2 Best Champaign County Campgrounds | Camping Near Champaign, Illinois

For students and townies looking to escape the campustown life, try camping near Champaign! Just a short drive away lies two of Illinois’ best campgrounds. Enjoy a hikers paradise or more private offerings in these campsites below!

1. Middle Fork River Forest Preserve

Best Forest Preserve Camping in Champaign County


Stretch your legs and your brain by visiting Middle Fork River Forest Preserve. This campground in Champaign County is about a 35-minute drive from Champaign itself, and it offers over seven miles of trails between 0.8 miles and 2.4 miles where hikers can see restored prairie, wetlands, and river bottomland forest.

For nature nerds, there’s much to learn about their waterfowl management areas, prairie restoration tactics (including prescribed burns!), and local wildflowers on self-guided tours or in the nearby museum and interpretive center. Take advantage of the volleyball court, picnic shelter, and playground for a day of outdoor fun. Stargazers will especially value this preserve as it contains Illinois’s first Dark Sky Park! If you want to swim, simply walk the short way from your campsite to the beach.

Benefits of a Dark Sky Park

All 65 campsites in the Harry L. Swartz Campground have a grill, and all have electricity except for Indian Ridge campsites. Group sites and double sites are also available for reservation for the best opportunity for camping near Champaign. See the next available date here!

2. D & W Lake Camping and RV Park

Best Private Camping Near Champaign IL

If you’re looking for a quiet lakeside RV park that’s a short 12-minute drive from the heart of Champaign, IL, D & W Lake may be just the thing for you. Rated “A” by GuestRated.com for multiple years, this peaceful retreat offers boat rentals and fishing as well as a playground for any little ones. From sports games to theater productions, the nearby University of Illinois is rife with entertainment. If golfing is your thing, visit one of the six public golf courses in the area.

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D&W’s Lake

Full hookups, laundry, WiFi, and propane make this an uncomplicated spot to settle down for as long as you wish, and a nearby convenient store can fill any of your other needs. This outfit offers various RV sites and tent-only sites. This campground near Champaign and Urbana can scratch your itch for diverting days and peaceful nights if you make a reservation with D & W Lake Camping.

Haven’t Found Your Perfect Campsite?

More state parks, private campgrounds, and primitive campsites are waiting! Check out 14 more of our favorite campgrounds in central Illinois.

Central Illinois Campgrounds

Additional Resources

If neither of those campgrounds interests you, make the short drive up to Kankakee County or check out our other camping guides.

If you’ve found your campsite and just need to finish rouding out your gear – check out our gear guides!

About the Author

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Robbie is a Co-Founder and editor at Midwest Camping. Robbie has backpacked over three hundred miles of the Appalachian trail, visited seventeen national parks, and camped regularly for the last two decades.

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