The best DISPERSED camping near
Olmsted , ILLINOIS

127 Reviews12 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Olmsted Camping Reviews
Beautiful secluded spot. Careful if wet.

Beautiful location. Definitely off the beaten path. There was another group of campers but they camped on the trail. Grave Road getting there was a bit rough for my Ram Promaster. Hill down to trail head could get slick if wet weather. Was alittle nervous getting out after it had rained. But luckily it wasn't to much rain. Definitely coming back when warmer.

Great for all kinds, except weekenders

RVs, tents, hammocks, teardrops, and camper vans are all great here.

Just be warned that there aren't many lots and they fill up fast, especially Friday through Sunday, especially in the autumn as the leaves are changing.

And if it's unseasonably warm in October, don't bother coming out. Dayhikers clutter the parking spots so badly overnighters risk car accidents trying to get in or out. Lots of kids and Karens.

Basic campsite in a great location

Basic car camping campsites with a picnic table, fire ring and a food pole at each site. The sites were clean the night I was there but the water seems to have been already turned off for the season (late October). There are vault style outhouses and an honor system check in box $15/night. The best part of this campsite is it’s a 5-10 minute walk to main trail/recreation area as well as the various other trails in the area.

Nice secluded spot

Was able to find the camping right away. There was one other group set up. Nice roomy sites with fire rings. After setting up I took a great hike on the nearby trails connected to Jackson falls. Some wonderful hiking and an abundance of climbing! I did some free climbing on small boulders and managed to climb my way back to the top of the gorge. Upon returning i noticed the other camp had left the grounds to myself. Rain came over night and eventually forced my hand to leave the next day and dry out. Definitely going back. Careful with the rain, the camp is right on the stream so I woke to being surrounded by streams. The path out is also very steep. I was able to handle it with a small car but any more mud or rain I would have been stuck. good luck!

Majestic Landscape of Geological Formations

This place really is "Of the Gods".  The Geological formations are very majestic.  It is so different from the rest of the state of IL.  AMAZING place to visit.  

Please be careful if you bring children or those that like to wander.  It is can be dangerous if one goes without caution.  I'm pretty sure this is the kind of place where the phrase "slipped through the cracks" was coined.  There are many cracks and various rocks that someone can slip on or through or fall off of, so be careful.  

Some of the most incredible scenery ever and the trails allow access to everything.  I am ready to go back, it is so beautiful.

Pretty Crowded

Try to come as early as possible to make sure you get a good spot.

Beautiful and Secluded

Red Bud Campground Shawnee National Forest Bell Smith Springs Recreational Area Harrisburg, IL

Red Bud Campground is a secluded heavily tree covered campground perfect for tent and RV Camping. This campground can accommodate up to a 34ft RV Pull Behind RV and small motorhomes. Be careful if you are going to try this campground in a motorhome as it can be tight to turn into some spots. If possible you may want to scout the area first before going.

There is no amenities at the sights so if you are RV camping you will need to bring your own power and water for your sight but there is a place to fill your drinking water. There are several restrooms on sight and I didn’t see a dump station for RV’s however I imagine you can empty your cassette toilets in the restrooms.

As far as internet I have AT&T and I had internet up until I arrived. Once in place there was no internet access.
Intermittently I would get one bar but it was not enough of a signal to be of any use. I can’t comment to the service areas of T-Mobile or other providers. At any rate you should bring something to read for the evenings or just enjoy the evening with a group of friends.

Quiet time is from 10pm to 6am so if you are packing solar for your power you will be good to go because it’s quiet.
If you are RV’ing it be sure to conserve your power.

The area is quiet and I camped with a tow behind 22ft RV when I went on October 23rd, 2020. At that time there were a lot of campers. This sight seems most popular and well suited for tent campers and I was only one of 2 RV campers that weekend.

There is a short 5 minute walk to the Bell Smith Springs if you are up for a great hike.
If you have dogs they will need to be on a leash.

Overall I loved this area and can’t wait to go again!

37.520880, -88.656546

Fall time

Beautiful fall foliage. No falls since it hasn't rained in a while. Great hike around. Campsites were plentiful, alot of cars driving in late at night. Toliet was clean and open. Bring everything you need, there is no water source and bring lots of wood. We scavenged wood from the hills around but ultimately had to leave and purchase wood.

No privacy at tent camp, hike amazing!

So first of all- I think it’s fair to state before I leave a review that my husband and I prefer primitive and private camping. The fewer people we see while we’re out, the better. We live in a city so when we camp, we want the opposite. If you enjoy RV camping or don’t mind not so Private spots, this is a decent spot to spend the night. If you like primitive/private camping- il fill you in below!

We do tent camping and Saw there were walk-in sites and hike in sites at this campground. Usually walk-in sites are pretty private and dispersed well - atleast where we’ve been before. The 14 “primitive” camping sites were right next to eachothwr with little to no privacy at all. Good tree cover for shade but otherwise you’re basically setting up your tent and area in an open field. That was a little disappointing to us because it wasn’t what we thought we would find. The RV spots also seem super close together but again- we like things spread out so maybe it would be an OK place for some.

The vault toilets near the tent sites were…as clean as vault toilets get! And we did not use tje shower facilities so can’t speak on that.

If we had been just the 2 of us, we would’ve hiked in to do our camping along one of the hiking paths but we were meeting two other friends and were unsure if they would want to hike miles to a spot so we opted for the tent spots just after the RV campground. If you want more privacy for an evening of camping, you’ll need to come with your gear packed up decently enough to hike it out atleast a mile onto the trails. There is camping allowed along the trails as long as you are 100 ft from the trail so that was an option, but in certain spots along the trail it’s challenging to find a clearing (hammocks would be great along the trail). There is also an official primitive camping site halfway through the 12 mile loop of the Red Ceder Trail. We day hiked almost the whole loop but made a Weird little detour so we didn’t get to check these spots out.

We were hoping to find a campsite that- as get as difficulty of accessibility level- was in between a 6 mile hike and the tent spots in the field but there isn’t any official spot like that even tho there’s tons of space and potential for it. Rant over about the campground. Let’s talk about the hiking! The hiking was truly awesome and felt like it balanced out my disappointment with the campground. Doing the whole 12 mile loop of tje Red Cedar Trail was a challenge for us! We really enjoyed it. In some spots, the trail markers are a little confusing, but overall it’s decently marked and the map is somewhat helpful just to kindve know vaguely where you are. The 2nd day, we went back and did about half rhe loop and also checked out the more popular section of the trails back there that include Giant City Nature Trail, Devils Stand Table, and a few others. Very cool rock formations. Pretty busy in the weekend over there but the test of the trails away from that area with those big landmarks was completely deserted and there are some super cool rock formations not on the map at all.

Over all, this was a fun 4 days. We would return and plan on hiking out into the trails to camp for our evenings. If you like privacy around your campfire at night, I can’t recommend the campground.

There were several hiking trails that looked pretty, but we didn't get a chance to walk them. Overall, this is a nice and quiet campground. We would definitely stay again. We camped at Ferne Clyffe State Park in a Motorhome.

There were several hiking trails that looked pretty, but we didn't get a chance to walk them. Overall, this is a nice and quiet campground. We would definitely stay again. We camped at Ferne Clyffe State Park in a Motorhome.