over the river. It was well worth the night’s adventures.
We stayed in the non-electric loop. A bunch of sites with divisions obscured by crunchy, fallen leaves. We had a picnic table and fire pit. A pit toilet and water pump are located at the building used to clean up your fishing/hunting catches. The electric sites are on the opposite side and have a couple sites that look more long term campers. The host is over there but we never saw them. Once it was dark half a dozen bright lights came on in the parking area between the two camping loops. It was close to us so our teardrop camper was well lit up inside. I covered the window to block some of the light but I would suggest camping further down away from the building and those lights.
A main road runs right behind the campsites. They have a wood fence on the electric side but not on our side. It obscures some of the headlights. Sound died off pretty early even with a few locals pulling in to meet up with friends in the parking lot. We walked to the river and found a short trail. We stood out by the boat ramps for a nice view across the river.
A sign shows a hiking route that you can drive to. We planned to hike it in the morning but unexpected events changed our minds. At 5 AM diesel pickup trucks pulling boats began to pull into the parking area. It was cold and dark so we stayed inside. Eventually we heard the boats heading out along with gun shots- some were nearby. We started packing up and in the process saw that they were hunting birds from the boats along the river. We chose to skip the hiking trail with the onset of hunting season.
A 30 minute drive got us to the Hennepin Canal Trail and we hiked along it for a few miles before returning to our car and heading home. We did make one more stop at the Flour House Bakery in Princeton and highly recommend it.
The spectacular sunset made this worth a weekend getaway but it doesn’t seem like a nice spot for an extended stay unless you plan to make more use of the river access.
My family stayed on site 21 in our popup and had a great time. We LOVED the pencil tree forest. There are only a handful of campsites w electric in this circle of trees. Although these types of trees don't offer a lot of privacy I still enjoyed it. Our site was a short walk down to the lake which we used for fishing. There is a water pump and latrine in the circle. We did not go in the shower house so can't attest to the cleanliness.
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.
This place has beautiful views of illinois river. Nice sized campsites. Everything was clean and well taken care of! Not a lot of amenities, however that isn’t what camping is all about! Full hook ups at a reasonable price. Each site also has a picnic table and fire pit. The guy that runs the place is AWESOME! So nice and willing to help with anything you need. This park is close to town, so if anything is needed you are only minutes away. LOVED camping here & will definitely be back :)