July 10, 2003
When driving into the campground area, there is a split for reserved and non-reserved campsites. Sites 1-58 are non-reserveable and are assigned on a first come, first served basis. These sites are all open campsites on a large grass area. Of the reserveable sites (59-133), sites 69-127 are wooded and the twenty non-wooded sites are up near the front of the campground and within close walking distance to the flushable showers and toilets. The campsites in the wooded area are closest to the pit toilets. The wooded sites have a lot of gravel so take this in consideration if you will be sleeping in sleeping bags without some type of mattress.
Starved Rock Campground is about a five minute drive from the Visitor’s Center. A few times on our drive we saw deer and rabbits. You are not able to burn wood found on the campground because an animal may be using it as a home. It is not necessary to bring firewood with you, however, as there are signs directing campers to locals selling firewood. One local sells 15 pieces of wood for $5. Most people respect the campground’s quite hours from 10pm through 7am. Even during the day the only noises are campers laughing, children playing and the occasional car driving to their campsite. There is a paved road which leads to each site with a speed limit is 10mph which mostly filled with bicyclists during the afternoon.
Campsite 86 was assigned to us with our reservation. We were happy with this site because it is secluded and feels woodsy. The trees are very tall, but leave enough opening to see some stars at night. Before leaving, we drove up and down the road and marked down our top three picks for campsites for the next time we go. Even though we liked all the wooden ones, we noticed that some were closer to their neighboring site which would be good for group camping, and others are more secluded. There is also a difference in the sizes of the individual campsites. Sites 95, 96 and 97 are all the furthest from the campground entry and are also the largest wooded campsites available. These spacious sites let up put up your tent deeper in the woods so your tent will be on the softer grass instead of the rocky gravel.
There are both pit toilets and restrooms complete with showers and flush toilets scattered throughout the campgrounds. A separate youth group camping area and a children’s playground are also available.
From journal Camping at Starved Rock