White Pines Forest State Park is a beautiful park at nearly 400 acres near Chicago. The landscape ranges from mossy rock walls to flower-covered creek beds, heavy forests to wide open spaces.
The park offers more than 100 campsites with easy access and amenities like modern shower and restroom facilities. Sites with full hookup and handicap access are available. Keep in mind, though — as nice as this campground is, it can still experience soft ground conditions in the spring, leading to closure. Each site comes with a fire ring and picnic table. Availability and overcrowding is generally not a problem, unless you’re looking to camp over a holiday weekend.
Activities within the park include hiking on the seven marked trails that range in difficulty; hunting; archery; winter sports such as cross-country skiing; dining at the lovely White Pines Inn restaurant, built in the 1930s; and picnicking along the waterfront.
Dogs are more than welcome at the campground, but you must have proof of their current rabies vaccination to present upon arrival. Dogs must be leashed at all times and never left unsupervised. If your dog starts barking excessively, you may be asked to leave. Do not allow your pet to become a nuisance to other campers in general and do not allow them to approach others unless invited. If you know your dog is somewhat jittery around new people, choose a campsite that is more removed from the others, to avoid causing your dog any unneeded stress.
As always, bring along your portable bowls and all food and water, supplies for cleaning up after your pet and any medications needed. It’s also a smart idea to make sure your dog is up to date on all flea, tick, and heart worm medications.
You are not allowed to bring your own campfire wood with you, and all firewood must be purchased locally, to avoid the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer.