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This is actually an Army Corps Of Engineers campground (our very first one) on the shores of Rend Lake, IL. They’re very similar to State Parks so I’ll rate them using the same system.
Link to campground here: South Sandusky Campground
Link to map here: South Sandusky Campground
- Site Quality = 3/5
This is a huge campground with several hundred campsites and the quality is a bit hit and miss. All sites are paved and have a fire-pit and picnic bench, but they are fairly narrow and vary a lot in how level they are. Some are absolutely flat, whereas others have more than a foot or more of drop between front and back (we were not able to level on our site despite using the full range of the jacks). On the plus side there’s nice separation between campers, a selection of full hook-up, electric or electric/water and plenty of shade sites and lots of privacy.
- Facilities = 2.5/5
The facilities are only so-so here. There’s flush toilets and showers, but they were a bit dingy and not as clean as we’d like. There is the bonus of central dump station, plus there are lots of areas for play and picnicking around the campground.
- Location = 4/5
Location is what makes this park. It’s set right next to gorgeous Rend Lake which has miles of hiking/biking, water recreation and a very nice beach. You’re ~10 miles from Benton which has Walmart and all your major shopping needs.
- Pet Friendliness = 5/5
Good place for pooch. Plenty of space to hang round the site and doggie can go hiking and in the water (just not at the beach).
Overall Rating = 3.6
BONUS ALERT = Rend Lake and lounging on the beach
Summary: The Army Corps of Engineers manages ~2,500 facilities around the US. We’d never been to one and were eager to try. Overall this is a really nice park. It’s got a good location on the shores of Lake Rend, there’s lots of space between campers and decent hiking and biking opportunities. The one thing that got us were the sites. There were really so hit and miss in terms of how level they were. Our own site had a huge drop and we weren’t able to level. Some had moderate drops whereas a selection were completely flat. On the plus side we had full hook-ups and great shade and privacy. I think, were we to come back, we’d probably go into the first-come, first-serve section and chose our site on arrival rather than booking ahead. We enjoyed the location, the beach and the lake so overall a really pleasant week-end.
Extra Info: AT&T Cellphones did not work, but Verizon wireless did. Selection of reservable sites. Full-hookup, electric, water/electric and primitive sites available. Sites are $24/night for full hook-up. Central dump and potable water.
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