So when you finally purchase your dream RV, then have it break and have no idea when you’ll get it back – it’s a bit difficult to make plans for the last holiday weekend of the summer. Any planning was put on hold. We finally got the RV back the weekend before Labor Day and most of the campgrounds were already booked. We didn’t want to travel too far in case god forbid anything went wrong, so trying to find something within a few hours of Chicago was challenging to say the least. Through my favorite new website Reserve America I managed to find a little state park in the middle of Illinois called Fox Ridge State Park that had a spot available.
Fox Ridge State Park is located downstate in Charleston, Illinois (about 220 miles from Chicago). I must admit the drive is not scenic by any means -wide open highway with a few farms along the road. However, once you get off the highway you drive through some pretty areas especially by Lake Charleston which, unfortunately we did not get to spend anytime at, but driving by it looks like a nice place to explore.
New Toys for the RV
For this trip we had a few more items that we had purchased that we were finally able to try out. A ramp for the dogs – which is large, but so worth it. After looking around and reading tons of reviews we went with the PetStep folding ramp. It’s big, and a little heavy, but is very sturdy and the dogs don’t seem to slip.
Another key purchase was a new tent. Ok I know, we have an RV so what do we need a tent for….. it serves a number of purposes. First it’s not really a tent but rather a canopy. So we keep it up and have a place to sit outside when/if it rains. Second, there is a screen option you can buy. This turns it into a screened in area for those trips when the bugs are just so bad. Third it has a wind screen which we use to strategically put up to block the view of the road for the dogs. I love my fur babies, but they are not the most well behaved when it comes to seeing people and especially other dogs. So we put this up, and the dogs have a shaded spot to hang out with limited views. It makes camp life much better for everyone 🙂
Fox Ridge State Park – The Campground
The campground is divided up into two main loops. The first one for reservations and the other for walk ups. We had reserved site #8 which was in the interior side of the loop backing up to a park area. Our site was huge! So much room for the RV and back a little ways from the road, then a large picnic area all surrounded by trees. Since our site backed up to the park there were several paths leading back which was great for walking the dogs. With the sites being so spread out it was very peaceful and you didn’t feel like you were on top of your neighbors. Additionally the campground had some great hiking paths deep in a forest area that make you feel like you were miles from anywhere.
Next to the campground was a little lake that had nice walking path around it. Though it was Labor Day weekend, there was hardly anyone around – so peaceful.
We ended up having a great weekend. Lots of time spent chilling out and reading and some time spent hiking in the woods. And the best part was we had no issues with the RV (we were so relieved). I would highly recommend Fox Ridge State Park. Though I wish it was a little closer for shorter weekend getaways, it would be a place where we would definitely camp at again.