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Old 01-29-2009, 11:37 AM   #1
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Chicago Camping

We're looking for a campground in the vicinity of Chicago that is within a fairly short driving distance (10 miles or less?) of one of the rail lines going into the city. Our TV is too large to comfortably find parking in the city, and we like public transit. We're attending a conference in the city, but would rather spend the evenings outside of the city in our AS. Does anyone know of a CG like this?

Many thanks!
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:07 PM   #2
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Only two I know of and they are about 45 minutes out. One is Joliet (Empress Casino campgrounds). And there is another one either in peotone or Monee.

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Old 01-29-2009, 12:36 PM   #3
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I stayed at a state (?) park NW of the city, can't remember the name though. It was a long commute in!

Edit: It was Chain-O-Lakes State Park, 60 miles NW of Chicago. There was commuter train not too far away... but a long ride.
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:18 PM   #4
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Chicago Camping

Another possibility would be Kankakee, Illinois. There are three trains for Chicago each day departing from the Kankakee Amtrak Station. Two campgrounds are available in the greater Kankakee area, and both are similar distances from the Amtrak depot -- Kankakee River State Park, and Kankakee South KOA. Currently, the train schedulle is as follows:

City of New Orleans (58)
Departs Kankakee Daily at 7:13 a.m. -- Arrives Chicago at 9:00 a.m.

Saluki (390)
Departs Kankakee Daily at 11:15 a.m. -- Arrives Chicago at 1:00 p.m.

Illini (392)
Departs Kankakee Daily at 9:00 p.m. -- Arrives Chicago at 10:45 p.m.

Return to Kankakee as follows:

City of New Orleans (59)
Departs Chicago Daily at 8:00 p.m. -- Arrives Kankakee at 9:23 p.m.

Saluki (391)
Departs Chicago Daily at 8:15 a.m. -- Arrives Kankakee at 9:22 a.m.

Illini (393)
Departes Chicago Daily at 4:05 p.m. -- Arrives Kankakee at 5:12 p.m.

The Amtrak station is located at:
199 South East Avenue (one block South of IL-17/Court Street)
Kankakee, IL

The station is relatively easy to find -- Court Street (Illinois Highway 17) is one of the main East/West highways, and the station is located near the heart of the old downtown section of Kankakee -- you can't miss the IC-Gulf overpass on Court Street -- the station is immediately South of the overpass. I grew up in Kankaee and often used IC-G/Amtrak for transportation, and the same depot is in use today.

Kevin
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:32 PM   #5
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The largest wooded is Chain of Lake SP 7 miles from Fox Lake train. 1 1/2 hours to downtown. Zion Beach SP on the lake 1/2 mile from campground to train in Zion. 1 1/3 hrs to downtown. Buffalo County Park on Fox River, on 31 between Carpentersville and Algonquin. Train close by Little smaller park. KOA campground in Marengo, Train to town close by. 1 3/4 hours to downtown.
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:34 PM   #6
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There is Martin Campground in Joliet, close to Joliet or New Lenox Metra stations.
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:40 PM   #7
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Chicago Camping

Greetings kfrere!

I didn't think to mention in my earlier post that since it appears that you may be approaching from the South, Kankakee as the destination for camping would allow you to avoid the perils of traveling on the expressway system around Chicago. The traffic approaching Kankakee from the South is quite easy to handle -- the traffic volume increases considerably about 30 miles North of Kankakee.

Kevin
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:35 PM   #8
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Great information - thanks!

After a little more research I found Emerald Trails CG in Crete, IL. I found Crete south of Chicago, but I can't figure out how close it might be to one of the transit lines. They don't open until April, but I need to figure this out before then.

Anyone familiar with the Crete area?
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:46 PM   #9
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Crete is close to the Richton Park Metra station. Go here for train info Metra - Welcome to Metra
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:10 PM   #10
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Chicago Mass Transit Links and RV Park Reviews

Maybe the Chicago Transit Authority site can help you determine how easy mass transit connections are to make as you decide where to stay. You can Google "Chicago Transit Authority" I get an error when I try to cut and paste the link into this post.

We don't have any experience with Crete or campgrounds around Crete. Here's a recent review from RV Park Reviews. Doesn't sound too promising. RV Park Reviews :: Crete, Illinois ( IL ) - RV Parks and Campground Reviews

Good luck!

Nancy Mac
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:19 AM   #11
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The CTA stops at the cities borders. Metra runs to the suburbs.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:47 AM   #12
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Union, Illinois near Chicago

This morning I saw a new review in RV Park Reviews for a Chicago Northwest KOA. It is actually in Union, IL so it may not show up when you try to find Chicago campgrounds. It may be further north than you want to go. Their web site says they are close to two Metra stations.

If we went, we'd likely take a route that would let us avoid that interchange around Rockford. We've gone through that interchange a couple of times lately on the way to Wisconsin and have been very glad we weren't towing.

Nancy Mac
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:33 PM   #13
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Avoiding Rockford Going to Wisconsin

Greetings Nancy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by maccamper View Post
This morning I saw a new review in RV Park Reviews for a Chicago Northwest KOA. It is actually in Union, IL so it may not show up when you try to find Chicago campgrounds. It may be further north than you want to go. Their web site says they are close to two Metra stations.

If we went, we'd likely take a route that would let us avoid that interchange around Rockford. We've gone through that interchange a couple of times lately on the way to Wisconsin and have been very glad we weren't towing.

Nancy Mac
I have had the ocassion to stay at the Chicago Nortwest KOA and it is quite nice for an urban campground -- they have an annual victroal/edison phonograph convention at a neighboring museum.

I learned to avoid the Rockford interchange years ago when I made between eight and twelve round-trips to Wisconsin each year. One way is to exit on US 20 West and travel to the point where it becomes two lane -- turn North and follow into Wisconsin -- all of the unpleasant traffic (and tolls) are missed. Even better than that is to just follow I-74 up to I-80 then cross I-80 Mississippi River bridge and take US-61 North -- excellent roads 4-lane or better all of the way to Madison, WI and beyond.

Kevin
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:34 PM   #14
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Hi,
Several years ago we stayed at Indiana Dunes State Park near Gary???? IN. Took the South Shore Line into Chicago. The rail station was only a couple minutes from the park and stopped within walking distance of all the popular museums in Chicago. I think it was about an hour's ride in and was a fun way for us to see the city then go back and roast marshmallows the same day. IN Dunes SP was pretty nice, reasonable price, and nice scenery. It was a pretty cheap way to travel to the big city. Hope to go back and do it again some day.

Have a good trip, Brad
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