Definitely a great place to camp in order to get the full outdoor GC experience. The sites are very nice, spacious with fire pits and picnic tables. The campground seemed clean and quiet. Restrooms in a good shape. The nights can get very cold (we camped there in early April and temps went down to 20's), since it's so high up (south rim elevation is about 7,000 feet above the sea level). So do some research before you decide to go camping in Grand Canyon. Tons of elk grazing in the mornings. Super serene place. Just like the rest of GC. We only stayed one night, so I didn't use showers, but I hear there is only cold water… Walking distance to the south rim of GC, makes it for easy sunrise or sunset photo opportunities. Grand Canyon Village has a decent grocery store and few fast food options. Don't speed through town…
For someone that lives in Chicago, this park presents a decent option for a a weekend getaway and an ok hike. You can extend hiking by checking out Matthiessen State Park, right next door. The campground is always super busy and booked. You literally have to reserve 11 months in advance. Starved Rock has about 13 miles of hiking trails, i believe. Check before you go, as the trails are easily flooded and some of them may be closed. I went late in August last year, and there was very little water, the waterfalls were mostly dried out, and people were hiking in the river beds. Dog friendly (leashed). Campground has decent sites, some in the woods, more private, some more open. The only drawback is that it's so hard to get a reservation.
Great state park for a family camping vacation, tons of stuff to do. Lakes, trails, kayaking, boating, paddle boarding, fishing. Hidden gem of Wisconsin. The campsites are pretty private, nestled in trees. Some shaded, some have sun and shade. They even have horse sites, so you can bring your horse, and stroll through the park horseback riding. Vault toilets, and regular toilets with ok showers. Water faucets scattered around for easy water access. Twin Valley has tent sites and RV/electric sites.
I randomly picked this campground, after trying to book Devil's Lake with no luck. WE LOVED IT! Sites are very private, some in the woods, and some have sun/shade. Few double sites to fit a family, or two. I believe all sites have no electricity, water faucets are scattered around for easy water access. Vault toilets and regular bathrooms with decent showers. Campground is walking distance to the Cox Hallow Lake (no wake), where you can rent a kayak, canoe, row boat, or float on tubes all day long. There is also a dog beach, where we hang out majority of the time. Tons of trees with shade for the four legged family members. State Park offers tons of great trails, and decent views. Some trails are even more than 5 miles long, perfect for a morning stroll. We will be going back next year for a family vacation.
What a wonderful and peaceful place to spend few days in Mt. Hood Wilderness. It gets pretty busy, so make sure to make a reservation before you go. We only spent one night at the campground, and it was rather random, plan was to stay in a hotel in town, but once we got down to the Trillium Lake, we decided to get a spot and rough it in our rental car :) The views of Mt. Hood are just beyond amazing. The calm water of Trillium Lake is perfect for paddle boarding and kayaking. Lot's of people fished. Nice, quick trail takes you around the lake and brings you back to the campground. Calm and quiet, people seem to respect each other, and not make too much noise. Campsites are pretty nice, scattered among old pine trees, some more private than others. Several water faucets and vault toilets. I would definitely like to go back and spend more time in that serine location.
Rustic camping, with tons of wildlife in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Well cared for, nice staff. Beautiful hiking trails, convenient store with bike rentals and wildlife watching. Remember to keep your food well locked, this is black bear territory, and since many people can't follow simple directions, and do feed the wildlife, the black bears in the smokies are not afraid of people, and associate them with food. There is some nose pollution from the generators. No electricity, no showers, no cell service, perfect for a weekend getaway into the wild.
If you are looking for a rustic, quiet and isolated camping in Blue Ridge country, with a beautiful lake in the background, no need to look further. We spent a night there back in 2011, and we definitely had a wonderful experience. The sites (I believe there are about a 100 campsites) are scattered around, some close to the lake, and some higher in the woods, some larger, and some smaller. We camp in a tent (do not remember the site number), so we had no problem setting it up on a pad. Tents are only allowed on the pads only. Some of the sites had lower hanging tree branches, so it might be a problem for RV's. No showers, no hot water, ok restrooms (for primitive camping), but bring your own toilet paper and soap. I believe there was no light in the restrooms, so take your headlight with. Canoe and paddle boat rentals for an afternoon on the lake. And a beautiful hike to the Grandfather Mountain, with amazing vistas of the Appalachians. Plus many more trails. Friendly staff. This is just a step up from camping in a backcountry.
