Illinois campgrounds are situated almost exclusively at the south end of Lake Shelbyville, in the middle part of the state. A water paradise getaway for the folks from the entire state, there are a multitude of accommodations surrounding the lake, from hotels to bed and breakfasts to campgrounds.
Damned just below the convergence of two rivers, the lake itself features 1,100 miles of shore and coastline, much of it accessible beaches. Camping at Lake Shelbyville allows you to enjoy the assorted water recreation opportunities, from fishing to waterskiing and wakeboarding to riding jet skis across Shelbyville's acres and acres of lake.
South of Shelbyville, the rest of Illinois campgrounds line the southern tip of Rend Lake, a wider lake but also man made, the shores of Rend lake are not nearly so crowded as Lake Shelbyville, although the campgrounds at Rend have also been known to fill up during the high-traffic summer months. Making your campground reservation online is the best way to ensure that you have a reserved spot when you arrive at the campground of your choice.
The water of Lake Shelbyville or Lake Rend may seem inviting, but a trip to their shores is hardly going to grant the degree of solitude and quiet that many campers seem to desire. For a feeling of really escaping the city and getting into the wilderness, Blanding Landing may be the campground that best fits your desires. Although it is still brings with it the usual fishermen and recreation that accompany large bodies of water, Blanding landing does seem to experience fewer crowds than most campgrounds in the summer.
Although you can't find a campground away from a lake or river in Illinois, there is still plenty to enjoy when camping. Illinois campgrounds are mostly busy in the summer, and early or late season camping is sometimes hard because of campground closures. Check with the campground before you start your trip, there are plenty of options for camping in Illinois, but not if you show up at the campground and find a locked gate. Your campground of choice is probably readily available right now, you just have to search and find it.