The best TENT SITES camping near
Sparland , ILLINOIS

229 Reviews60 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Sparland Camping Reviews
Nice state park

We stopped for a night on our way through.  Had a nice quiet spot right on the river.  With the locks closed this year, the traffic on the river was way down.  It would have been fun to watch the boats but oh well.  Easy in and out right off the interstate.  Not busy at all mid week.

Great in the off season too

Bartender was perplexed when I asked to (car) camp in December but was very friendly and let me do my thing even in their off season! Sooo much cheaper than SR and actually much close to the hiking trails.

Great Little Capmground

Stayed here only 1 night - bit would love to come back for a longer stay.

Very Clean, very goos hosts/owners and a great location near the town of Geneseo and right along a river for kayak, Canoe, SUP activity.

Very Wooded sites - with old huge trees.   Sights are a little close together, but didn't feel crowded.

Also stayed during a vintage camper event and saw some great old-school campers and Motorhomes.

Short drive off I80 and a world away

Pretty little campground amongst horse farms and along the Hennepin Canal. Great bike path right out of campsite along the canal. Nice to get some exercise on a long road trip.

Nice and quiet campground

We came in for Thanksgiving. We had a great spot!!! The campground was clean and quiet!! Enjoyed camping here.. Will definitely camp here again when we go visit family… We stayed in Spot 8 … It was also a short walk to the Illinois River!!!

bring your hammock

 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.

Great Hiking but the Campsite is Hit or Miss

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!!!

Beautiful Campground

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.

Road and river side camping with no frills

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.

Lovely Campground

Spacious areas, lovely host. Was able to relax & enjoy nature!