Camping between STL and MSN
August 29, 2020 5:26 AM   Subscribe

We're looking for a place to do socially-distant tent camping around halfway between St. Louis, MO and Madison, WI. We prefer drive-up sites but could hike in, and would rather be a little ways from RV sites. Where should we be looking?

Bonus points if they won't give us grief for having some whiskey and cigars around the campfire at night.
posted by anonymous to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
Indiana Dunes? (I haven't been there since the pandemic, so check first.)
posted by eotvos at 7:14 AM on August 29 [1 favorite]

There are private campgrounds in the area around Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks in Illinois. (Both parks are currently closed due to storm damage from a few weeks ago, however.) The area around there is quite lovely.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:59 AM on August 29

Going up the Mississippi is going to be your answer. There are many campgrounds along the river, like Blanchard Island Campground and
Mississippi Palisades State Park. Personally I would aim to get to the Driftless zone in the north western most corner of Illinois and south western corner of Wisconsin. Galena IL is right on the edge of it - and there is great camping in this zone in all 4 states.
posted by zenon at 8:54 AM on August 29 [3 favorites]

I've stayed at Mississippi Palisades, and I gotta tell ya, the noise from the railroad that goes right by it is VERY LOUD, and kept me up all night. So, yeah, go north more.
posted by RedEmma at 1:03 PM on August 29 [1 favorite]

Don’t be tempted by Rock Cut State Park (IL). That was the most miserable night of car camping I’ve ever experienced. (Loud, hot, bumpy.)
posted by juliapangolin at 3:30 PM on August 29 [2 favorites]

It’s a bit roundabout(on the Mississippi, northwest of MSN) but I’m sitting in Perrot State Park right now, have been for the last five days, and am sad to be leaving to go back to Madison tomorrow.
posted by rockindata at 3:32 PM on August 29

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