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Recommended Tent Camping Sites for 2011 - IL
Illinois Tent Camping Trip
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There are plenty of Illinois tenting campgrounds in this wonderful state. Where we begin this trip, the Illinois portion of Highway 51 splits the state more or less down the middle as it runs from the Wisconsin border south to Cairo at the very southern tip of the state along the banks of the Ohio River. As US-51 picks up in Illinois, the city of Rockford is the first stop.
Visit the town of Oglesby, known as the “Shortcut to Starved Rock,” a geological oddity located right in Northern Illinois. Starved Rock State Park is one of most wonderful Illinois tent camping scenic spots, full of opportunities for wandering among this impressive landscape carved from the glaciers that receded from this area eons ago.
Heading south, you’ll soon find yourself in the mini twin cities of Bloomington and Normal. The area hosts a bevy of outlet shops that aren’t too hard to find, especially if you’re driving on the highway since nearly every billboard advertises some outlet or another.
One quirky stop nearby is the Oliver P. Parks Telephone Museum, where you can glimpse dozens of early specimens of the telephone era from 1900 to present. For those seeking a little more adventure, try out Upper Limits, where you can test your rock climbing skill at the world’s tallest indoor climbing facility. Finally, take a stroll through the charming and historic downtown district of Bloomington where you can end the day with a stroll through Miller Park Zoo.
There’s a unique town south of there that’s worth a visit. Centralia enjoys a rich railroading heritage. One thing you don’t want to miss in town is a visit to the Centralia Carillon. This 165-foot tower hosts an arrangement of bells played each day by a professional carrilloneur. The tower hosts regular concerts throughout the summer.
Heading south, the landscape changes as you begin to enter the Ohio River Valley. Soon you’ll find yourself in the town of Carbondale. Located along the edge of the impressive Shawnee National Forest, Carbondale has put together several “trail” ideas for tourists visiting the area. Two of the finest are the orchard and wine trails, which take visitors on a tour of the finest offerings from the respective categories. Crab Orchard Campground is one of the great Illinois tent campgrounds in the area to check out.
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