We had a week off from work and I was looking for a place to go camping while trying to avoid the crowds. I came across Lincoln Trail State Park and it had great reviews. This state park is located near Marshall, Illinois about 5 miles off of Interstate 70. As you drive through the farm fields, out of nowhere the state park appears and deep ravines form the landscape.
This park actually has two campgrounds and just over 200 campsites. The first campground is called Plainview and has larger sites and several pull through sites. The shower house is also located here. I was extremely impressed with the shower house as it was very clean, had soap and even paper towels which is rare!
There was quite a few campsites available online yet so I took a chance and didn’t make a reservation. The host led us to walk-in site “B” which was perfect. Our door faced a small wooded area and away from the campground which provided us a bit of privacy. There was a road on the other side of the trees, but it was not too busy.
The trees were beginning to change colors and the campground was really pretty.
They even had a cute little library!
The other campground is called the Lakeside Campground. This campground is absolutely beautiful, but the sites are smaller and there are a lot of trees! The campground is situated high above the lake, and Sites 88-91 actually have a railing that overlooks the lake. Sites 77-83 also had good lake views too.
We also did a bit of hiking. There is only three trails at this park. We first hiked the Airstrip Trail which is new and not on the park map. When entering the park, this trail is to the north. We hiked the loop counterclockwise and it led us far back into the woods. We saw several large deer.
We then came upon a sign for the Prairie Trail. We hiked this for a bit and then it started to lead down into a ravine and since we didn’t have any information on this trail, we decided to turn back. We then took the Short Cut trail to end the hike. I have looked all over for information on this trail and can’t find any, so if you are reading this and know anything, post in the comments below! We might have hiked about 2 miles.
We also hiked the Beech Tree Trail which starts at the Lakeside Campground and descends a set of stairs and then you climb back up a set of stairs to the Red Oak Picnic Area. Here we found the most magical area with a wooden arch, tree stump stepping stones, moss and a wooden bench! We thought this would be a perfect location for a simple, natural wedding.
The trail then continues on and ends at the lake by the restaurant. Yep, this park even has a restaurant. We did eat here one night and the food was good.
We also visited the town of Marshall and it was so interesting so stay tuned for that post!
Overall, Lincoln Trail State Park exceeded my expectations! Check it out!