Illinois is home to a diverse selection of year-round campgrounds that offer outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature and experience camping adventures throughout the year. From state parks and national forests to privately-owned campgrounds, there are options to suit every camper’s needs.
With well-maintained campsites, amenities like showers and picnic areas, and a variety of activities such as hiking, fishing, and wildlife watching, these campgrounds provide a perfect escape for people seeking outdoor adventures in the scenic landscapes of Illinois. Keep reading to see our top selections!
Year Round Campgrounds in Illinois
1. Starved Rock State Park (Oglesby)
Starved Rock State Park, located in Oglesby, Illinois, is a beloved year-round campground that offers an array of features and attractions that captivate campers and outdoor enthusiasts. Its stunning natural beauty, characterized by towering sandstone canyons, cascading waterfalls, and lush foliage, creates a picturesque setting for camping. The park provides well-maintained campsites equipped with amenities such as showers and restrooms, ensuring a comfortable stay.
Campers can indulge in a variety of activities, including hiking along the park’s numerous trails that lead to breathtaking overlooks, fishing in the Illinois River, and exploring the abundant wildlife. The park’s unique geological formations and the serenity of the surrounding nature make it a popular destination, attracting visitors year-round who seek adventure, relaxation, and an immersive outdoor experience in the heart of Illinois.
2. Shawnee National Forest (Various Locations)
One of the reasons people love Shawnee National Forest is its accessibility, as it features multiple campgrounds throughout the forest that cater to various preferences and needs.
Campers can choose from primitive tent sites, RV-friendly sites with hookups, or even cabins for a more comfortable stay. The forest’s diverse landscapes, including rolling hills, rugged bluffs, and serene lakes, provide a picturesque backdrop for camping and a plethora of recreational activities.
Visitors can hike along the extensive trail system, explore unique rock formations such as Garden of the Gods, enjoy fishing and boating in scenic lakes, and immerse themselves in the vibrant flora and fauna.
Whether seeking solitude in nature or engaging in thrilling outdoor adventures, Shawnee National Forest offers a year-round camping experience that appeals to all types of outdoor enthusiasts.
3. Illinois Beach State Park (Zion)
Situated along the shores of Lake Michigan, the park offers easy access to sandy beaches, providing campers with the perfect opportunity for swimming, sunbathing, and beachside picnics. What makes Illinois Beach State Park truly unique is its scenic beauty, with stunning views of the expansive lake and towering sand dunes.
The park also boasts diverse ecosystems, including marshes and forests, which are home to a variety of wildlife species. Campers can explore the park’s extensive trail system, go fishing in the lake, and enjoy birdwatching in the serene natural surroundings.
The accessibility of the park, its picturesque lakefront location, and its diverse ecosystems make Illinois Beach State Park a popular year-round camping destination for nature lovers and beach enthusiasts alike.
4. Kankakee River State Park (Bourbonnais)
Nestled along the picturesque Kankakee River, the park provides a tranquil setting for camping and outdoor activities. Campers can explore the park’s extensive trail system, which winds through diverse habitats including forests, prairies, and wetlands.
Fishing enthusiasts can try their luck in the river, known for its abundant smallmouth bass and catfish. Wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate the park’s rich biodiversity, with opportunities to spot birds, deer, and other native species.
With its peaceful ambiance, scenic river views, and a range of recreational activities, Kankakee River State Park is a popular choice for year-round camping in Illinois.
5. Pere Marquette State Park (Grafton)
The park offers various types of campsites, including tent camping, RV sites with hookups, and even cozy cabins for those seeking a more comfortable stay. Campers can take advantage of modern amenities such as showers, restrooms, and picnic areas.
What sets Pere Marquette State Park apart is its breathtaking scenery, characterized by rolling hills, lush forests, and the majestic Illinois River. Visitors are drawn to the park’s extensive trail system, which allows for hiking, horseback riding, and wildlife spotting.
Additionally, Pere Marquette State Park offers activities like fishing, boating, and birdwatching, making it a beloved destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a tranquil retreat amidst picturesque landscapes and abundant recreational opportunities.
6. Moraine Hills State Park (McHenry)
Moraine Hills State Park, located in McHenry, Illinois, is a year-round campground that offers both accessibility and a wide range of recreational activities for outdoor enthusiasts.
Situated near the Chain O’Lakes region, the park is easily accessible to residents and visitors alike. It boasts a diverse landscape of rolling hills, lakes, and wetlands, providing a picturesque setting for camping.
Campers can explore the park’s extensive trail system, which offers opportunities for hiking, biking, and nature walks. The park’s lakes are ideal for fishing, boating, and kayaking, with boat launches available for easy access to the water.
Wildlife observation and birdwatching are also popular activities in Moraine Hills State Park, as the area is home to a variety of species.
7. Mississippi Palisades State Park (Savanna)
Situated atop bluffs overlooking the mighty Mississippi River, the park offers stunning vistas that attract nature lovers and photography enthusiasts alike. Campers can choose from a variety of campsites, including both primitive options and sites with electrical hookups.
The park features an extensive trail system that winds through woodlands and along the river, providing opportunities for hiking, biking, and wildlife observation.
Rock climbing enthusiasts will also find delight in the park’s challenging limestone cliffs. Fishing, boating, and picnicking by the river are popular activities enjoyed by visitors.
With its scenic beauty, unique geological formations, and a range of outdoor activities, Mississippi Palisades State Park offers a memorable year-round camping experience in Illinois.
8. Giant City State Park (Makanda)
Giant City State Park, located in Makanda, Illinois, is a beloved year-round campground that captivates visitors with its natural beauty and unique features. One of the main reasons people love Giant City State Park is its stunning rock formations, including the iconic Giant City Walls. These towering sandstone bluffs create a picturesque and awe-inspiring backdrop for camping and exploration.
The park offers a variety of campsites, including both primitive tent sites and RV-friendly sites with electrical hook-ups. Campers can enjoy hiking through the park’s scenic trails, go horseback riding, or embark on a rock-climbing adventure. The park is also known for its beautiful forests, making it an ideal destination for nature walks, bird watching, and wildlife spotting.
Illinois is home to a variety of year-round campgrounds that offer outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to immerse themselves in nature and experience the beauty of the state throughout the year.
Whether it’s hiking, fishing, wildlife watching, or simply enjoying the tranquility of the outdoors, these year round campgrounds in Illinois offer something for everyone.
With their accessibility, natural beauty, and diverse landscapes, these campgrounds provide a haven for camping enthusiasts and create unforgettable experiences for those seeking adventure and relaxation amidst the splendor of the Illinois wilderness.