Standard (tent/RV)
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About Lake Glendale Recreation Area

Lake Glendale

If you are looking for a place in the center of the Shawnee National Forest, then Lake Glendale Recreation Area is for you. Its central location makes it easy to visit main attractions on either side of the forest or any place in-between. Surrounded by tall pine trees and mixed hardwood forests, Lake Glendale Recreation Area offers a wide range of recreation opportunities including hiking, camping, swimming, boating, fishing and bicycling. The picnic area has a large picnic shelter near the lake with party grills for group gatherings. 


Recreation Area brochure/map

Lake Glendale Campgound Map

$12.00 - $44.00
National Forest
Drive In
Walk In
Boat In
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Electric Hookups
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Sanitary Dump
Trash Available
Water Hookups
Lake Glendale Recreation Area is located in Shawnee National Forest in Illinois
37.4144 N
-88.6617 W
Get Directions
From Harrisburg: Take Highway 145 south 26.5 miles. Turn left into the recreation area off of Hwy 145.  From Vienna: (intersection I-24 and Hwy 146): Take Hwy 146 east 11 miles to Hwy 145. Go north on Hwy 145 for 2.2 miles and turn right into the recreation area. From Metropolis: (intersection I-24 and Hwy 145):  Take Highway 145 north 18 miles and turn right into the recreation area.
7 Reviews of Lake Glendale Recreation Area
We LOVE this campground!

Lake Glendale is a true southern Illinois gem. They have recently improved the shower houses, the kids love the playground, and there is SO much shade! The campsites are pretty private and some of them are nice and large. There is a ton of hiking nearby, and we visited the Chocolate factory as well, which was a real treat.

Super Clean

We had a wonderful stay! Camp Host was very nice and helpful. One of the cleanest parks we’ve stayed at. Lots of hiking options. The only bad thing was we had to come home.

Our IL #1

This campground is an absolute gem and is by far our favorite in Illinois.Tucked into the tall pines of the Shawnee national forest, this park offers a handful of gorgeous sites for campers to enjoy, many that back right up to Lake Glendale. The sites are mostly private and have water hookups as well as electric. A nearby beach is available to enjoy during the summer as well as hiking trails. While this campground is certainly off the beaten path it is perfect for those that want to get away and enjoy some quiet time. No reservations though so you’ll want to get there ahead of time to ensure yourself a spot If you enjoy a very

Great camping!

We love going to Lake Glendale and go several times per year. It is quiet, the campsites are pretty (especially group), there are great hikes nearby, and a beach to swim on.

Ranger Review of Rom Outdoors Vertical Limits Ski Pants at Lake Glendale

Located in the Shawnee National Forest, this sweet little campground has it all. Wooded, semi private sites (at least for tents), full hook ups for RV’s, great campground hosts, CCC buildings, new shower house, amazing trails at Lake Glendale and other nearby areas. Even on a rainy afternoon, there were plenty of campers at Lake Glendale, which resulted in us not getting a preferred site (46) but a perfectly good site instead (49). The sites were spotless and well maintained, with some having space under the trees for tents and some having just gravel pads. Our site was close to, but not on, the lake with easy access via trails. There were a few sites with good lake views, with the majority of those in the RV loop. The trail around the lake is about 3 miles; a nice hike that really gives you a good look at the park. On the hike you pass two large shelters built by the CCC as well as the boat ramp, damn, and swimming beach. For more wild hiking, go down the road 15 minutes to Bell Smith Recreation area (which has its own campground) and hike to the natural rock bridge (and climb the steel ladder), springs, or Devils Backbone.

Rom Outdoors Vertical Limits Ski Pant

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, from time to time I get gear to test and review. On this trip I tested out Rom Outdoors Vertical Ski Pant. In the midwest we rarely get snow before Thanksgiving, and our little ski hill usually doesn’t open until close to Christmas (when they have been able to make enough snow for skiing), so I felt really challenged with this product. However, with a full day of cold rain and overnight temps in the low 30’s, I gave it a real go. A few weeks later we had a sizable snow (for early November and the St Louis area) and was able to further test these out. Here’s what I found: The pants are really waterproof! I didn’t get wet at all even after setting up and taking down a tent in the rain, hiking through tall grass in the rain, and later, hiking several miles in the snow. At first I thought the pants were a bit short and almost exchanged them for a larger size. But then I realized that they are designed with length in mind for wearing ski boots. And I could adjust them a bit by adjusting the suspenders. Overall I was very happy with the ski pants, if only we could have real snow and real ski hills.


  • Waterproofing is solid
  • Tons of storage pockets that have double closures (zippers and velcro) to protect your stuff; side pockets are deep and large
  • Cuff zippers to help with putting on/taking off ski boots and to vent
  • Zippered vents on insides of the thigh area
  • Adjustable, removable elastic suspenders
  • Fleece lining is super warm and removable if too warm
  • Adjustable waist with velcro as well as belt loops


  • Unisex sizing (women are shaped different from men!); no tall sizes for slim builds
  • Only comes in one color, black
  • No reflective areas
  • The adjustable waist is only adjustable by two inches overall
Saw it in a movie once

Lake Glendale Recreation Area, Shawnee National Forest, Il is not to far from Harrisburg, Il if you need to stock up on supplies enroute to your camping excursion.

 If you enjoy sampling at local wineries while you visit different areas there is a short tour in this area, one of the wineries is Hogg Hollow. We stopped in while we were in the area. You will see the signs on your route between Harrisburg and Lake Glendale. Nice little winery with a tick covered Lab to greet you in the parking area. There is a longer wine trail further west in Shawnee National Forest.

When I entered Lake Glendale, Cardinal Bay boat launch was the first area I visited. It’s across the lake from the beach and has its own parking area. There were people fishing near the launch and you can access the lake trail from this area. Electric motors only on the lake.

The picnic area is a large area with a nice size pavilion and single tables sitting in several different locations near the lake and trail. The walk from the picnic area to the beach is not far either by road or lake trail.

You have the option of two different camping areas in Oak Point Campground, with several double sites that are ideal for family and group camping. There are electric and non electric sites with plenty of room for the bigger rigs. If you pick a water side site it is a short walk to the lake trail and I saw several personal watercraft sitting on the shore for use. 

There is a group camping area , Duck Campground that is at the very end of the road, so it’s nice and secluded. It has its own pavilion and facilities . I’m not sure if it’s open or closed. The CCC pavilions fire place was closed up but a grill at the pavilion had been used recently. The road in had a gate closed across it but a sign that said you could walk in.

While we were at the lake it was very quiet and peaceful even with the expected noise from the beach. Dark nights with star gazing and even a little bit of that eerie scary movie vibe at the far end of the lake where it’s a little too quiet……just sayin ;) We thoroughly enjoyed floating and hiking.

First to Review
Great site

The family that takes care of the campground was very nice and accommodating, and the sites were well-maintained. The beach and swimming area was so nice for us enjoy.