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We are so thankful we found this park. Most occupants are simi-annual residents, but there are still several nice, quiet, shady spots to be found. Everyone is friendly. There are 2 clean but dated bathhouses available. It’s the most reasonably priced campsite that we have found so far.
I’ve camped here several times at the primitive sites. It’s a decent hike in but once you get there, the view of the lake is worth it. It’s just a nice, peaceful place to camp. I’ve always been able to find a campsite since it is first come first serve. The host is very friendly and seems like he’s been the host there for years. They have canoes to rent and you’re bound to see cranes and ducks along the way. Just be weary of the geese by the reservoir because they can be moody! My boyfriend and I try to go at least once a year because we just love it there.
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.
30 for electric, 15 for non. The campground is nice, but others in the area are half the cost.
This campground has walk-in only camping but it’s right next to where you park. It’s a quiet place in an open field surrounded by forest. Choose a campsite under some trees if you like. Vault toilets are up the hill. Garbage cans are plentiful.
Deer run hiking trail is right in camp and gets you a bit of a hike.
There is lots of fishing opportunity here. Spring lake is long and shallow. They allow pole fishing. We saw people fishing from boats as well as from nicely designed pullouts along the road.
Be ready for a long slow drive in to the campground. Follow signs that direct you to the camp office. That’s where the camping is.
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.