Looking to get out and enjoy the great outdoors this summer? Along with several other travel bloggers, we share with you some of the best campsites in the Midwest USA! From campgrounds perfect for relaxation and nature lovers, to resort style campsites with swimming pools and activities great for families!
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Best Campsites in the Midwest
ILLINOIS – Sun Retreats Rock River (Hillsdale) | Crazy Horse Campground (nr Jacksonville)
INDIANA – White River Campground (Hamilton County)
IOWA – Spook Cave & Campground (McGregor) | Prairie Rose State Park Campground (Harlan)
KANSAS – Lovewell State Park Campground (Jewell County)
MICHIGAN – Ludington State Park Campground (Ludington) | ⛺️Twelvemile Beach Campground (Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore)
MINNESOTA – ⛺️Voyageurs National Park | ⛺️Lake Superior Cart-In Campground (nr Tettegouche State Park)
NORTH DAKOTA – Cottonwood Campground (Theodore Roosevelt National Park)
SOUTH DAKOTA – Sylvan Lake Campground (Custer State Park) | Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park of Sioux Falls (Sioux Falls)
WISCONSIN – Coconut Cove Resort (Hazel Green) | Kohler Andrae State Park (Sheboygan)
Sun Retreats Rock River (Hillsdale)
🗺3333 290th St N, Hillsdale, IL 61257, United States
🚾Electric hook-ups, restrooms, outdoor swimming pool, mini golf, fitness centre, sports, WiFi, camp store & more
⭐️Great for families
Close to the Quad Cities is Sun Retreats Rock River in Hillsdale IL. This campsite is great for families, with plenty of things to do. It has a large outdoor swimming pool and a huge lake with canoe and peddle boat rentals (rentals are an additional fee). There’s also a mini golf course, a fitness centre, several types of sports courts, a jumping pillow, WiFi and more. If the weather isn’t great, there’s an indoor area with a camp store, food, drinks and sometimes activities are held there.
Many of the pitches at Sun Retreats Rock River are waterfront. If they are not overlooking the main lake, there are a few smaller lakes that look similar to a river/stream. Many sites are water and electric hook up, a picnic bench and pets are allowed. There are also concrete pads or grass options. East Moline is a 20 minute drive away.
Crazy Horse Campground (nr Jacksonville)
🗺2113 Crazy Horse Rd, Ashland, IL 62612, United States
🚾Electric hook-ups, restrooms, Wifi, coin operated laundry, camp store & more
This ultra-scenic family-friendly campground is located north of Jacksonville in Illinois. It is open from April to October and features lots of space with full hook-ups, dumping stations, picnic tables, and fire rings at every campsite. Crazy Horse Campground has something for everyone. There are three ponds in the campground. You can swim in the first pond whereas the second pond is great for canoeing and paddle boating. Fishing option is also available in all three ponds but not allowed from boats or canoes.
Photo Credit: Trijit from Dog Travel Buff
Families can rent their cabins with air conditioners. The washroom is very clean and well maintained. WiFi is available at overnight sites. They also have coin-operated washers and dryers. The lodge has firewood, ice, snacks and drinks for sale. It is a dog-friendly campground and there are some easy hiking trails that you can explore with your dog. You can also enjoy hammock camping with your dog. Your dog must be leashed and supervised at all times.
Things to do nearby
Visitors can also visit the nearby Jacksonville and Springfield, Abraham Lincoln’s hometown. Visit the historical sites in Springfield including Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
Suggested by Trijit from Dog Travel Buff
White River Campground (Hamilton County)
🗺Strawtown Koteewi Park, 12308 Strawtown Ave, Noblesville, IN 46060
🚾Electric hook-ups, restrooms, Wifi, laundry, picnic benches, playground & more
⭐️Great for all types – adventure or relaxers
Things to do
Strawtown Koteewi Park, a 750-acre park with extraordinary features including hiking trails, equestrian trails, natural history center and archaeological exhibit is located just north of Indianapolis. From ziplines and challenging treetop trails to belaying across the canopy, your arboreal adventures await at Koteewi Aerial Adventure Treetop Trails. Or hit a bulls-eye at Koteewi Range, a state-of-the-art target and 3D shooting range. K-Trails Equestrian Adventures offers guided trail rides and pony rides.
