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DNR accepting 2010 campsite reservations

December 23, 2009 at 03:24 PM

SPRINGFIELD—2010 reservations for many of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ most popular campsites, cabins, group campsites, and picnic shelters may be made by mail beginning Jan. 4 and in person or over the phone beginning Feb. 1.

“Our state parks, recreation areas, and state fish and wildlife areas are popular places to visit for families, hikers, hunters, anglers, and all outdoor enthusiasts,” Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Marc Miller said. “By taking reservations at the start of the new year, we help visitors be certain there is a campsite waiting for them when they arrive.”

Reservations for the 2010 season can be made by mail only beginning Jan. 4. Reservation forms and instructions can be obtained through the IDNR website at

Beginning Feb. 1, 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 drawing 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. Camping fee information can be found at

Payment of the first night’s camping and utility fees guarantee that the reservation will be held until 3 p.m. the following day. Shelter reservation fees are $25, except on Fridays and Saturdays at Spitler Woods. Once a reservation is confirmed, the reservation fee is non-refundable unless the IDNR closes an area due to storm damage or other reasons.

Campsites can be reserved for a maximum of 14 nights per 30-day period and reservations must be made at least seven days before the campsite is needed. 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, 7251 Ranger Rd, Dewitt, IL 61735
• Delabar State Park, RR#2, Box 27, Oquawka, IL 61469
• Eagle Creek, R.R. 1, Box 198B, Findlay, IL 62534
• Eldon Hazlet, 20100 Hazlet Park Road, Carlyle, IL 62231
• Fox Ridge, 18175 State Park Road, Charleston, IL 61920
• Hidden Springs, R. R. #1, Box 200, Strasburg, IL 62465
• 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 (Youth Group Only)
• Moraine View, R.R. 2, Box 110, LeRoy, IL 61752
• Pere Marquette, 13112 Visitor Center Lane, Grafton, IL 62037
• Ramsey Lake, P.O. Box 97, Ramsey, IL 62080
• Red Hills State Park, 1100 N & 400 E, Sumner, IL 62466 (Cabin and Group Camp Only)
• 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
• Walnut Point, 2331 East Co. Road, 370N, Oakland, IL 61943
• Weldon Springs, 1159 500 N., R. R. #2, Box 87, Clinton, IL 61727

Shelter reservations will be available at the following sites:

Northwest Illinois:
• Apple River Canyon State Park, 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 Recreation Area, 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 Fish and Wildlife Area, and William W. Powers State Recreation Area.

East-central Illinois:
• Clinton Lake State Recreation Area, Eagle Creek State Park, Fox Ridge State Park, Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park, Spitler Woods State Natural Area ($150 Fridays and Saturdays), and Walnut Point State Park.

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

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

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.

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