Take your pupper out into the woods at Sand Ridge State Forest in Illinois. This area is full of interesting geological history, as you can see in the unique ridges that were formed by large sand dunes and millennia of high winds. The discovery of this sandy soil led to thousands of pine trees being planted here, creating the beautiful forest that grows today.
Camping facilities in this forest include 55 campsites, 27 of which are situated on the Pine Campground loop and accommodate both tent and RV camping. Each of these lots comes with a picnic table and fire ring along with access to drinking water. Backcountry camping is available in the forest, with 12 sites being set up within hiking distance of the roads. To stay at any of these remote lots, you'll have to obtain a special permit from the forest headquarters. Those that like to take their horses on forest trails will be happy to learn that an entire loop of campsites is dedicated to equestrians, and group camping is also offered at the facility.
Rates to stay here start at $6 for a backcountry site and go all the way up to $40 per night for a group lot. There are two shelters in the park which can be rented for $25 a day, one of which is wheelchair accessible (both allow canine visitors). To reserve any of the sites or shelters, you'll also need to pay a $5 reservation fee, so keep that in mind.
While here, be sure to hit the many trails that run through this magnificent forest. On your hikes, look out for the unique plant life that grows in the desert-like conditions, and watch for some unexpected birds and animals as well! Various areas of the forest allow hunting, so be careful when out with your furry friend.
All four-legged campers are welcome to stay on the campsites as long as they are kept on-leash. The forest management also asks that you remember to properly clean up after your pooch and dispose of their waste in the trash receptacles provided.
If you'd like to stay in an Illinois forest like no other, be sure to check out Sand Ridge State Forest!