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Find the Best Tent Camping Sites in Illinois

If you’re looking to go on a camping trip, you’ll want to take a look at tent camping. It’s the perfect way to experience the great outdoors and all it has to offer, and your tent will allow you to be completely self-sufficient. (We’re talking about sleeping and cooking, of course.) While it may seem like tent camping is a fun pastime, it has many benefits.

The first thing that strikes you about tent camping is the fresh air. Setting up a tent in the woods, with trees and streams as your neighbors, and the sounds of nature around you will make you feel like an explorer. It’s a great way to see America’s great outdoors and see something different.

Another benefit of tent camping is that you will never have to worry about expensive camping fees. You will be able to spend more time enjoying your campsite rather than packing up and moving. You will be close to natural beauty and wildlife. And you will be able to share the experience with your family and friends.

Where should you spend your tent camping trip?

Tent camping is a great way to camp, but not everyone has the luxury of being able to camp for free for months at a time. That’s where tent camping in Illinois comes in. Illinois has some of the best camping opportunities around, and if you’re willing to drive to some of the great spots around the state, you can have lots of fun in the great outdoors.

Tent camping in Illinois is a great way to enjoy a vacation in a scenic, natural setting. Not only is tent camping a cheap and environmentally friendly way to see a beautiful location, but it is also a great way to meet new people, let loose, and relax. As the saying goes, Chicago is the city that never sleeps—but there’s nothing like sleeping under the stars in a tent to make you feel like you’re camping in the wild.

The Top Places to Camp in Illinois

  1. 1

    Campground

    Kayak Morris Campground

    What People Are Saying

    We stayed over the weekend on site 58 the beaver point primitive site.

    Overall Rating: 
    4.3/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    184

    Location

    Morris, IL

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.355566, -88.416066
  2. 2

    Campground

    Timberline Campground

    What People Are Saying

    "Had the tent camping area all to our selves."

    Overall Rating: 
    4/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    372

    Location

    Goodfield, IL

    Latitude / Longitude

    40.6388765, -89.2557208
  3. 3

    Campground

    Shabbona Lake State Park Campground

    What People Are Saying

    "Best camping site near DeKalb."

    Overall Rating: 
    4.6/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    1061

    Location

    Shabbona, IL

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.7566422, -88.8698968
  4. 4

    Campground

    Rock Island State Trail Kickapoo Creek Recreation Area - Campground

    What People Are Saying

    "Good coffee d Nice staff"

    Overall Rating: 
    4.3/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    22

    Location

    Dunlap, IL

    Latitude / Longitude

    40.8370422, -89.6579584
  5. 5

    Campground

    Spindler Marina

    What People Are Saying

    "Tent and rv camping with cabins."

    Overall Rating: 
    4.3/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    142

    Location

    East Peoria, IL

    Latitude / Longitude

    40.7092488, -89.537099
  6. 6

    Campground

    Starved Rock State Park Campground

    What People Are Saying

    "Had a great time visiting with family who was tent camping!"

    Overall Rating: 
    4.3/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    555

    Location

    Utica Township, IL

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.3051756, -88.9760893
  7. 7

    Campground

    Hickory Hill CampGround

    What People Are Saying

    "Great for non tent camping."

    Overall Rating: 
    4.5/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    191

    Location

    Secor, IL

    Latitude / Longitude

    40.731666, -89.110774
  8. 8

    Campground

    Fondulac Park Carl Spindler Campground

    What People Are Saying

    "The best campground we've been to!"

    Overall Rating: 
    4.1/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    29

    Location

    East Peoria, IL

    Latitude / Longitude

    40.7098469, -89.5365044
  9. 9

    Campground

    Camp Bullfrog Lake

    What People Are Saying

    "Tent camping was a nightmare."

    Overall Rating: 
    4.5/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    813

    Location

    Willow Springs, IL

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.709525, -87.903339
  10. 10

    Campground

    Blackwell Family Campground

    What People Are Saying

    "Nice, quiet campsite, for both test and RV."

    Overall Rating: 
    4.7/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    73

    Location

    West Chicago, IL · In Blackwell Forest Preserve

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.8379259, -88.1732097
  11. 11

    Campground

    Kentuckiana Kampground

    What People Are Saying

    "Have been camping at this campground for a long time."

    Overall Rating: 
    4.5/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    129

    Location

    Mackinaw, IL

    Latitude / Longitude

    40.4614664, -89.4008966
  12. 12

    Campground

    Camp Sullivan

    What People Are Saying

    "Tent campsites can be small."

    Overall Rating: 
    4.3/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    202

    Location

    Oak Forest, IL · In Forest Preserves of Cook County

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.6249132, -87.7856619
  13. 13

    Campground

    Paul Wolff Campground

    What People Are Saying

    "-View of prairie from tree shaded primitive campsite."

