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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.
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.
Just outside of the sprawling metropolitan area of Rockford, Illinois, the recreational oasis of Rock Cut State Park awaits. With miles of walking, hiking, biking, and even some intermediate mountain biking single track around a damned lake, there is plenty for every outdoor enthusiast to enjoy.
The campsites offer a spacious escape from the city, with the usual amenities of fire ring and picnic table, but most had long paved driveways and electrical hook-ups to boot. But our site had plenty of sun, so we were able to run on solar and not worry about the hookups.
The bathrooms appeared to have full-flush facilities with hot showers, however these were not open in November when we arrived. Instead, pit toilets (fairly clean) were available for use. The park and one loop of the campground remains open year-round, however the water and facilities with plumbing shut down at the end of October.
All of the trails double as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing areas as well, so don’t think of this as just a summer time getaway. We experienced one of the best late fall summers ever in November, 70 degrees during the day and cool at night. It was perfect, and while the place was full over the weekend, it never felt too crowded.
Just outside of the park boundary the suburban sprawl encroaches, so gas, ice, and groceries couldn’t be any more convenient. The winding park roads help slow things down and make it feel like you’ve wandered into a little slice of the wild on the edge of the prairie.
We have only been to this campground one time because we wanted to try something new. We had a lot of fun there playing in the water on the beach however my son who was five at the time got a really bad bacterial rash from the water. Other than that we had a really good time and the campground was very clean and everyone was really nice. We were definitely go back but not to swim in the water LOL
Off the beaten path, most people who come to this area will likely go to the much larger and better known Rock Cut State Park. This is a small forest preserve with lovely picnic areas, a picturesque creek and an outcropping of bluffs ( about 3 storeys tall).
The campground is well maintained, with the cleanest pit toilets I've ever seen. (also ADA accessible).
There are about 40 sites, ranging from primitive tent to full size pull-through RV. 30 and 50 amp elec available. Prices based on what you choose. Reservations are recommended a week ahead through the Winnebago County Forest preserve website. There is a small fee for non-residents, but it's worth it.
we went in November, so I can't say what it's like during peak season. But sites are well spaced, though they are all open to each other visually.
Nearby are bike trails and the Pecatonica river, with other forest preserves for day trips out of the camp.
This is one of three campgrounds run by the county. We have stayed at another, Sugar River, and enjoyed it as well.
We stayed on tent-only site 009 which gave us a small view of the lake through the trees, a direct trail to the lake to sit with our morning coffee, and plenty of space between sites so we couldn't see or hear any neighbors. It's a short walk in to the site from the parking area in that section (maybe 50 ft total) and parking is easy and plentiful in the lot. We brought our own potty so I can't speak on the cleanliness of the facilities, but I can say they store their firewood indoors which was excellent for nice dry wood that was easy to start and burned hot.