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This is a beautiful park! However if should not be listed here, without the caveat that is only for youth group camping. Contact winnebago county forest preserves for info. Otherwise, this is a great place for nature day trips!
I was there this past November and again blessed with great weather this past weekend (April 16-18, 2021). I live the park, some of the canyons has waterfalls. The campsites in Loop 2 are close together and small. I booked two campsites but I had friends bail at the last minute but I still kept the two campsites, which was fortunate.
We live less than five minutes from Rock Cut and wanted to test out our pop up camper. It's off season so the showers were not open yet but there were open toilets. Wasn't too many other campers so it was nice and quiet. Hiking trail is right next to the campground which was nice. You can hear the highway at night which kinda takes away from the nature vibes but overall I was very happy with our one night stay.
Very nice campground for weekend getaways. Less than two hours from western suburbans of Chicago. Just about a mile from Oregon where you can find a number of bars and restaurants. There are also walking trails within the campgrounds.
This is a very popular campground. Lots of big rigs who seem to be staying for quite a while. Our relatives recommended this one since some of their friends use it for "the summer." A very nice, well manicured campground. Though a commercial-style, it does not feel like it. Sites are well spaced. Full trees around the perimeter, but not a lot for shade over the campsites. Water and electrical at every site. Very easy in and out, for any sized rig.
I have to admit that I’ve not camped here, but I just downloaded Dyrt and was looking at local sites around where I live and saw this campground posted and felt I needed to be very clear about the conditions here. I’ve driven through, and it’s quite frightening. Just Google the name and read the news articles to get a clear picture of what this place is about. It’s not safe, clean or anyplace someone should camp.
This park is popular, has plenty of space, though can use updates and better Leave No Trace practices (litter). During our time, park and cg was busy, full at times. Hiking was great with geological aspects. Has Lodge, CG store, lots of history.
We have camped here twice and it is beautiful in any season! Great privacy and good size sites in the northern east loop. Around site #100 (90-110 approximately). We looked up a drive through on YouTube to help pick out a good one. The second time we came here, we intentionally picked a pair of sites that were next to each other/connected and also by the bathrooms. The port a potties are nothing amazing and they were actually getting full the first night we were there, but then they were taken care of. Great hiking, scenic views, good playground by the showers. Will definitely be back again and again.
General: 133 site campground in two loops; we camped in the East Loop so most of my comments are regarding this loop. The very friendly attendant at the check-in booth (this is potentially luck of the draw) spent time answering all our questions.
Sites/Facilities: Many of the sites are fairly close together but have trees separating them. All in the East Loop are shaded except for Sites 59-68 and 128-130, which are in full sun with no physical separation between them. The driveways are all dirt/gravel and most appear to be level. Most of the sites are 30 amp with about 20 of them having 50 amp. All sites have a large picnic table and fire grate. Each loop has a bath/shower house but depending on which site you are in, it can be quite a hike to get to it. Of note is there are seven handicap accessible sites, all in the west loop – more than I’ve seen in any other campground.
Bathhouse: The East Loop bathhouse was ok but not great (could use a facelift). Was going to use the shower but it was very chilly the next morning (I was assured at check-in that there was plenty of hot water). There are more than sufficient vault toilets, including a handicap accessible one, in each loop.
Activities/Amenities: There is a camp “store” (more of a trailer vending machine) offering 24-hour self-serve ice and firewood. There was also a small gift shop, but it was not open when we were there. There is only one playground, at the end of the East Loop so not centrally located for campers. One dumpster (closer to the west loop) and the camp host is in the west loop.
Conclusion: My main beef with this campground is that it is quite a distance away from the rest of the park and is not accessible to the hiking trails, visitor center, etc. by foot. (although some see this as an advantage!) Not the fault of the campground but I was dismayed at the amount of trash in sites (as well as on the hiking trails).