Photo Credit: Hamilton County Tourism
Plus, White River Campground offers onsite camp sites along the picturesque White River. The campground allows RVs and tents, but books up quickly. A historic bridge connects the campground to park attractions, hiking and the beautiful outdoors. The nearest grocery is less than 5 miles away in Cicero.
Suggested by Ashley from Visit Hamilton County
Spook Cave & Campground (McGregor)
🗺13299 Spook Cave Rd, McGregor, IA 52157, United States
🚾Electric hook-ups, restrooms, Wifi, playground, camp store, golf cart rentals, picnic benches, fire rings & more
⭐️Cave tours by boat
A great place to camp in the Midwest is at Spook Cave & Campground near McGregor, Iowa! They have a variety of different pitches from full hook up to off the grid tent spots. For those after glamping spots, there are several cabins available too. Each space has a picnic bench and a fire ring. Firewood bundles can be purchased from the camp store which also have a section of groceries and camping supplies.
Things to do
One of the biggest attractions of Spook Cave is of course their cave tours! These guided boat tours enter a cave system that goes back into the side of the bluff. As well as the boat tours, campers can enjoy swimming in the lake, fishing in the Bloody Run Trout Stream that runs through the middle of the campground (permit required for river fishing), hiking or renting a golf cart to explore the trails around the site. There’s even a waterfall! The Mississippi river town of McGregor is a 15 minute drive away.
Prairie Rose State Park Campground (Harlan)
🗺680 Rd M47, Harlan, IA 51537, United States
🚾Electric hook-ups, restrooms, playground, picnic benches, grills & more
⭐️Great for water activities & hiking
Things to do
One of the best campgrounds in the Midwest is located in western Iowa, at Prairie Rose State Park. Situated on a 218-acre lake, the state park is perfect for boating, fishing, kayaking, hiking and of course – camping! Complete with a beach, sand volleyball court, horseshoes, playground and an interpretive hiking trail, this state park has just what you need for the perfect camping getaway.
Couples can find a great weekend away at Prairie Rose State Park. And with space to run around, it’s great for kids, too! Pets are welcome but must be kept on a leash. Hiking trails are open to dogs as long as they’re on leashes and picked up after.
Photo Credit: Nikki from Inspired Routes
There are tent and RV campsites with grills and picnic tables. The RV sites have hookups including water and electricity plus a dump station. The bath house has hot water and clean facilities, which is always nice when camping!
Make reservations up to 3 months in advance through the Iowa State Parks reservation system.
Suggested by Nikki from Inspired Routes
Lovewell State Park Campground (Jewell County)
🗺2446 250 Rd, Webber, KS 66970, United States
🚾Electric hook-ups, restrooms, playground, sports (water activity rentals), camp store & more
⭐️Great for history & outdoor activities
Nestled behind the trees and beneath the bluffs of Jewell County, KS, just below the Nebraska border, you will find the sparkling waters of Lovewell Lake. Attracting over 300,000 visitors each year, Lovewell is a great place for weekend getaways with family to camp, boat, fish, wildlife watch, and much more. The park offers a blend of electric/utility hookups, primitive camping, and nine rental cabins.
This “gem” in Jewell County truly has something for everyone in the family to enjoy with a playground, sand volleyball court, basketball court, disc golf course, and horseshoe pits. It has all the amenities you need with a marina stocked with camping gear, grocery items, and anything you might’ve forgotten at home. It also offers paddle boards and kayaks for rent if you want to try your hand at some fun water activities!
Photo credit: Kyra L.
Things to do
Aside from its family-friendly atmosphere, Lovewell Lake is the site of some incredibly unique history and one of Kansas’s best kept secrets. It truly is a “mammoth” of a find… Beginning in 1969, archaeologists began to uncover mammoth remains on the north shore of Lovewell Lake. In total, the remains of seven mammoths have been found within a 2 km segment. These remains have been preserved and restored and can be seen on full display at the Jewell County Historic Museum in Mankato–a town of about 800 people 17 miles southwest of the Lake.
Mankato has several restaurants, shops, and a city park that hosts a concert series every summer. Lovewell Lake and Mankato are the perfect places to spend a few days and get a taste of the good life–in the quietest corners of Kansas.
Suggested by Kyra L.