    Overall Rating: 
    4.7/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    179

    Location

    Elgin, IL · In Burnidge Forest Preserve/ Paul Wolff

    Latitude / Longitude

    42.069751, -88.3598958
  14. 14

    State park

    Illinois Beach State Park

    What People Are Saying

    "... downside is the campgrounds are not very good for tent camping."

    Overall Rating: 
    4.5/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    3293

    Location

    Zion, IL

    Latitude / Longitude

    42.4236633, -87.8053024
  15. 15

    Campground

    Evening Star Camping Resort

    What People Are Saying

    "Cool people and good camping"

    Overall Rating: 
    4.2/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    175

    Location

    Topeka, IL

    Latitude / Longitude

    40.2959192, -89.9207645

Things to Know About Tent Camping in Illinois

Camping is a popular pastime for a lot of people, but it can be a little pricey. Luckily, there are some places you can go camping for free, including Illinois.

Illinois is a great state for camping. It has some great campgrounds that are family-friendly and also some that are not, but all of them are well maintained, clean, and provide excellent services. Most of the state parks allow tent camping, but some of them do not allow it.

Is tent camping allowed in the state of Illinois?

It is said that the north woods of Illinois is the place for tent camping, but is it really the best place to go tent camping? Well, about 35 state parks allow camping within Northern Illinois. Each state park allows tent camping.

In Illinois, there are a few great spots for tent camping. One place is the long-term parking at the Union Station in Chicago, which is open from 11 pm to 5 am and is a perfect place to enjoy a few warm summer nights, a quiet summer day, or a nice, quiet afternoon. If you’re a Chicago resident, then the Jackson Park Zoo is the place to camp. The zoo provides a free campsite. Also, there are a few campsites in the woods of Chicago, such as Pine Knob and Humboldt Park (more on this later).

Boondocking sites such as Sand Ridge State Forest, Dutchman Lake, and Turkey Bayou Campground are some places where you can camp for free. Some of the state parks are the best space for RV motorhomes or 5th-there wheel travel trailers. This means that you can tent camp in any Illinois state park that you are allowed to camp in. out of the state parks, only 8 offer camping without a reservation. The rest of them are first-come, first-serve.

Camping in Illinois is an experience unlike any other. Illinois boasts dozens of road-accessible state parks, including some that are open year-round. With four seasons in one park, the possibilities are endless.

Important Camping Gear for Illinois

Illinois is a state of great natural beauty with no shortage of beautiful natural habitats. Camping requires a certain amount of preparation and planning, and you must make sure you have everything you need to make the experience enjoyable. One of the biggest factors in making your camping trip go smoothly is ensuring you have the right equipment to assist in the process. Camping is a popular pastime in Illinois, and there are plenty of camping spots to be found around the state. Illinois also boasts a wide variety of traditional and modern camping gear.

There are a lot of things that can make a tenting trip better, from getting a great spot, to having a friend or two, to having a good time—but there’s something that’s truly fundamental to a good trip: a good tent. There are a few different styles of tents on the market, and different manufacturers make different styles as well as different materials. But the one thing all tents have in common is that they can protect you from harsh weather and give you a dry, comfortable place to sleep.

Also, there are several things you must have for a successful camping trip, including a sleeping bag, a portable stove, torch, camp bed, portable charger, cables, and even spare batteries. You also want to bring along a tent repair kit that includes cable ties, a sewing kit, gaffer tape, paracord, and others.

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Planning Your Camping Trip

Best Time of Year to Tent Camp in Illinois

Being a tent camper is a great way to travel around the great state of Illinois. It allows you to spend more time with your family, friends, and loved ones. However, before you pack up and head out, there are some things that you should know that can make the experience very enjoyable, stress-free, and safe.

Camping can be great at any time of year, but there are some seasons that are better than others. The summer is blisteringly hot, which means you’ll be uncomfortable in your tent at night, and you’ll most likely be miserable if it rains. Winter is also cold, but it’s also the least crowded time of year for campers, so you might get away with staying outdoors in bad weather.

When is the best time to go tent camping in Illinois?

Summer is a great time for camping in Illinois, but it can be a nightmare when you’re trying to sleep in a tent. The longest day of the year, the heat and humidity make sleeping in a tent a challenge. But you can use the long summer nights for fun and make friends—if you know what’s happening when the sun goes down. The truth is, the best time to tent camp in Illinois is in the fall and early winter when the weather is cooler and the nights are cool and comfortable.

Average Temperatures By Month in Illinois

Month Avg Low °F Avg High °F
January 17.3°F 33.2°F
February 20.8°F 37.8°F
March 30.4°F 49.2°F
April 40.8°F 61.8°F
May 50.9°F 72°F
June 60.5°F 81.2°F
July 65.1°F 84.8°F
August 63.5°F 83.3°F
September 54.8°F 76.5°F
October 43.3°F 64.3°F
November 33.1°F 50.4°F
December 21.4°F 36.6°F

Learn More Camping Tips for Beginners

How to Camp In a Hammock
How to Find Firewood When Camping
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