The best HIKE IN camping near
Topeka , ILLINOIS

19 Reviews7 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Topeka Camping Reviews
Loved it!

We rented two cabins for the weekend and loved the place. Cabins were modern and clean overlooking the pond. They offer kayaks, canoes, and peddle boats free to campers. There is an open cabin with games, books, and WiFi. Basketball court, play area, and outdoor games. Staff were friendly and helpful. Truly a gem of a find.

Great Spot

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.

My favorite spot

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.

Nice quiet place

Nice quiet place, lots of areas to fish and take a kayak, or paddle boat.

A sandy forest that is less visited with backcountry sites

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.

Nice but overpriced

30 for electric, 15 for non. The campground is nice, but others in the area are half the cost.

Nice and peaceful

My family and I went mid April during quarantine because we needed to get out of house with kids. Campground was a perfect escape from reality for a weekend. Had a blast, pond was nice, did some fishing, rode bikes, walked trails. Will definitely go back again.

Open field hillside camping near a fishing lake

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.

Nice little get away

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.

First to Review
The Kampground is no longer a last resort.

Never really wanted to go somewhere called "The Last Resort". Just seems like they didn't want to be your first choice. But now its called "The Kampground", and it's under new ownership. The new owner has really done a fantastic job of restoring this property which was formerly a church kids camp. The bathrooms were really clean, property well maintain, staff was extremely nice and hospitable, and the area is really quiet with neighbors far enough away that any noise we made went unheard. Thanks for everything Steve!