Ludington State Park Campground (Ludington)
🗺8800 M-116, Ludington, MI 49431, United States
🚾Electric hook-ups, restrooms, fire rings, camp store, playground & more
⭐️Great for hiking trails
Located minutes from downtown Ludington, the Ludington State Park campground is excellent for families. The campground situated on Ludington State Park’s east side between Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake offers enough activities within the park to keep you busy for the entire weekend. Still, I highly recommend a trip to Ludington to visit the House of Flavors, an ice cream restaurant.
The park offers a variety of camping options, including three modern campgrounds—Beechwood, Cedar, and Pines, with 352 sites incorporating modern conveniences. They also have ten rustic walk-in tent sites at Jack Pine. If you want more shelter, the park also has three mini cabins. In addition, Ludington State Park campgrounds offer modern restrooms with showers, electricity, sanitation stations, fire rings, and a camp store with concessions.
Features depend on the campground you choose. At Beechwood, most camping sites offer plenty of space and include large shade trees. Cedar offers some sunny spots. Each camping site has 20/30-amp service, and some locations in Pines have 50-amp service.
Photo Credit: Amy from Follow The Piper
Things To Do
With 5,300 acres of shoreline, dunes, forest, and ponds, in addition to a boat launch, you’ll find a fishing pier. The kiddos will love the fully-equipped playground. Hikers will enjoy the 21 miles of marked hiking trails or the 1.8-mile one-way walk to the lighthouse. If the walk is too much, look for the several bus days offered throughout the summer.
The campgrounds fill up quickly, so be sure to reserve your site ahead of time, up to six months in advance. Either call 1-800-447-2757 or reserve online at MiDNRReservations.com. Michigan State Parks require vehicles to have a Michigan Recreation Passport.
Suggested by Amy from Follow The Piper
Twelvemile Beach Campground (Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore)
🗺Picture Rocks National Lakeshore, Grand Marais, MI 49839, United States
🚾Vault toilets, picnic benches, fire rings & more
⭐️⛺️Great for rustic camping & water activities
One of the most picturesque campgrounds I’ve ever stayed at is Twelvemile Beach Campground at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Located on the Michigan shore of Lake Superior, the rustic campground has 36 non-electric campsites just a few feet from the beach. Each site has a picnic table and fire rings, as well as access to well water and vault toilets.
Twelvemile Beach is just 15 miles from Grand Marais, so it’s an easy trip to town if you need extra camping supplies. Campsites are by reservation only, through Recreation.gov, with availability released on a six-month rolling basis. At this campground, you’ll have a huge, quiet beach to explore, and you’ll fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing on the shore of Lake Superior. You might even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights if your timing is right!
Photo Credit: Leigh from Campfire & Concierges
Things To Do
This campground is perfect for anyone looking to escape to nature and have a quiet time away. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a beautiful place to explore, with hiking, paddling, and scenic cruises along the lakeshore. The campground sits right on the 42-mile Lakeshore Trail. You can bring your own paddleboards and kayaks or take a tour from Grand Marais. The sightseeing cruises along the lakeshore are fantastic as well!
There are many campgrounds in Upper Peninsula Michigan, but this one is my favorite! If you’ve never had a gorgeous beach all to yourself, it’s an amazing experience.
Suggested by Leigh from Campfires & Concierges
Voyageurs National Park
🗺International Falls, MN 56649, United States
🚾Outdoor privies, picnic benches, fire ring, food locker & more
⭐️⛺️Great for primitive tent camping for adventurous travelers!
For more off-the-grid-type primitive tent camping in the Midwest, check out the campsites at Voyageurs National Park. The spots managed by the NPS are scattered along the shores of the many lakes within the park. There are two categories of campsites, front country and back country. Front country sites just require a boat ride to reach. To get to a backcountry site, you’ll take a boat to a trailhead where you’ll hike and then possibly canoe to the campsite.
Photo Credit: Samantha from PA On Pause
The sites are primitive, but they do typically have a fire ring with grill, a picnic table, and a food locker. The spaces here are a great way to get away, and popular things to do in Voyageurs include fishing, kayaking, and stargazing. You may even be able to view the milky way or the Northern Lights from your campsite, depending on the time of year.
