Renowned naturalist and journalist Jerry Sullivan said that in Chicago, “we can enjoy the riches of life in one of the world’s greatest metropolises and connect ourselves to the natural world.” Chicago may be the country’s third largest city, but there are plenty of options for camping and exploring beautiful parks within a few hours’ drive. Whatever your version of connecting to the outside world—whether it’s pitching a tent or cozying up in a cabin—there are campgrounds ranging from rustic to full outdoor resort. You can camp a few feet away from the Midwest’s best hiking and biking trails or spend lazy days reading and relaxing near a lake. Here are the best campgrounds near Chicago for seasonal and year-round tent sites, RV and trailer-accessible sites, cabins and recreational activities.
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