Southern Illinois offers unique midwestern camping experiences you can’t find in other parts of the state! Camping near Carbondale at one of these four campgrounds will be an unforgettable experience for any outdoor adventurer. Check out our recommendations for Jackson county camping and plan your trip today!
4. Crab Orchard Campground
Best Carbondale Campground for Hunters
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is one of the greatest spots for camping near Carbondale. This refuge’s main priority is to protect the native fish and wildlife species.
Both bank and boat fishing is permitted and anglers can take advantage of the 9,000 acres of water that comprise the multiple lakes and ponds located throughout the refuge. Hunting for big game, upland game, furbearers, and migratory birds are permitted seasonally. Contact the refuge for more information on special hunts for youth, seniors, and hunters with disabilities.
While exploring the refuge’s 44,000 acres of land and sea, you might be lucky enough to spot native wildlife species such as white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and bald eagles!
The Crab Orchard Lake Campground has campsites to fit everyone’s needs. Campsites with water, sewer, and electric hookups, campsites with water and electric hookups, and campsites with neither water nor electric hookups are all available to be reserved. Additionally, six ADA-accessible campsites can be found throughout the campground. Stays at this campground are limited to fourteen consecutive days, and the campground is operational from the beginning of April to late November.
To make a reservation at Crab Orchard Lake Campground, call the campground directly.
3. Little Grassy Lake Campground
Private Campground Near Carbondale
Looking for some of the best camping near Carbondale? Look no further than Little Grassy Lake Campground and Marina! Most of the campsites at this campground provide stunning views of Little Grassy Lake.
This private campground offers amenities and activities that everyone is sure to enjoy! You can go for a swim in the lake or just relax on a beach towel along the sandy shore. Want to spend your camping vacation casting a fishing rod? This campground has you covered and even offers rental fishing gear alongside canoe, kayak, Jon boat, and pontoon rentals! Little Grassy Lake Campground and Marina is also conveniently located nearby both Giant City State Park and Crab Orchard National Wildlife refuge where you can explore over 20 marked trails!
Little Grassy Lake Campground is made up of 14 spacious full-hookup RV campsites, 54 water and electric sites, and 35 tent camping sites. All campsites contain a picnic table and a fire ring. Campers have access to an indoor bathhouse with hot showers and can take advantage of the campground’s general store where necessities such as ice and firewood can be purchased.
Campsites can be reserved by calling Little Grassy Lake Campground and all reservations require a two-night non-refundable deposit.
2. Lake Murphysboro State Park
Another option for a campground if you’re looking to support the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and still want the best camping near Carbondale is Lake Murphysboro State Park. Filled with gentle rolling hills and relaxing sandy shores, this state park is a popular destination for fishing. All anglers will appreciate the various species of fish that can be found within the lake; you’re most likely to catch largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish, and crappie!
For those seeking a more structured hiking experience, I recommend checking out the park’s designated 3-mile trail that offers plenty of opportunities to see the plants, animals, and birds of the park. If you’re looking to roam on your own, explore the numerous paths that criss-cross throughout the park’s wooded hills.
The campsites within Lake Murphysboro State Park give campers the ability to appreciate the scenic views the park has to offer. There are 20 tent-only campsites available to reserve, and these campsites do not include water or electric hookups. For those camping with an RV or trailer, 54 campsites equipped with electricity are also available along with four ADA accessible campsites.
You can reserve a campsite by visiting the ExploreMoreIL website.
1. Giant City State Park
Best Camping Near Carbondale
Giant City State Park offers one of the best options for camping near Carbondale if you’re interested in experiencing the captivating natural beauty that makes up a state park. While staying at this campground, make sure you take advantage of at least one of the eight trails located within the park! If you’re feeling up for a true adventure, consider hiking the 12-mile Red Cedar Hiking Trail! Don’t worry about making it in one day, there’s an overnight campsite located halfway through the trail.
If you’re looking for something else to do besides hiking, multiple ponds that can be utilized for boating and fishing can be found throughout the park. Additionally, rock climbing and rappelling are allowed in two specific areas in the park.
The campground at Giant City State Park contains 85 Class A campsites. These campsites provide water and electric hookups as well as access to showers and restrooms. Fourteen primitive, or walk-in, campsites can be found at the south end of the campground and provide a more private camping experience. A number of additional Class A campsites are also available to rent in the state park’s separate equestrian campground.
All campsites provide you with a fire ring. If you’re interested in a more comfortable experience, consider staying at the park’s historic lodge. The lodge features 34 cabins equipped with heat and air conditioning and even offers scenic forest views.
Reservations for Giant City State Park Campground can be made through the ExploreMoreIL website.
Closing – More Camping Options Near Carbondale
These four campgrounds all booked up or you want to explore somewhere new? Check out our other Illinois campground guides for hundreds of more campgrounds!