What Voyageurs lacks in modern facilities like flushing toilets and kid-friendly playgrounds, they make up for with immersion in the outdoors. Sites can get picked over during the summer months when people head north for family vacations, but there are plenty of campsites to choose from.
Suggested by Samantha from PA On Pause
Lake Superior Cart-In Campground (nr Tettegouche State Park)
🗺Silver Bay, MN 55614, United States
🚾Vault toilets, picnic benches, fire rings, food storage lockers & more
⭐️⛺️Great for tent campers
The North Shore of Minnesota is one of the best places for camping in the state, and the Lake Superior Cart-In Campground makes for the perfect location. Because this is a cart-in campground, only tent campers can stay here, but no fear, because there is a parking lot nearby.
Park your car in the lot, which is about ½ mile away, and use one of the provided wheeled carts to carry all your gear to your site. It’s best to stay here with those who don’t mind the short walk from the parking lot, meaning it may not be best for young kids.
Vault toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, and bear-proof food storage lockers are available to all guests. While there are no other facilities at the campground, you’ll find Tettegouche State Park just up the road, which has water, firewood, and a store.
Because of the popularity of this campground, it’s recommended to book several months in advance for the best chances of securing a spot.
Photo Credit: Kassidy from Kassidy’s Journey
Things to do
The best part about the Lake Superior Campground is that it’s right on the shores of beautiful Lake Superior, so the views are unmatched. During your stay, visit the highest waterfall in Minnesota in the state park, do some hiking, explore Lake Superior’s shoreline, and enjoy the small town of Silver Bay.
Suggested by Kassidy from Kassidy’s Journey
Cottonwood Campground (Theodore Roosevelt National Park)
🗺315 2nd Ave, Medora, ND 58645, United States
🚾Vault toilets, grills & more (RVs welcome, NO electric hook-ups or showers available)
⭐️Great for learning about nature & history of the National Park
Located in the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s two units, Cottonwood Campground is the most popular of the available campsites within the North Dakota park. The park has 76 individual and 1 group units, with half of the individuals available for reservation and the other half first-come first serve. The campsite is pretty basic, without many amenities but it is the best place to camp for those looking to visit the National Park.
The sites do differ in size, however all sites can accommodate tents and RVs, although larger RVs need to be careful for which site they book. However, there are no hook-ups or dump sites available within the campground. Flush toilets (seasonal), vault toilets, trash, and potable water (seasonal) are available at the site. There are no showers available for guests. Fires are allowed within provided site grills.
Photo Credit: Anwar from Beyond My Door
Tips for visiting
For those looking for a last-minute campsite, first-come first-serve sites do tend to book up during high season so be sure to arrive early to reserve your site. Also, the campsite is known to occasionally receive wildlife visitors such as bison, so be aware of your surroundings. Generally, outside of the Bison mating season (Bison rut) they are less likely to be an issue.
Things to do
One of the best features of the campground is the amphitheater which hosts nightly ranger presentations during the summer months at 9pm. These are a great way to learn more about the park and history of the area.
Suggested by Anwar from Beyond My Door
Sylvan Lake Campground (Custer State Park)
🗺24581 SD-87, Custer, SD 57730, United States
🚾Electric hook-ups, restrooms, convenience store nearby
⭐️Great for water activities & hiking
Things to do
One of the best campgrounds in the Midwest is the Sylvan Lake Campground in Custer State Park. It is a beautiful campground just steps away from Sylvan Lake, one of the most picturesque places in Custer State Park. You can spend your days playing at the lake and exploring the amazing hiking trails in the park. Sylvan Lake is a perfect place for swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and fishing.
Photo Credit: Candice from CS Ginger
There are 39 campsites available at this campground. You can make reservations online and it is recommended that you make them as early as possible. Ten sites without electricity are $15 per night. Sites with electrical hookups are $30 per night.
Amenities at this campsite include flush toilets and showers as well as drinking water. There are lots of other amenities about a mile away at the Sylvan Lake Lodge. There is a convenience store and restaurant here. You can also purchase fishing licenses here.
The spots at this campsite are pretty small. It is not suitable for campers longer than 28 feet. It is open seasonally from May 17 through September 30.
