We made a reservation for Starved Rock State Park about a month ago. This park is probably the most popular park in Illinois, and every time I tried to make a reservation last year, it was always booked. So we made reservations early in the season this year. And we totally lucked out with the weather. The one and only nice weekend in April turned out to be the weekend we made reservations.
Being the camping snob that I am, I'm not a big fan of midwest camping. And Starved Rock isn't much different than the other places we've camped at, but it's different enough that I'd say it's my favorite so far. Even though the actual campground isn't anything to rave about, there's at least a different type of scenery to hike to. Like these sandstone bluffs with waterfalls that we hiked to on Saturday:
Proof that I was there, 8 months along:
We ended up hiking about 4 miles that day. There are a lot of hikes at the park, but because of the severe flooding the previous week, all but two of the hikes were closed.
I'm sure the view would be a lot prettier with leaves on the trees, but we didn't want to go camping any later this season with baby due in a month.
Erik joined us, which always makes it even funner for the kids. He's always a great sport and does what the kids want him to. He played "catch" with Spencer for hours back at the campsite, played with Waimea on the swingset, and played Molkky (Finnish lawn bowling) as well:
The weather was beautiful Saturday, but then we got rained on that night and it was drizzly all morning Sunday. We ended up going home earlier than we had planned because the sun just wasn't making an appearance. But we'll definitely be back. Of all the places we've camped at so far in this area, this is the only one I've had any desire to go back to. That's saying something.