Hiking and camping in illinois

10:39 a.m. on October 6, 2017 (EDT)
Dave Bastian
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1 forum posts

Sorry if this is the wrong place for this but I'm at my wits end.  I live in Illinois, grew up in Michigan.  I've been wanting to go hiking and camping like I did in the boyscouts.  Hiking into an area for a ways and find a random spot, pitch a tent, have a campfire etc.  

My issue is that I can't find anywhere that allows you to actually camp.  All of the places I've been able to find all have you camping next to your car and within close proximity to someone else.  

Can anyone give me some recommendations on where I might be able to go?  I'm about to start googling places in Colorado or the UP of Michigan just to find a place to hike and camp.  

Are people allowed to camp like this anymore or is everything like an amusement park ride?  Stand here, sit here, camp here, walk here, do this, etc etc and the weekend is over, go home.  Please, any help will be greatly appreciated.  Maybe I'm googling wrong.



11:08 a.m. on October 7, 2017 (EDT)
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Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota are not that far away. 

7:16 p.m. on October 7, 2017 (EDT)
Joseph Renow @jrenow
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743 forum posts

Shawnee National Forest stretches across the southern part of Illinois...the Eastern part is particularly scenic kharst with a continuous 160 mile trail R2RT...and since it is National Forest backcountry camping is allowed. If you're in the northern part of the state Wisconsin and Michigan are probably closer than Shawnee...but Garden of the Gods in Shawnee is worth the drive. If you're in the eastern part of the deck Hoosier National Forest is not far off.

1:07 p.m. on October 12, 2017 (EDT)
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My Chicago friend leaves the state. 

8:37 a.m. on October 17, 2017 (EDT)
andrew f. @leadbelly2550
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2,357 forum posts

day hikes in the dells or door county, WI

Superior Hiking Trail in MN, very good hiking/camping. 

can you camp in Shawnee forest in Southern IL? 

10:04 a.m. on October 17, 2017 (EDT)
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1,517 forum posts

@Jeff: Your Chicago friend sounds smart. For the 6 hours it would take to get to Southern Illinois, one could drive to the UP.

June 1, 2020
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