Best Places for Free Camping in Illinois

Last Updated on September 28, 2022

There are many beautiful places to camp for free in Illinois. One of the best places is in the Shawnee National Forest. This forest has over 280,000 acres of land and is a great place to hike, bike, fish, and camp.

There are also many other great places to camp for free in Illinois such as: Pere Marquette State Park, Kickapoo State Park, Starved Rock State Park, and Moraine Hills State Park.

Ilinois is a great state for camping, and there are many free camping options available. Here are some of the best places for free camping in Illinois: 1. Pere Marquette State Park: This state park offers over 200 campsites that are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

There are also several group campsites available. 2. Starved Rock State Park: This state park has over 100 campsites that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Group campsites are also available.

3. Mississippi Palisades State Park: This state park has over 50 campsites that are available on a first-come, first-served basis.Group campsites are also available. 4. Kickapoo State Recreation Area: This recreation area has over 200 primitive (tent only) campsites that can be reserved in advance or obtained on a first-come, first-served basis. Flush toilets and showers are not available at this campground but there is a dump station.

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Free Tent Camping Illinois

Looking for a place to camp for free in Illinois? Look no further! Here are some great places to set up your tent and enjoy the outdoors.

1. Shawnee National Forest- This forest has many primitive camping sites available that are perfect for those looking to get away from it all. Be sure to obtain a permit before setting up camp. 2. Jackson Falls- Located in Southern Illinois, these falls offer a beautiful setting for camping and hiking.

There are several primitive campsites available near the falls. Again, be sure to obtain a permit before setting up camp. 3. Pere Marquette State Park- This state park offers over 100 campsites, many of which are suitable for tents.

The campsites fill up quickly during peak season, so be sure to make reservations in advance if you plan on visiting during this time.

Is Boondocking Legal in Illinois?

Yes, boondocking is legal in Illinois. There are a few things to keep in mind when boondocking in Illinois, however. First, always check with the local authorities to make sure that you are not violating any ordinances.

Secondly, be mindful of your impact on the environment and leave no trace. Lastly, please be respectful of private property owners and do not trespass.

Where is Dispersed Camping Allowed in Illinois?

Dispersed camping is allowed on all public lands in Illinois with the exception of a few areas that are specifically closed to camping. Dispersed campsites must be at least 100 feet from any water source, road or trail. Camping is also not allowed in areas that are posted as closed to camping, such as some natural areas and state parks.

A good rule of thumb is to camp only in areas where others have camped before.

Can You Camp Anywhere in Illinois?

Yes, you can camp anywhere in Illinois as long as you follow the state’s camping regulations. These regulations are designed to protect the state’s natural resources and ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable camping experience. When camping in Illinois, you must obtain a permit from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The DNR also regulates where you can camp, so be sure to check their website for specific information about where you can and cannot camp.

Are State Parks in Illinois Free?

In Illinois, most state parks are free to enter. However, there are a few exceptions where a small fee is charged. For example, at Starved Rock State Park there is a $10 per vehicle fee.

Some of the other parks that charge a fee include: Matthiessen State Park, McCully Heritage Project, Moraine View State Recreation Area and Pere Marquette State Park. If you are planning on visiting one of the state parks that does charge a fee, make sure to bring some cash with you. Many of the parks have self-pay stations where you can leave your payment in an envelope.

Alternatively, you can also purchase a state park pass ahead of time from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website.

Best Place to Camp for FREE in Southern Illinois


There are many great places for free camping in Illinois. Some of the best include: – The Shawnee National Forest, which offers over 300 miles of trails and plenty of opportunities for backpacking, hiking, and camping;

– Starved Rock State Park, which features beautiful sandstone cliffs and canyons as well as 13 miles of hiking trails; – Pere Marquette State Park, which has more than 8 miles of hiking trails and is located near the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers; – Kickapoo State Recreation Area, which offers over 20 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

Author: Camp Grasp

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