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With the Mississippi River as a western border, Illinois can be experienced as a gateway to the Great Plains, featuring rolling farmland, prairies, wetlands, and some unexpected forests and geological features. Between its natural beauty, strings of small cities and charming towns, a host of roadside attractions, and long straight roads, Illinois is an inviting state for RVers.
Illinois state parks are a convenient and affordable way to explore the state, with no entrance fee, flat rates, and more than 50 parks with RV campsites. The parks protect some of the most scenic areas for camping and recreation, as well as fascinating historical sites. Hiking, mountain and road biking, fishing, and boating are all popular activities in the state parks. There are even opportunities for rock climbing and cave exploration. Be aware that Illinois state parks have strict restrictions on alcoholic beverages, and they’re not known for meticulous maintenance.
To make a reservation, visit reserveamerica.com. Reservations can be made only online, not over the phone. Note that Illinois does not have its own reservation website. Instead, search for a specific park, or filter and search for Illinois state parks, on the Reserve America website.
Most campgrounds are available to reserve May through September, from 6 months up to 3 days in advance. Many campsites are also available on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact the specific park for details. A minimum of 2 nights is required on regular weekends, 3 nights over holiday weekends.
Sizes vary by the campground. Search by RV length, or view maximum length per campsite in the reservation system.
ADA-accessible campsites are searchable and bookable online. A disability placard or license plate must be provided at check-in.
Partial and full hookups are available and vary by campground. Almost all campsites have electricity, with water and sewer hookups less prevalent. Sites with hookups are searchable in the reservation system.
WiFi is generally not offered at Illinois state parks. If connectivity is a priority, contact the park for more information about WiFi coverage and cell service.
The maximum stay is 14 nights within a 30-day period.
Many campsites are developed, with parking pads, picnic tables, and fire rings or grills. The reservation system displays details per site, including the type of pad (cement or gravel), back-in or pull-through access, and shade cover.
Campgrounds have a range of facilities, from pit toilets to restrooms with showers, dump stations, visitor centers, stores and concessions, and outdoor activity guides and rentals. Details can be found on the reservation website under the park’s “Activities and Amenities” section.
Prices range from $10 for a campsite with no hookups, to $35 for a site with full hookups in a premier location. Holiday premium rates may apply.
Illinois state parks have a letter categorization for campsite types and pricing, for example Class AA, A, A-P, B/S, or B/S-P. Amenities are detailed in the reservation system, and prices are displayed per site and date.
Peak season runs from May 1 through September 30. If water is turned off due to cold weather, discounts for unusable services are applied.
- Nonrefundable reservation fee: $5
- Cancellations within 72 hours of arrival forfeit the first night’s fee.
Pets are allowed as long as they’re kept on a leash no longer than 10 feet. Of course, campers should always pick up after their pet.
- Maximum occupancy per site: 4 adults or immediate family members (such as parents with minor children) and 1 or 2 vehicles.
- Check-in time: 3 p.m. or earlier if available. Check-out time: 3 p.m.
- Quiet hours: 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
- Alcoholic beverages: Prohibited at several sites, including campgrounds. Some bans are in effect on a seasonal basis. Check the park website for specific rules.
- Generator use: Check with the specific campground if generator use is restricted in addition to quiet hours.
- Campfires: Allowed in designated rings or pits, following local advisories.
- Drone use: Regulations vary; check with the specific park.
Starved Rock State Park
PO Box 509, Utica, IL 61373
Starved Rock is one of the top attractions in the state and a favorite place to camp. Out-of-state visitors will understand the appeal when they experience the park’s 18 stunning canyons. Glacial meltwater sliced through sandstone to create dramatic, tree-topped stone walls. More than 13 miles of trails explore the lush vegetation, waterfalls, and natural springs. The campground is located a short drive from the main park area, which has a lodge, visitor center, and access to hiking trails. It’s a peaceful spot, and a convenient way to get into the park early and avoid the day-tripping crowds. All 129 campsites include a cement pad, picnic table, grill, and electric hookups. Note that the number of sites for RVs over 30 feet is limited.
Rock Cut State Park
7318 Harlem Road, Loves Park, IL 61111
Rock Cut State Park’s more than 3,000 acres feature two large lakes, miles of hiking and horseback riding trails, and an abundance of wildlife. Bring your own equipment or rent a bike, kayak, or paddleboard from the lakeside concessions. More than 200 campsites with electric hookups are available with centralized potable water, dump stations, and restrooms. Rigs of all sizes can easily maneuver through the park, although site lengths vary and there are limited options for rigs over 40 feet. Less than 2 hours from Chicago, located near Rockford and just off the I-90, Rock Cut State Park is a great way to experience the natural beauty of northern Illinois.
Kickapoo State Recreation Area
10906 Kickapoo Park Road, Oakwood, IL 61858
Trail running, hiking, biking, canoeing, trout fishing, and even scuba diving are just a few of the outdoor activities that make Kickapoo a destination for adventure seekers of all ages. A former surface mining operation has been transformed into this state recreation area, with forest, wetlands, rivers, and 22 deep-bottom lakes. The campgrounds have over 90 sites that can accommodate RVs, although site sizes vary. About half have electric hookups, and in general sites are spread out, shaded, and level.
Illinois State Park Campgrounds That Accommodate RV Camping
- Argyle Lake State Park
- Beaver Dam State Park
- Cave-In-Rock State Park
- Chain O’ Lakes State Park
- Clinton Lake State Recreation Area
- Delabar State Park
- Dixon Springs State Park
- Eagle Creek State Park
- Eldon Hazlet State Park
- Ferne Clyffe State Park
- Fort Massac State Park
- Fox Ridge State Park
- Giant City State Park
- Hamilton County State Fish and Wildlife Area
- Horseshoe Lake-Alexander State Fish and Wildlife Area
- Illini State Park
- Illinois Beach State Park
- Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area
- Johnson Sauk Trail State Park
- Jubilee College State Park
- Kankakee River State Park
- Kickapoo State Recreation Area
- Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Recreation Area
- Lake Murphysboro State Park
- Lincoln Trail State Park
- Lowden State Park
- Marshall State Fish and Wildlife Area
- Mississippi Palisades State Park
- Moraine View State Recreation Area
- Morrison-Rockwood State Park
- Nauvoo State Park
- Pere Marquette State Park
- Prophetstown State Park
- Ramsey Lake State Park
- Randolph County State Recreation Area
- Red Hills State Park
- Rice Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area
- Rock Cut State Park
- Sam Dale Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area
- Sam Parr State Park
- Sangchris Lake State Park
- Shabbona Lake State Park
- Siloam Springs State Park
- Starved Rock State Park
- Stephen A. Forbes State Recreation Area
- Walnut Point State Park
- Washington County State Recreation Area
- Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park
- Weinberg-King State Park
- Weldon Springs State Park
- White Pines Forest State Park
- Wolf Creek State Park
Visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for more information on Illinois state park campgrounds.