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Illinois camping

Best Parks to Go Camping in Illinois

Illinois is a gorgeous state for all kinds of outdoor recreation, and especially camping. Whether you're in an RV, a tent, or a sleeping bag under the stars, immersing yourself in nature is a fabulous way to get away. Do the Illinois Great Lakes call to you? Or perhaps you'd rather immerse yourself in wilderness. Either way, you should get ready to pack your duffel and plan your adventure because we've rounded up some of the best Illinois camping spots and scenic parks for camping in Illinois.


Ferne Clyffe State Park 

Interested in tent camping in Illinois? It's tough to beat the lush woodland surroundings at Turkey Ridge Campground in Ferne Clyffe State Park. You're fully immersed in the ferns and forest when you pitch your tent at this walk-in campground near the gorgeous Big Rocky Hollow Trail. The campground has restrooms and drinking water near the parking area, along with amenities like camp pads and grills to make your stay more comfortable. Don't leave without hiking to see the park's amazing 100-foot waterfall, inspiring views, and intriguing rock formations. 

Shawnee National Forest 

Nestled in Shawnee National Forest located in the southern part of the state, the Garden of the Gods Recreation Area isn't just one of the best Illinois camping spots, it's also one of the state's most photographed spots. Setting up your tent and rolling out your sleeping bag here puts you just a stone's throw away from popular attractions along the Observation Trail. This 1/4-mile trail only takes about an hour to walk, but it takes you past some breathtaking viewpoints and unique rock formations that provide the perfect backdrop for at least one group photo or selfie. 

Illinois Beach State Park 

For anyone interested in hooking up their RVs in the Illinois Great Lakes region, the campground at this 4,000-acre+ state park is one of the best spots for camping in Illinois. The park stretches for more than six miles along the shores of Lake Michigan, and offers many areas perfect for hiking, fishing, and swimming. You'll have your choice of around 240 campsites, each with electric and water hookups. On-site amenities include a sanitary dump station and restrooms with showers. Best of all, you have miles of sandy shores to explore, nearby rental facilities for boating or kayaking, and plenty of native plants to discover. 

Castle Rock State Park 

If the Illinois Great Lakes aren't your ideal backdrop, maybe you'd rather leave the modern world behind when you camp at this boat- or canoe-access campground located along the banks of the Rock River. Primitive camping spots let you become one with nature, while nearby activities (including hiking sandstone bluffs, bank fishing, and checking out the views from the Rock River Overlook) will help you keep any boredom at bay.

Mississippi Palisades State Park 

This is arguably the best Illinois state park camping spot along the mighty Mississippi. The river is among the many attractions in this gorgeous park, which features plenty of plants and wildflowers, bluffs for amazing views, swimming holes, and wildlife viewing. Choose from around 240 campsites, including some with and without electric hookups. The campground also features dump stations, water stations, and restrooms with showers. 

Whether you're reserving a spot at a place on this list or you've found your own Illinois state parks camping haven, one's thing's for sure: Camping's not expensive, but it does call for a little extra cash. Fund your camping extravaganza or stock up on the gear you need with a little help from CreditBox. Learn more about how our loan process works before planning your perfect camping trip.

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