IDNR Accepting Campsite Reservations for the 2009 Camping Season

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Campers can make reservations by phone, mail, or in person

IDNR Accepting Campsite Reservations for the 2009 Camping SeasonSPRINGFIELD – Reservations for the 2009 camping season at Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) campsites, cabins, group campsites and picnic shelters can be made by mail beginning January 2nd and in person or over the phone beginning February 1st, announced IDNR Acting Director Sam Flood.

“Campgrounds at our state parks, recreation areas and state fish and wildlife areas are popular destinations for families, hikers, hunters and anglers,” said Flood.   “By taking reservations at the beginning of the year, we ensure there is a campsite waiting for our visitors when they’re ready for a vacation.”

Reservations can be made by mail only beginning January 2nd. Reservation forms and instructions can be obtained from the IDNR website at

Beginning February 1st, telephone and in-person reservations can be made using Visa and MasterCard at the following sites: Chain O’Lakes, Fox Ridge, Jim Edgar Panther Creek (Cabins and Group Camps only), Pere Marquette, Ramsey Lake, Rock Cut, Shabbona, and Sangchris Lake.  In-person reservations will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.  Reservations are not accepted via electronic mail at any site.

A daily lottery will be conducted for mail-in reservations.  Up to six mail-in reservations per envelope, per person will be accepted for campsites or shelters.  Camping groups may mail more than six reservations per envelope as long as no more than six are for one individual.

Regular campsites and group campsites require a $5 non-refundable reservation fee and the first night’s camping and utility fee at the time the reservation is made.  Shelter reservation fees are $25, except on Fridays and Saturdays at Spitler Woods. 

Campsites can be reserved for a maximum of 14 nights per 30-day period and reservations must be made at least seven days in advance.  Reserved campsites will be held until 3 p.m. the following day, after which time the site will be offered to other campers on a first come first-served basis.

Reservations for the Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends require a minimum three-day reservation.

Campsite reservations will be available at the following state parks:

  • Apple River Canyon, 8763 E. Canyon Road, Apple River, IL 61001 (Youth Group Only)
  • Argyle Lake, 640 Argyle Road, Colchester, IL 62326
  • Beaver Dam, 14548 Beaver Dam Lane, Plainview, IL 62685 (Cabin and Youth Group Only)
  • Big River, R. R. #1, Box 118, Keithsburg, IL 61442
  • Chain O’Lakes, 8916 Wilmot Road, Spring Grove, IL 60081
  • Clinton Lake State Recreation Area, R.R. #1, Box 4, Dewitt, IL 61735
  • Delabar State Park, RR#2, Box 27, Oquawka, IL 61469
  • Eagle Creek, P. O. Box 16, Findlay, IL 62534
  • Eldon Hazlet, 20100 Hazlet Park Road, Carlyle, IL 62231
  • Fox Ridge, 18175 State Park Road, Charleston, IL 61920
  • Illinois Beach, Lake Front, Zion, IL 60099
  • Jim Edgar Panther Creek, 10149 County Highway 11, Chandlerville, IL 62627 (Cabin and Group Camp Only)
  • Kankakee River State Park, P.O. Box 37, Bourbonnais, IL 60914
  • Lake Le-Aqua-Na, 8542 North Lake Road, Lena, IL 61048
  • Pere Marquette, P.O. Box 158, Grafton, IL 62037
  • Ramsey Lake, P.O. Box 97, Ramsey, IL 62080
  • Rock Cut, 7318 Harlem Road, Loves Park, IL 61111
  • Sam Dale, R.R. #1, Box 101 Johnsonville, IL 62850
  • Sangchris Lake, 9898 Cascade Road, Rochester, IL 62563
  • Shabbona Lake, 4201 Shabbona Grove Road, Shabbona, IL 60550
  • Starved Rock, P.O. Box 509, Utica, IL 61373
  • Trail of Tears, 3240 State Forest Rd., Jonesboro, IL 62952 (Reservations not accepted until April 16, 2009)
  • Walnut Point, 2331 East Co. Road, 370N, Oakland, IL 61943

Shelter reservations will be available at the following sites:

Northwest Illinois:

  • Apple River Canyon, Argyle Lake State Park, Big River State Forest, Delabar State Park, Franklin Creek State Natural Area, Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park, Jubilee College State Park, Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park, Mississippi Palisades State Park, Morrison-Rockwood State Park, Prophetstown State Park, Rock Cut State Park, Shabbona Lake State Park and White Pines Forest State Park.

Northeast Illinois:

  • Buffalo Rock State Park, Chain O’Lakes State Park, Gebhard Woods State Park, Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area, Kankakee River State Park, Moraine Hills State Park, Silver Springs State Park and William W. Powers Conservation Area.

East-central Illinois:

  • Clinton Lake State Recreation Area, Eagle Creek State Park, Fox Ridge State Park, Kickapoo State Park, Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park, Middle Fork State Fish and Wildlife Area, Spitler Woods State Natural Area, and Walnut Point State Park.

West-central Illinois:

  • Beaver Dam State Park, Coffeen Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, Eldon Hazlet State Park, Frank Holten State Park, Horseshoe Lake State Park in Madison County, Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA, Pere Marquette State Park, Randolph County Conservation Area, Sand Ridge State Forest, Sangchris Lake State Park, Washington County Conservation Area and Weinberg-King State Park.

Southern Illinois:

  • Dixon Springs, Ferne Clyffe State Park, Fort Massac State Park, Giant City State Park, Horseshoe Lake Conservation Area in Alexander County, Lake Murphysboro State Park, Ramsey Lake State Park, Red Hills State Park, Sam Dale State Park, Sam Parr State Park, Stephen A. Forbes State Park, Trail of Tears State Forest and Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park.

The IDNR also has openings for campground hosts at many state-run campgrounds. Hosts are paid $1/day and receive free camping for the length of their stay. Hosts are expected to check campers in and out and help answer general questions from campers. For more information on the host program, call Barb Foster at 217/785-8129.