Gebhard Woods State Park
Address: 401 Ottawa St., Morris IL 60450
Time from Chicago: 1 hour, 10 minutes (62 miles)
Camping at Gebhard Woods State Park
For budget-minded folks living in the Windy City, finding cheap campgrounds near Chicago can be a chore. One decent option is Gebhard Woods State Park, which offers nightly camping for just a few dollars. But it wasn’t the quiet, relaxing nature experience you may expect.
Gebhard Woods is in Morris, Illinois. That’s barely an hour outside Chicago. As of this writing, the nightly camping rate is just $6 per tent.
It’s not car camping here – you cannot pull directly into your site. Instead, you’ll have to hike about a half mile (5-10 minutes) into a grassy designated camping area.
The camping area has grills, picnic tables and fire pits. The park has fishing ponds and streams, plus a hiking and biking trail. The problem is that hiking trail runs right past a sewage plant!
If you arrive after check-in time, you’ll need to pay your fee the next morning. That means someone comes around to collect the camping fee at 8 am, rustling tents and waking everyone up in the process.