As local communities continue to update Covid-19 regulations, local destinations for outdoor recreation may be closed. Please visit official websites for the latest information.

5 Perfect Fall Camping Spots in Illinois

By April Dowling

5 Perfect Fall Camping Spots in Illinois

Fall in Illinois means pumpkin patches, local festivals, and camping in the beautiful state parks throughout the state. The dense forests, lush vegetation, and charming rivers provide picturesque spots of camping in the fall. Campers can experience nature’s vibrant autumn colors at the following perfect fall camping spots. Whether you prefer full hook-up camping or more rustic adventures, you’re sure to enjoy these relaxing campsites. 

1. Hayes Canyon Campground, Eddyville, IL

As the “Trail Riding Capital of Illinois,” Eddyville offers many scenic trails throughout the Shawnee National Forest area. Hayes Canyon Campground features 32 RV campsites with electric hookups, cabin rentals, and a few pens for horses or mules. This award-winning campground is also conveniently located near recreational activities and scenic areas including Little Creek Archery, Bell Smith Springs, and Millstone Bluffs. The abundant trees and vegetation are beautiful in the fall at Hayes Canyon Campground. 

2. Little Grassy Campground and Marina, Makanda, IL

Located on 1,000 acres of crystal-clear water in Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, Little Grassy Campground and Marina is the perfect fall camping spot. Little Grassy Lake is considered one of the most beautiful lakes in southern Illinois thanks to the woody rocky shoreline and translucent waters. The campground offers a variety of options including full hook-up, water and electric only, tent, and a tent group site for campers. This scenic area offers stunning views in the fall. 

3. Fox Ridge State Park

The dense vegetation and forested bluffs of Fox Ridge State Park are extra beautiful in the autumn when they display brilliant orange, yellow, and red hues. This 2,064-acre park features lush valleys, steep ridges, and miles of scenic hiking trails with several picturesque wooden bridges. Campers have access to many picnic areas, fishing on Ridge Lake, boating, and public hunting. 

4. Pecatonica River Forest Preserve

Although known for its beautiful wildflowers in the spring, Pecatonica River Forest Preserve is just as beautiful in the autumn. It’s located on 466 acres of oxbow swamps and woodlands, featuring a 130-year-old limestone barn on the preserve. It offers 15 non-electric campsites, 133 picnic tables, restrooms, playground equipment, canoe access, and nearly 10 miles of hiking trails. 

5. Trail of Tears State Forest

Trail of Tears State Forest is abundant in wildlife and used mainly for ecosystem preservation. Camping in the Trail of Tears State Forest is a peaceful experience with lush vegetation and scenic hiking trails nearby. Campers also have access to picnic shelters and game hunting (seasonal). More primitive campers appreciate the tent campsites and log shelters for rustic camping in the forest with gorgeous autumn views. 

As local communities continue to update Covid-19 regulations, local destinations for outdoor recreation may be closed. Please visit official websites for the latest information.

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