Suggested by Candice from CS Ginger
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park of Sioux Falls (Sioux Falls)
🗺26014 478th Ave, Brandon, SD 57005, United States
🚾Electric hook-ups, restrooms, camp store, heated pool, playground, mini golf, laser tag, sports, laundry, WiFi & more
⭐️Great for families
things to do
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park of Sioux Falls is a resort style campground that offers something for the whole family! With the Yogi Bear character featured prominently around the site, this is a great option for travellers with children. Kids can enjoy the playground, mini golf, laser tag, basketball, and trampoline style “jumping pillow” along with special theme weekends in the summer season. Adults will appreciate the heated pool and spa, well-stocked general store, laundromat and wifi.
The campground offers three types of sites. First, tent pitches with a picnic table, fire ring, shaded area and nearby electric outlets, water supply and access to clean restrooms and shower facilities. RV sites feature full hookup pull throughs in thirty or fifty amp electric and even cable TV connections. Finally there are “Ranger Retreat” cabins available to rent which sleep up to ten with kitchenettes and indoor bathrooms.
Photo Credit: Claire from Claire Pins Travel
This campground has good availability throughout the summer and online advance booking is available. This site is close to the Minnesota border and is well situated for visitors starting a road trip across the western USA as they enter South Dakota. The nearest city is Sioux Falls, which features the Falls Park waterfall as its main attraction.
Suggested by Claire from Claire Pins Travel
Coconut Cove Resort (Hazel Green)
🗺1549 Bluff Rd, Hazel Green, WI 53811, United States
🚾Electric hook-ups, restrooms, camp store, outdoor pool, inflatable waterpark, playground, bar, laundry & more
⭐️Great for families
Coconut Cove Resort is located on the banks of the Mississippi River in Wisconsin! There are many different pitch options depending on vehicle length. All come complete with full hook ups and are pet friendly. You’ll even find a dog park on site! Glamping Pods and cabins are on the lakefront too, however those are not pet friendly. Many of the pitches are around the main lakefront in the centre of the campground. One side has a large beach area and there’s even an inflatable water park.
Things to do/nearest town
As well as the beach and lake, you’ll find an outdoor swimming pool, a clubhouse serving food and drinks (sometimes has themed events), a convenience store, a shower house and laundry facilities. The nearest big town is Dubuque, a 10 minute drive away just over the Mississippi River in Iowa.
Kohler Andrae State Park Campground (Sheboygan)
🗺1020 Beach Park Ln, Sheboygan, WI 53081, United States
🚾Electric hook-ups, fire ring, picnic benches, vault toilets (seasonal restroom with flush toilets & showers, laundry)
⭐️Great for hiking
Imagine enjoying your morning coffee walking along the sand dunes listening to the beat of Lake Michigan’s waves rolling onto the beach. Kohler Andrae State Park is one of my favorite places to camp in Wisconsin. Enjoy an amazing sunrise, or hike one of the seven trails inside the park. Kohler Andrae State Park is not only popular with this local, but tourists as well. In fact, you need to book far in advance (a year out) to get a site during the summer.
Kohler Andrae State Park has 137 campsites with 52 of those having electric hookups. The campsites are spread out and most are nestled in among the trees for privacy. There are two group campsites with vault toilets. Kohler Andrae State Park is open for camping year round, although the flush toilets, showers, and laundry facilities are not open during the winter. There is a multiple lane dump station and on site campground host.
Photo credit: Lori from Lori Loves Adventure
If you want to leave the park and explore, there is a lot to see and do in Sheboygan. I suggest visiting the nearby John Michael Kohler Arts Preserve and after that enjoy a classic Wisconsin Supper Club experience at Majerle’s Black River Grill. On your way back to the park, stop and admire the quirky sculptures at the James Tellen Woodland Sculpture Garden.
A Wisconsin State Park sticker is required for entry. You can purchase one at the office in the park, or at the self serve machine outside the office.
Suggested by Lori from Lori Loves Adventure
Love Camping? Check Out This Camping Journal & Logbook!
My fellow Midwest travel writer, Lori from Lori Loves Adventure created the ‘Let’s Go Camping: Camping Journal & Log Book‘! The journal has plenty of space to record details such as: campground information, weather conditions, places you went, people you met, highlights, road trip conditions and more! How many of these best places to camp in the Midwest will make it into your journal?
Inspired by these campgrounds for the best camping in the Midwest? Pin it for later!