Camping at Our Preserves

We proudly operate campgrounds at Illiniwek Forest Preserve and Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. Opening day for the 2021 camping season is tentatively scheduled for April 2, 2021. The camping season is generally the first weekend in April through the last weekend in October of each year as weather permits. Water access is weather dependent at both Illiniwek and Loud Thunder Forest Preserve, and will not be available until night time temperatures stay above freezing. Advanced notices of closures will be posted as soon as practicable.

Important Information

Illiniwek Forest Preserve Camping

Camping at Illiniwek Forest Preserve Illiniwek Camp Office Hours:
Monday - Thursday: 8:00AM-1:00PM and 4:00pm-10:00PM
Friday & Saturday: 8:00AM - 10:00PM
Sunday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Camp host is available after 5PM on Sunday and on weekdays until 4PM. Office hours are extended during holiday weekends.
Camp Office: (309) 496-2620
Maintenance Building: (309) 203-1404

Camping is available from the first weekend in April through the last weekend in October as weather permits.
Why is the Illiniwek Forest Preserve location so great for camping? We think it is because the park is set on the Mississippi River and is ideally situated for a combination of recreation, both on land and in the water. This means you can spend the day fishing and eat it for dinner while you camp overnight.

Facilities available at Illiniwek include 25 primitive camping areas of which 17 are riverfront campsites, 60 pads with water and electric hookups to serve RV's and other mobile camping options, two shower houses (one of the shower houses is ADA Accessible), and a dumping station. Other amenities include boat launch ramps (ADA Accessible), hiking & biking trails, a reservable picnic shelter, and a wooded bluff scenic overlook of the Mississippi River.
Campsite reservations are available only for organizations such as scouts or youth church groups. All other campsites are first come, first serve.
Illiniwek Campsite Maps
Camping Rules and Regulations
COVID-19 Camping Guidelines


Camping Cost

Illiniwek Forest Preserve Primitive Camping Camping on Pads with Water and Electricity Hook Ups
County Resident $14 ($18 for River Site) $20
Non-County Resident $16 ($20 for River Site) $22
Senior Citizens (Over 62) $13 ($17 for River Site) $19
Youth Group (Per person) $1 $1


1Loud Thunder Forest Preserve Camping 

Loud Thunder Forest Preserve Camping

Camping at Loud Thunder is typically available from the first weekend in April through the last weekend in October as weather permits. 

Camp the way you like. We understand that some people like to pitch a tent and cook over the open fire, and others just don’t. That’s okay with us because we have campsites for both. The only restriction is that equestrians must utilize the Horse Corral campground, all others may utilize any campsite of thier choosing regardless of their camping unit.  Only one camping unit is allowed per site, "children's tents are considered a camping unit".  There are five campgrounds located within the Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. District policy does not allow staff to issue refunds of any kind on reservations, weekends require a two night minimum.

North Shore – located next to the Mississippi River
  • Riverview Campground – 30 primitive campsites (non-electric) along the Mississippi River with boat ramp access to the Mississippi River, hiking trails, bathroom & shower building, water access, and picnic area
West Shore – located on the West side of Lake George
  • Horse Corral Campgrounds – (Equestrians are restricted to camping in the Horse Corral Campgrounds)12 electrical 20 amp service with water primitive campsites and 16 full hookup sites, two of which are ADA accessesible.  Also, in this area of the campground there are two group sites that can accommodate 10 small tent units.  There is also a dump station, horse trailer parking and wash station, horse arena, pavilion with flush toilets, additional water access, and picnic area.  
  • Indian Meadows – 22 primitive campsites with shower building and water access
  • White Oak Campgrounds– 26 RV campsites with electricity and water hook-ups and shower building, please note only one campsite, campsite W-26, includes water, electricity and sewer hook-ups
  • Deer Haven - 35 full hookup pull through campsites, three are ADA accessible.  
Reservations may also be made by calling 309-795-1040 or in person at the camp office.  Reservations are not mandatory, however if you do not have a reservation then campsites will be available on a first come, first serve basis but you must stop at the Loud Thunder Forest Preserve Office and secure a campsite before setting up camp.  District policy does not allow staff to issue refunds of any kind on reservations.



Camping Cost

Loud Thunder
Forest Preserve
Campground - primitive area
with no water or
electric service
Indian Meadows
Campground - primitive area
with no
water or
electric service
White Oak
Campground -
RV pads with water
and electricity hook-ups
(only campsite W-26
has a sewer hook-up)
Deer Haven
Campground - RV pads with water, 
electricity, sewer
Horse Corral 
Campground -
primitive area with water & 20 amp
electrical service
and RV pads with
water, electricity and sewer hook-ups
County Resident $14.00 $14.00 $20.00 (Campsite W-26 is $24.00) $24.00 $20.00 (water/electric)
$24.00 (water/elecric/sewer)
County Resident,
Two Unit-Tent Only Campsite 
Not Applicable $28.00 Not Applicable Not Applicable Not Applicable
Non-County Resident $16.00 $16.00 $22.00 (Campsite W-26 is $26.00) $26.00 $22.00 (water/electric)
$26.00 (water/electric/sewer)
Two Unit-Tent Only Campsites 
Not Applicable $32 Not Applicable Not Applicable
Not Applicable
Senior Citizens (Over 62) $13.00 $13.00 $19 (Campsite W-26 is $23.00) $23.00 $19 (water/electric)
$23 (water/electric/sewer)
Senior Citzens (Over 62),
Two Unit-Tent Only Campsies
Not Applicable $26 Not Applicable Not Applicable Not Applicable
Youth Group (Per person) $1 $1 Not Applicable Not Applicable TBD