Top Dog Campgrounds near Chicago, IL

First Walk Free *

Introduction

With a dog park in every neighborhood, the woods of Cook County close by, and more than 500 pet-friendly restaurants — not to mention all sorts of entertainment for dog owners — you might wonder why a pup and their person would want to leave Chicago at all! That being said, the fast pace of urban life can be exhausting, and there’s nothing to recharge your batteries like spending a few days in the great outdoors. Sometimes a camping trip is just what the doctor (or vet) ordered!

While the Windy City has plenty of "pawesome" nature preserves, you may need to go a little further afield to find a Fido-friendly campground that suits your needs. Never mind, though — once you pitch your tent or park your RV at one of these spectacular staying spots, you just might think the trip was worth it.

#1 Camp Bullfrog Lake

Plan a camping trip you'll never "fur-get" at Wolf Road Woods, just over 20 miles southwest of Chicago. Launch your canoe or cast your line in Bullfrog Lake, or explore the park's 50 miles of hiking trails. Afterwards, rest your weary paws at the 30-site Camp Bullfrog Lake. Amenities include restrooms, showers, electric hookups, and a camp store. Dogs on a leash eight feet or shorter are welcome in the tent and RV camping areas.

#2 Camp Sullivan

This cozy campground, "ruffly" 25 miles south of the city in Oak Forest, offers 25 sites for tent and RV campers seeking solitude in Tinley Creek Woods. Prefer to camp in comfort? Bring your extended family and friends to stay in one of the bunkhouses. Leashed dogs are welcome at tent and RV sites, but must steer clear of buildings. Once you've set up camp, treat Fido to some exercise on the 13-mile trail network.

#3 Blackwell Family Campground

Nestled 35 miles west of Chicago within the peaceful woodlands of Blackwell Forest Preserve, this campground welcomes outdoor enthusiasts and their canine camping buddies. Fishing, hiking, and wildlife watching are just a few of the activities on offer here. Campground amenities include port-a-potties, picnic tables, and fire rings. Doggos can even let loose in the on-site dog park! (However, you'll need a permit to access it.)

Need a hand? Let a dog walker from Wag! help out!

#4 Chicago Northwest KOA

This Fido-friendly staying spot is nestled on the outskirts of the city, near the airport in Union, IL. This KOA caters to hounds and humans with fun activities and amenities. Challenge your camping crew to a round of mini golf, and let your four-legged friend loose in the on-site dog park. Walking trails, electric hookups, and spacious RV sites are also available. Although KOA campgrounds welcome canines, individual pet policies vary.

#5 Yogi Bear's Jellystone Resort

This kid-friendly vacation destination just under 60 miles west of Chicago is "pawfect" for the whole family, fur-children included! Soak in the hot tub or one of the park's two heated outdoor pools, play horseshoes, mini golf, or volleyball, or check out the rec room or on-site gym. Amenities include fire pits, a dump station, restrooms and showers, and Wi-Fi. Canine campers are welcome for an additional fee.

#6 Starved Rock State Park

Located in the tiny town of Ottowa, Starved Rock State Park is top of the list of places to visit in Illinois. And with trails running through wooded wonderland and past striking rock formations and all sorts of "op-paw-tunities" for water-based recreation, it’s easy to see why. The campground here is both scenic and comfortable — perched on the banks of the Illinois River, sites come with electricity and access to hot showers.

#7 White Pine Forest State Park

The best dog-friendly campground under two hours away from Chicago, White Pine Forest State Park is also one of the quietest. This well-kept secret also offers almost all the creature comforts a pup and their person could ask for — full RV hookups, showers, and even an on-site restaurant. The location isn’t bad, either! White Pine Forest is threaded with gently burbling creeks, but it’s the early summer wildflowers that really make the place stand out.

#8 Mendota Hills Campground

A two-hour drive from Chicago, Mendota Hills Campground is a furrific choice for those who want to camp in comfort while staying close to nature. Starved Rock State Park is just a bone’s throw away, and the serene Gremnel Wildlife Sanctuary is right next door. Back at the ranch, you’ll find electricity, water, and sewer RV hookups, a camp store, planned activities, and three lakes to fish or splash about in.

#9 Kickapoo State Recreation Area

Make no bones about it: a trip to Kickapoo State Recreation Area is well worth the two-hour-and-change drive from the city. This park has something for everyone — from hound-dog hikers to keen anglers and even scuba divers! There are two campgrounds at Kickapoo, and about half the sites have electricity (all sites have access to showers). If you’re looking for a more rustic experience, tent-only sites are also available.

#10 Weldon Springs State Park

Weldon Springs State Park was once voted one of the top 20 campgrounds in the whole country. And, unlike a lot of Illinois campgrounds, it’s open year-round. You and your buddy can cast a line in the lake or sniff and explore the trails in the summer. When the weather gets colder, you can ski or toboggan — maybe even give your buddy a chance to learn to mush! Electricity and hot showers are provided..