NF Campground Rating – Lake Glendale (Shawnee National Forest, IL)
Link to map here: Lake Glendale Recreation Area (Shawnee)
- Site Quality = 4/5
We were happily surprised by the site quality here. All the electric sites (30 amp) are large, hard dirt and nicely flat. The primitive sites vary a bit, some being more narrow and uneven, but there’s a nice selection of flat sites as well as double sites which can easily accommodate big rigs. The sites are well separated and the area is heavily wooded so there’s tons of privacy for each camper. None have direct lake-views, but several have short trails (10 feet at most) to lakeside. Each site has picnic table and fire-pit.
- Facilities = 3.5/5
There’s decent facilities here. The bathrooms are large and well-kept and there’s free showers. The main annoyance is that the showers have a timer button which I swear was set to only ~15 secs, so barely enough time to wait for the water to get warm before it goes out. The campground has on-site dump station and potable water. Also, there are pinic areas and a swimming beach (albeit paying) on the lake.
- Location = 4/5
This is definitely on of those “out there” locations which is perfect for those that like to get away. The campsite is beautifully located in the middle of a thick forest and right next to stunning Lake Glendale with tons of hiking right from your site. You’re also a short drive from local sights like Garden of the Gods. However, don’t expect to come here to do your shopping.
- Pet Friendliness = 5/5
Fabulous doggie place like all National Forests. Plenty of places for hiking and hanging out.
Overall Rating = 4.1
BONUS ALERT = Dense and relaxing forest next to stunning Lake Glendale
Summary: This was a fabulous and serene stop for us on (otherwise busy) Labor Day week-end. For those who like getting “out there” Shawnee National Forest, IL is definitely a go-to location. Most of the campgrounds here are non-reservation and you probably won’t have connectivity, but if you’re looking for peace and quiet with nature, woods and hiking this is an awesome place to stay. At Lake Glendale most of the pads were surprisingly large (and nicely flat), and there was a good selection of electric as well as primitive sites. Lots of privacy between campers and miles of (unmarked, mind you) hiking trails in the nearby forest. Also, you’re right next to stunning Lake Glendale with fishing, beach and boating. This is a place that locals go because they know it’s good and almost everyone else passes by. Our kind of stop indeed!
Extra Info: No regular connectivity here (neither AT&T Cellphones nor Verizon wireless worked), however we were able to get on-line with external antenna and amplifier. No reservations (first-come-first-serve only), but selection of primitive and electric sites. Sites are $18/night for electric, $12/night for primitive. Central dump and potable water.