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  1. #1
    New Member Tannim's Avatar
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    spots to hang near the northwest burbs of Chigago

    Hello I'm looking for places I can backpack near Chicago is there anyplace where its legal besides National forests? theres like 4 or 5 of those but they are all like 300ish miles away from me. you have to camp in the campgrounds in pretty much all the state parks right not out on (or just off of)the trails? I know that hammock camping can be stealthy but Id rather stay legal. I'm going to check out the Hoosier National Forest Shirley Creek Trail in Indiana at the end of the month for a couple days but thats cause I'ma be in indy for a wedding anyway I really want to check out the garden of the gods in shawnee at some point but I would really prefer to find some place close to me

  2. #2
    Oms's Avatar
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    Check out Forest Glen Preserve http://www.vccd.org/recreation.html It is an 11 mile backpacking loop by Westville, IL with two walk in campgrounds along the way. Been there three times, twice in winter and once this summer. Each time we were the only campers. There will be people (mostly runners) during the day, but that's it. Thing about Illinois is that if there is a campsite that requires hiking into, it is usually available. Sand Ridge SP is similar in that you have to walk in. When I talked to the ranger he said it never filled up. It is not as nice as FGP though. Reserve a shelter or two along the Ice Age Trail in Kettle Morraine South. Should only be 1-1/2 hour drive tops. Check out the places here to see if any of it fits for you http://www.campchicago.net/Camp_Chic...ping/Home.html
    The Deam down in Indiana is very nice. I'm sure the folks who know more about it can fill you in. I did a couple of hangs down there with folks from HF. Believe the first year there were over 40 of us there, what a blast! By the way, Illinois is free. just sign up ahead of time at FGP. They're kind of funny that way. Oh, and maps are hard to get. They have them in the office, but they are never open and they can't figure out how to put it on line.
    Last edited by Oms; 07-20-2011 at 05:58. Reason: forgot something?

  3. #3
    New Member Tannim's Avatar
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    thanks I'll be sure to give FPG a look a hike in only campground does sound a lot better than being stuck in a drive up one I'll look more closely at that other link too

  4. #4
    Stormstaff's Avatar
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    Being south of Chicago, this will help me too hopefully.

    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Oms View Post
    Check out Forest Glen Preserve http://www.vccd.org/recreation.html It is an 11 mile backpacking loop by Westville, IL with two walk in campgrounds along the way. Been there three times, twice in winter and once this summer. Each time we were the only campers. There will be people (mostly runners) during the day, but that's it. Thing about Illinois is that if there is a campsite that requires hiking into, it is usually available. Sand Ridge SP is similar in that you have to walk in. When I talked to the ranger he said it never filled up. It is not as nice as FGP though. Reserve a shelter or two along the Ice Age Trail in Kettle Morraine South. Should only be 1-1/2 hour drive tops. Check out the places here to see if any of it fits for you http://www.campchicago.net/Camp_Chic...ping/Home.html
    The Deam down in Indiana is very nice. I'm sure the folks who know more about it can fill you in. I did a couple of hangs down there with folks from HF. Believe the first year there were over 40 of us there, what a blast! By the way, Illinois is free. just sign up ahead of time at FGP. They're kind of funny that way. Oh, and maps are hard to get. They have them in the office, but they are never open and they can't figure out how to put it on line.

  5. #5
    Senior Member JerryW's Avatar
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    I've been to Sand Ridge State Forest numerous times. It's a great place for fall, winter and spring - overrun with ticks in summer. Lots of trails, lots of pine forest, lots of sand, and even a little cactus here and there. No water, carry what you'll need. Some photos.

    You might want to join the Chicago Backpackers. They are very active with monthly meetings and lots of trips.


    Jerry
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