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Chicago area camping??

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
hello, for all you campers near chicago, we are looking for camping spot ideas. (car camping) we don't like indiana dunes. we don't mind driving 5-6 hours but we just have no clue where we should go. perrot state park in wisconsin is nice but we wanna go somewhere new.....any ideas ?? THANKS!!!
post #2 of 12
We've done a fair bit of camping up near the Wisconsin Dells - in/near Baraboo, to be specific. Mostly it was before-kids because my husband and I like to rock climb up at Devil's Lake - lovely area though. Lots of great camping areas, the lake is nice in the summer, lots of good trails to hike in etc.
post #3 of 12
i'm from Indiana, so I always want to go camping at Pokagon State Park near Angola, Indiana (my grandma still owns the family farm near there). We really like it. There are TONS of lakes around there and its very wooded and rural. Once you get through Chicago, its really easy to get there (just take the Indiana Toll Road) - its about 3 hours from the city, I would guess...
post #4 of 12
The southern tip of Illinois is a 5-6 hour drive from Chicago, and it's just gorgeous down there. TONS of places to camp around the Shawnee National Forest, beautiful bluffs and rock formations (especially Garden of the Gods), the Cache River State Natural area is like a southern swamp and has good canoeing, the Wine Tour area is beautiful and the wine is amazing. http://www.enjoyillinois.com/topspots/southern.aspx

There is some good camping around Lake Shelbyville, but there isn't as much to do there as there is in southern Illinois.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennisee View Post
The southern tip of Illinois is a 5-6 hour drive from Chicago, and it's just gorgeous down there. TONS of places to camp around the Shawnee National Forest, beautiful bluffs and rock formations (especially Garden of the Gods), the Cache River State Natural area is like a southern swamp and has good canoeing, the Wine Tour area is beautiful and the wine is amazing. http://www.enjoyillinois.com/topspots/southern.aspx

There is some good camping around Lake Shelbyville, but there isn't as much to do there as there is in southern Illinois.
We love camping in Shawnee. Starved Rock is only 1.5 hours from Chicago, and there is nice camping there, but the best hiking is down the road at Matthiessen State Park. There is also an amazing camping spot in SW Wisconsin called Wyalusing. It is at the convergence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers.
post #6 of 12
another vote for Devil's head!

I've heard great things about southern IL too. Thanks for the link Jennisee!
post #7 of 12
Oh yes southern Illinois is GORGEOUS! Actually, it just occurred to me that I have a couple pics from both Devil's Lake and Shawnee on my very outdated web page.

Devil's lake (it was a rainy foggy day)
http://tigger.uic.edu/~klreed/newpics/d_devilslake.jpg

Shawnee/Southern Ill.
http://tigger.uic.edu/~klreed/newpics/k_cliffedge.jpg
http://tigger.uic.edu/~klreed/newpics/d_walking.jpg
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kltroy View Post
Oh yes southern Illinois is GORGEOUS! Actually, it just occurred to me that I have a couple pics from both Devil's Lake and Shawnee on my very outdated web page.

Devil's lake (it was a rainy foggy day)
http://tigger.uic.edu/~klreed/newpics/d_devilslake.jpg

Shawnee/Southern Ill.
http://tigger.uic.edu/~klreed/newpics/k_cliffedge.jpg
http://tigger.uic.edu/~klreed/newpics/d_walking.jpg
WOW! that is pretty. THANKS! we will definitely be going there some time! can't wait!
post #9 of 12
Kohler-Andrae State Park is lovely! Right on the lake, too...

http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/parks/specific/ka/
post #10 of 12
Devil's Lake is great - we have camped there a few times.

In the fall we go near South Bend, Indiana to Potato Creek State Park. Nice State Park, bike trails, canoe rentals. We go apple picking.

Last August we went to Sleeping Bear Dune National Lakeshore in Michigan. It was awesome and we are going back this August. I guess it is about a 5 hour drive.

In Southern IL, Giant City has great hiking. There is alot of good camping near Carbondale.

In Indiana we also like Turkey Run State Park. It is alot like Starved Rock, but bigger. Great hiking. Close to home, my parents used to always take us camping at Chain O Lakes State park (the Lake Co/McHenry Co border). When we go that way, we go to Kettle Moraine State Park in Wisconsin. ALso close to home is Apple River State Park (NW toward Rockford).

Have fun checking places out, but reserve camp sites early. You may find that sites are already reserved for most summer weekends. The sites that we have in Michigan for August are already all taken. Here is the IL State Park website:

http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/Landmgt...ping/index.htm
post #11 of 12
We go to Mirror Lake St Park a lot, it's just outside Baraboo, WI and the Wisconsin Dells. It's a beautiful, quiet campground. There is one small loop that has really private spots, meaning you can't really see your neighbors. We also really enjoy Devil's Lake. Our favorite place to go is way up North into Door County. Peninsula State Park is an awesome place to camp, but it fells up quick so we make our reservations several months in advance. We spend about a week camping there. Honestly we like going into Wisconsin because we can reserve spots and know we have a place. It's about a 5 hour drive.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
just got back from devil's lake state park, it was fabulous! we had such a nice time. thanks everyone!
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