At just over an hour from the heart of Chicago, Illinois Beach State Park is one of the closest campground options for Windy City residents. I had a chance to head up there in mid-September for a brief autumn camping visit. Here’s a look at some photos from the camping trip.

A few tips: If you want a campsite closest to Lake Michigan, pick a spot in the 300s. If you want a spot very close to an outhouse, choose one between 313-323 or 370-377. See the campground map to get a better idea of which spots are most ideal.

I was at spot 320 and had an easy walk to the beach via a small trail through the woods behind my site. One night of tent camping was $25, which was a quite steep price to pay. I did not need a reservation since September is not particularly busy. And if you’re wondering what kind of gear to bring along, see my recommended camping gear checklist.

tent camping sites electric

walking trail

illinois beach shore

lake michigan beach

illinois beach state park rocks

red leaves tree shade

beach state park hiking

grasshopper campground

Have you visited Illinois Beach State Park?

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