Backpacking/Camping in Chicago, IL
About Chicago Backpacking/Camping
While the Chicago area is blessed with many great forest preserves, most do not allow camping. You’ll have to drive a bit to find places to camp, but escape is kind of the point, isn’t it?
The Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville is part of a wide swath of green space that surrounds Butterfield Road in Warrenville and Winfield. Blackwell is the only place among the group that offers camping, with 64 wooded and semi-wooded sites that are available by reservation on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Kankakee River State Park has become a destination for paddlers to explore the Kankakee River, considered to be one of the cleanest in the state and an easy, shallow river for beginning paddlers. But it’s also a fine camping destination, particularly for car campers looking for a quick getaway from Chicago with lots of family-style activities to do along the river.
Starved Rock State Park is the go-to place for outdoor adventure in central and northern Illinois, attracting more than 2 million visitors a year. There are 129 premium campsites in the park, with reservations accepted and highly recommended.
This popular state park near Rockford offers more than 200 camping sites with plenty of amenities and access to the 3,092-acre preserve
This forest preserve offers a scenic campground for a short escape in DuPage County.
One of the most popular destinations in the state, Starved Rock State Park offers spectacular hiking trails and geography that's unlike just about anything else in Illinois
This state park southwest of the city is an easy destination trip that's perfect for family camping
This vast national forest in the southern-most part of Illinois offers a landscape unlike anything else in the state
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