Easy to get to camping sites just outside of Chicago.
It may be the end of summer, but there’s still time to get in some last-minute fun in the sun and under the stars! And what better way to celebrate Labor Day than with a fun-filled weekend at one of Chicago’s best-camping sites.
I love that you don’t have to go far to be immersed in nature, slow the pace of life down and get back to what really matters.
I’ve been to several over the years, but I have to say my favorites are:
Bullfrog Lake, Palos (45 min)
Great for a quick overnight Camp Bullfrog Lake offers year-round camping, group activities, and water-based recreation such as kayak rentals and fishing. Camp steps from the water in the heart of the vast, hilly Palos Preserves and fill your days with hiking, mountain biking, and birdwatching adventures.
Illinois State Beach Park – Zion (approx 1 hr)
Illinois Beach State Park – stretching 6.5 miles along the sandy shore of Lake Michigan in northern Illinois – offers a full range of recreation opportunities at one of the most unique and beautiful natural settings in America.
Illinois Beach is the only remaining beach ridge shoreline left in the state, with dunes and swales, sprawling marshes, forests of oak, and vast arrays of animal life and vegetation.
Rock Cut State Park – near Rockford (90 min)
Chiseled out of the state’s far northern region is Rock Cut State Park in Winnebago County. Nearby are other “rocky” landmarks – the mighty Rock River and the place where wagons once forded it, Rockford. It’s an area of rolling plains, interesting history, and a wide variety of recreational opportunities.
Rock Cut’s 3,092 acres include two lakes: Pierce Lake, with 162 acres, and Olson Lake with 50 acres offer a retreat for people wanting to fish, ice fish, or ice skate. The park’s hiking trails, horseback riding trails, and cross-country skiing, and wildlife watching, as well as seasonal hunting programs, make it a year-round recreation destination.
White Pines State Park – Mt Morris/Oregon (about 2 hr drive)
Where’s your go-to spot?