Small, remote campground, located on a nice size inland lake in Hiawatha National Forest. Close to Au Train, Munising and Pictured Rock National Lakeshore. Great "primitive" campsites with lot's of room, and shade. For those who want showers this is not the place. This campground has vault toilets, and water pump at the entrance. Otherwise almost rustic experience. There is a boat launch. Not sure about rentals, but you can definitely bring your own boat or a kayak, to experience the lake. Few nearby hiking and biking trails. Drive up to Pictured Rock Lakeshore for some amazing trails and Lake Superior beaches. Hiawatha National Forest offers tons of trials and lakes, spend the day wondering through the woods and discovering hidden lakes. I consider Upper Peninsula in Michigan the hidden gem of the Midwest. You have to go and experience it at least once in your lifetime, especially if you live within 500 mile radius…
We love this campground. Actually, all the loops in Peninsula State Park are pretty nice. Campsites are not too big, and maybe bit too close to each other, but I didn't get a feeling of being cramped. Watch out for poison ivy, it's everywhere. Same with mosquitoes. But that's the beauty of outdoors, right? So be very careful, especially when you camp with your four legged friends. The park offers so much, a beautiful beach (no dogs on the beach), tons of wonderful hiking trails (some with a decent - for Midwest - elevation change), with stunning views. Catching a sunset is a must! Bike and canoe rentals. Close to towns. Restrooms are decent, some showers have warm water. The only drawback is the long drive through the park to get in and out. And the poison ivy. Otherwise beautiful location, with tons of stuff to do!
The only negative about this super popular campground is that books way too quickly. You can make reservation 12 months ahead of time, and it's still super hard to get in. Close proximity to major cities (Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago) makes this a popular destination. Campsites are pretty private, nestled in woods. Tons of beautiful trails makes it a great hiking destination. Fun place to spend the weekend at, if you are lucky enough to get a reservation.
We spend a weekend at Potato Creek State Park. It's about 2.5 hr drive from Chicago, so we decided to give it a try. Campsites are nice, but you literally can see and hear everything your neighbor is doing. Restrooms are clean. Well maintained. Tons of biking and hiking trails. No swimming in the lake, old boats for rent, if you are lucky, and come in the morning, you will get a 15 mph motor, otherwise paddles. I assume you can bring your own kayak or canoe. Lake has a sandy beach, but warnings about no swimming. One of those overcrowded places. Lot's of wetlands to see wildlife, mainly birds. and mosquitoes. Probably will not be going there again. Little boring. We enjoyed it more on a Sunday evening, when everyone left, and we had the whole campground to ourselves. It was nice not hear people, but the sounds of nature.
We've been camping at Coon Creek, on a beautiful Lake Shelbyville, for a few years now, the place is perfect for family vacations. And that's exactly what we do. Gather 10-12 of us, reserve a buddy site, so we can all be on one campsite (big enough to fit 5 tents and an RV). If you have a small group and want to get a small site, there are plenty of those. Some even with lake views. The campground is really big, with tons of different sites. Some are closer to each other, but still very private. Nestled in trees. Equipped in fire pits, and lantern posts. Gravel surfaces, with grass around. The site we always get, is situated along the camp road, but once we are set up, it becomes very private. there is no one in a close proximity, just the road traffic. Which is not bad at all. Good overflow parking, perfectly hidden in the trees. Showers and toilets are in great condition, and usually very clean. Well maintained campground. Illinois is pretty boring, and I know this web site is for more remote camping, but all facts considered, if you're looking for a camping getaway, in Chicago area, only about 4 hours drive (south on I-57) - this is a perfect place for you. Lithia Springs Marina offers boat rentals, we usually get a 12 person pontoon boat for few days, to cruise the 26 mile long lake, or chill in one of many, many beautiful coves. Coon Creek is not too far from town of Shelbyville, where you can stock up on camping food, and beverages. Also few quick-bite restaurants in town. There might be some hiking and biking trails, visit the website for more information. You can book on reserveamerica.com.