Hidden Gem in Southern Illinois

I should start this review by saying the day we got home from this trip, I booked the same campsite for the end of September. So yeah, it was great. 

Living on the north side of Chicago, we were looking for campgrounds in Wisconsin for this trip but then, alas, the quarantine rules went into effect so we turned our search southward. I'm so glad we did!  Illinois doesn't have a lot of lakes but boy is this a nice one. Rented a boat for a day and got to explore the lake and it's gorgeous. Also, there are a TON of campgrounds all around the lake and you could see from the water how many are right on the lake. I'm a sucker for a waterside campsite so I know I'll be back. 

The site we had was at the end of the loop (not really a loop, just a straight road with a turnaround on a little peninsula.) 

We had the lake on 3 sides and a private little area with trails to explore. This site was a buddy site so very large and plenty of room for two families. Social distancing was not a problem. 

The bathrooms and showers were about as clean as I've experienced. Probably just got lucky but seems like every time I went in them they appeared to just have been cleaned. We went during the week and it was super peaceful in the campground and on the lake. I'd imagine in the Summer on the weekend, it will be a bit louder in the campground and more boats on the water. 

One night our grand dinner plans were spoiled by a storm so I ran to Shelbyville and grabbed some pizza at Monical's Pizza. It was a quick 15 minute drive. 

All in all, great experience and, as I said, we'll be back at the end of September.

Cozy campground on Mark Twain Lake

The rain was a pain but didn't ruin Mark Twain! Though I grew up outside of St. Louis, I'd never been to this campground or to Mark Twain Lake.  Really enjoyed exploring the area and the campground was nice.  Showers were a short walk and campsites had a decent amount of privacy.  The Loop we were on was really better suited to motor homes and we were tent camping.  We had two tents and had to set them up in kind of a odd location near the loop road. Some sites were better then others but I wouldn't come back to this exact site to pitch a tent. If you have a camper though, its great. 

You are right on the lake here, though it's a bluff so when you get to the edge, there is a steep drop off. It's very pretty and my kids are 9 and 11 so I wasn't worried but if there were much younger I'd be concerned about letting them wander toward the lake as they could slip and fall in.  Since part of the reason I take the kids camping is to be able to let them explore, I'd go to another area with younger kiddos. 

That being said, there was a trail that you could take for about 10 minutes that took you down to water level and is decent for swimming.

We took a day trip to Hannibal, which is a fun little town. Took in the Mark Twain Museum and took a riverboat cruise. On another day, we rented a pontoon boat to explore the lake, which I'd recommend as well. 

Once you get the to the campground, you are at least 30 minutes from any store, gas station, etc, to stock up.  

We were there mostly during the week and it was very quiet.  As it got closer to the weekend, it started to really fill up and get more lively. Mostly families and such so didn't mind but just a heads up. 

In the end, lovely area, really well maintained campground and would recommend.

Nice campground, close to home!

Short drive from Chicago (3 hours?) and you are in lush forest. You have to pick the right campsite or you will have no cover and big campers on either side of you. We had two campsites right next to each other and backing into the woods.  Went on a fun canoe trip right down the road, which was fun.  There is an odd (but fun!) Key West themed bar/resturant very close to the park entrance.  The hiking is great in the area near the lodge.  I'd go back to the area and maybe try a different loop as we were near the entrance which had a lot of traffic.  Well maintained park with very clean bathhouse.

Great base to explore LBL area.

Well maintained campground in heart of the Lake Between The Lakes area. I'd never been to the area and really liked it a lot.  Tons of stuff to do and all a short drive away. 

Campsite was a short walk from the water and short walk to swimming area and park.  Showers were right across the road from us and were kept up pretty well.  There was even coin operated washer and dryer just at the end of the loop, which came in handy when we got some rain into our tent that soaked a bunch of clothes.  Not a ton of privacy but not the worst I've seen.  Checked out the Elk and Bison Prairie, which was really cool. Nature station was really cool and we rented some canoes to explore around that area.  Went to the Homeplace, which is a working farm and 'living history museum,' which the kids really loved.  Rented a pontoon boat for the day at Kenlake Marina which was fun.

Great camping on the Lake!

We stayed on the H loop and I'd highly recommend that.  We were in site 27 or 29, can't remember but both on the lake. We had access to the lake from our campsite and our own little private beach!  Sites are spread out so lots of privacy.  No electric at our site but wasn't a huge deal and worth the trade off to have such a private site on the water.  Bathhouse was nice and as clean as can be expected.   The drive to the park is gorgeous.   You are pretty far from any stores or anything like that so make sure to stock up.  Rented a pontoon boat one day and there is a little boat dock near the H loop so I got the boat and was able to pick up the rest of the family at the dock and then drop them off before returning the boat.  The fireflies at night were amazing.  Will return to this campground someday.