Fall is weeks away, and there’s no better time to go camping than autumn. If you live in the Chicago area, you’re just a short drive to some incredible camping destinations. From sandy shorelines to rocky terrains, here are some beautiful places to check out if you want to go camping near Chicago.
Rock Cut State Park (situated near the aptly named Rockford, Illinois) boasts two lakes and over 250 campsites. You can spend your trip boating or fishing on the lakes and exploring the surrounding hiking trails.
Located about two hours from the city, Starved Rock’s campground isn’t technically inside the famed park, but it’s worth the trip. Plan for a day of exploring the park’s famed rock formations and canyons before heading to your tent for a night spent under the stars.
Beach camping more your style? Check out Illinois Beach State Park, which offers the 6.5 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. The spot also has marshes and hiking trails for you to explore on your trip. In the dunes area, you can discover more than 650 plant species.
If you can’t decide between beach camping or a wooded camping experience, Indian Dunes State Park park offers the best of both worlds: A forest escape and towering, picturesque sand dunes. The campgrounds are less than a mile from the beach. Warning, this campground fills up quickly, so plan ahead to secure a spot!
Want more outdoor recreation recommendations in the Chicago area? Check out some of our previous posts below: