My family has really started to love getting the tent out and camping together. So much so that I thought a nice post to remind me of what we’ve liked and didn’t like. I have a family with 5 small kids, oldest is only born in 2008, so we’re more into quiet wooded sights, beginner level hiking, and good sites to see etc…
Unfortunately, the majority of campers or camping these days refers to people that want electric sites for their RV or we’ve even seen people with window unit air conditioners for their tent! That’s not us; when we go camping, we like the old-fashioned non-electric site and a tent. We even sleep on the ground! The camp chef grill is the one major luxury that we take along every time.
Missouri Tent Camping
- Knob Knoster State Park ***** Stayed there 2 nights in summer 2016. They have nice wooded sites, pretty good hiking trails, and a nature center with nightly shows that the kids really liked. We really enjoyed this one and would go back.
- Lewis & Clark State Park ** Stayed there for 2 nights in summer 2017. We were really disappointed by the campgrounds here which weren’t really “out in nature” much. One side was right behind residential fencing between people’s backyards. The pros were that there was a nice playground, a pretty good beginner hiking trail within walking distance, and the lake is right there.
- Graham Cave State Park *** Stayed 1 night in summer 2018. They had a large no electric area and very few campers so privacy was great. It was wooded. The cave itself was disappointing because it had been fenced up but the hikes were great for boys 5, 7 and 9 years old. Other con was that you could hear the interstate traffic at night.
Iowa Tent Camping
- Palisades-Kepler State Park ***** Stayed there one night summer of 2018 and we wished we could have stayed longer. The drop-in process was easy, the campsites were wooded with quite a few non-electric off to themselves. An easy hike led to a great spot on the river nearby.
Illinois Tent Camping
- Pere Marquette State Park ***** Went through St. Charles MO and took the Grafton Ferry in summer of 2018. We really liked this park. It has an older separate section away from all the RVs for the tent camping and the Lodge is within walking distance.
- Illini State Park **** This was a nice park with a nice variety of sites. We stayed there in summer of 2018 in a really wooded site instead of staying by the river or a little more out in the open.
Wisconsin Tent Camping
- Pike Lake State Park **** We stayed here in summer of 2018. We really liked the nearby lake for it’s nice swimming area. The one piece we didn’t like was the check-in process or vehicle fees that go with the Wisconsin state parks.
- Apostle Islands Area Campground **** We stayed here two nights in summer of 2018. The best part of this campground is the location. It’s proximity to the Apostle Islands and Bayfield were perfect. The tent sites were off and away from the RVs which we also like. The restrooms and showers should be in a little better shape but all-in-all, this was a good place for us.