Coles County Camping | 2 Best Campgrounds Near Charleston-Mattoon

We’ve found the best Coles County camping to take the work off your hands! These two campgrounds near Charleston & Mattoon will give you serene weekends away and a chance to explore the ridges created by the Embarras River.

2. Walnut Point State Park


A gem of central Illinois – Walnut Point State Park – is just a half-hour drive northeast of Charleston. This park’s 671 acres offer wooded picnic areas and views of the lake. You can rent kayaks or canoes at the restaurant located on the lake and fill your day with paddling or fishing as anglers have access to the Embarras River and lake with its many coves. There are 2.25 miles of trails within the park, and there’s another 3-mile loop if you’re willing to use the park road.

This campground in Coles County accommodates 34 Class A sites, 20 Class C sites, and one group campsite. If this park piques your interest, consider visiting! For more information and instructions for their Geocaching program, check out the DNR website.

1. Fox Ridge State Park

Best Coles County Camping

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Just a ten-minute drive separates Charleston and Eastern Illinois University from the 2,064-acre Fox Ridge State Park. The Embarras River created the ridges and valleys of the landscape, so picnic areas are positioned throughout the park for visitors’ ease.

There are ten miles of connected trails and eight looped trails – Be careful though, and many of them are quite steep (compared to most of the surrounding flatlands at least). There are also four miles of horse trails available for equestrians. An outlook tower, known as the Eagles Nest, rewards climbers with a view of the river and those trying their hand at fishing.

a pond with trees and a bridge

For those looking to make reservations at this Coles County campground, you have the option to pick from 42 Class A campsites and two cabins with a shower building, picnic tables, a dumping station, and drinking water available. To manage over-crowding, groups of 25 or more are required to register in advance. This park does an excellent job of displaying the beauty of central Illinois. Check out the IL DNR for more information or go straight to ExploreMoreIL to make a reservation today!

Nearby Options for Coles County Camping

If you are looking for more options for camping near Charleston and Mattoon – Take a look at our full list of Campgrounds in Illinois with our other county guides or use the buttons below to see nearby options!

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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