Apple River Canyon State Park, IL

Discussion in 'Illinois' started by dgsh3, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. dgsh3

    dgsh3 New Member

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    I just returned from a recon trip to Apple River Canyon SP. This will likely be the destination for my first non-boondocking, non-winter camping trip with the new pup that I just bought last August. This is my first attempt at offering a review, so bear with me.

    The park and campground were easy to find, due west of Rockford about 15 minutes just north of route 20. It's a pretty small campground, but several of the sites seemed to be good sized and reasonably spaced, although some sites seemed to have limited growth between sites to minimize a direct line of site to your neighbors. However with no vegetation growing yet, it might be ok later in the spring. My favorite site looks to be #40. About half the site are reservable and these seemed to be the larger sites. This campground has no hookups, which appeals to me as I prefer boondocking, but wanted to find a nearby campground to acquaint myself with some of the pups features while having nearby source to fill/use the water tank.

    The apple river runs just at the base of some nice bluffs. It's a very clear river, but from what I gather they don't allow swimming or wading. In fact, the DNR just released rainbow trout into the river, which I was told they do every spring for fishing. Rainbow require very clear and cool water to sustain them, however do to the warm summer temps here they don't survive throughout the summer. There are also some decent hiking trails, but not too long or of great difficulty in my opinion.

    There was a local resident walking the campground while I was there, a beautiful day for it. She was very friendly and we chatted briefly. She told me she knows the staff at the park office and the campground hosts and that they were very nice. She also said the campground doesn't usually get too busy, but the summer holidays it may be more so.

    That's about it I think. If you have any questions I'd be happy to try to answer them if I can.

    Dave
     
  2. Rusty

    Rusty Don't worry, everything has a way of working out.

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    [A] It's a small world, I grew up near there. On stagecoach trail to the east is a village called Waddams Grove where I spent my childhood. A few more miles east is Lena where I graduated High School. There is a nice State Park there called Lake Le-Aqua-Na, I have camped there before, but it has been a long time. The whole area is nice and so are the people you meet. If you wish to swim, you can go to Apple Canyon lake, at least it used to be allowed. Sounds like you had a good trip. Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. dgsh3

    dgsh3 New Member

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    Thanks for the tips on the Apple Canyon lake and the Lake Le-Aqua-Na Rusty. I'll be sure to check out both of those as well when I'm over there next month.
     
  4. CamperMike

    CamperMike Member

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    Apple river canyon was a regular tent camping destination for me growing up so I have fond memories of the park. I haven't been there in years but I hope to go sometime soon with my kids. It is a nice park and I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
     
    K VanDyke likes this.
  5. pandpcamper

    pandpcamper Lifetime camper, newer to pup

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    Going to h ave to check this out. We will be purchasing a battery soon so no-hookups won't be an issue. What kind of restroom facilities are there?
     
  6. CamperMike

    CamperMike Member

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    We just got back from a 2-night stay last weekend. One whole loop of the park is reservable, and all sites were reserved when we got there Friday. We got a decent site in the nonreservable loop, but in the future I will try to get reservations because that loop seemed to have some better sites. Overall, the park is primitive but in very good condition for an Illinois state park. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The park is small, but it has a nice set of trails, and a few good fishing holes. My son got a really nice smallmouth on Saturday night. Here are more specifics:

    - All of the sites are non-electric
    - Only some of the sites are suitable for a popup (some are too small, or not level) but unless it's a holiday weekend you would probably be able to find something in the nonreservable loop.
    - Many of the sites are quite spacious... We had site #13 and it was nice. It did slope down though so getting out of the site after it rains would be a challenge.
    - The reservable sites are better for the most part but some of the other sites are decent.
    - There are only pit toilets but they are clean and don't stink.
    - The facilities are well kept. The hiking trails are nice, and for Illinois this is a scenic area. We'll be back.
     

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