Boasting more than 2,000 acres of wooded wonderland, gentle hills, and quaint valleys, Fox Ridge State Park is a testament to the dedication of the local community. Residents of the nearby city of Charleston, Illinois helped develop this tract of land into a vibrant state park with a wide variety of recreational activities to enjoy and scenic sights to see. Local community members also manage the Fox Ridge Foundation, which continues to improve the park through annual events and fundraisers.
If you're planning a family-friendly camping trip in the Prairie State, load up the RV and make a beeline for Fox Ridge State Park. A fishing or boating excursion on the Embarras River is the perfect activity for adventurous anglers and paddlers, while laid-back landlubbers might prefer a bit of wildlife watching or picnicking.
With so much to do and see, Fox Ridge State Park is a prime destination for campers in tents and motorhomes, while two cabins are also available for "glampers." A word of caution, though: over half the acreage of this park is dedicated hunting land, so be sure to plan your camping trip accordingly.
The park's internal roads are paved and easy for vehicles and motorhomes to navigate. The entrance to the park is just off Highway 130, which leads north into the city of Charleston, where RVers can restock on supplies, refuel the rig, and grab some fast food before hitting the road again.
Three paved parking lots offer plenty of parking space at Fox Ridge State Park. One is located by the park office, while another can be found near the banks of the Embarras River. The third is located down by Ridge Lake.
Fox Ridge State Park's campground offers 42 campsites accommodating tent campers and motorhomes up to 40 feet long. The standard amenities -- including a dump station, picnic tables, restrooms and showers, grills, and drinking water -- are all available here. Water and sewer hookups, however, are not provided, although all sites include hookups to 20, 30, or 50 amp electricity. With the exception of one pull-through site, all sites here are back-in.
The campground is open year-round, although the shower facilities are closed in the winter months, typically from November to April, depending on weather conditions. Campers must reserve their site at least three days prior to their arrival. Pets are welcome at all sites as long as they are leashed and cleaned up after.
Camp in comfort in one of Fox Ridge State Park's two cabins! Both the Bluebird Cabin and the Bobwhite Cabin sleep up to six guests and are accessible for visitors with disabilities. However, the cabins aren't furnished, so be sure to pack bedding, cookery, and all the other supplies you'll need. A fire ring is provided, as well as electric heating. The shower and restroom facilities are located nearby.
Guests are advised to call the park office at least three days before arrival for instructions on obtaining their cabin key. Please note pets are are prohibited in the cabins.
Special fishing restrictions apply at Fox Ridge State Park. Fishing at Ridge Lake is available by reservation only, as the lake doubles as a research facility. The Embarras River is open to anglers, but be aware of the sharp descent to the shore and make sure to wear suitable shoes. Bluegill, catfish, and bass are the most popular catches here.
The eight miles of hiking trails at Fox Ridge State Park all connect, allowing hikers to plan a route that suits their abilities and fitness levels. Wildlife is abundant along the trails -- keep your eyes peeled for deer, rabbits, and turkeys. The park's most noteworthy path, the staircase up to the Eagle's Nest Overlook, is a must-see, offering spectacular views of the Embarras River. These vistas are extra special in the fall, when the leaves turn to vibrant shades of red and gold.
Float down a five-mile stretch of the Embarras River from one of the park's two canoe launches. Note that all watercraft must be registered. Only non-motorized boating is permitted in the river. For more information on boating policies and restrictions, contact the park office.
When winter weather conditions permit, five miles of the park's eight-mile hiking trail network are open to cross-country skiers. Little information is available regarding the cross-country skiing trails at Fox Ridge State Park, so prospective skiers are advised to check the Department of Natural Resources site for updates on current weather conditions.
Pack your hunting gear in your campervan if you're looking to bag some small game during your trip to Fox Ridge State Park. With over 1,000 acres of the park's northern section set aside for hunting, there's plenty of space to scope out a rabbit, turkey, or deer. All hunters must obtain a windshield card from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website (or a site-specific permit for certain species), and are also advised to check the Hunter Fact Sheet for information on species and hunting area boundaries.
If you're planning a picnic at Fox Ridge State Park, don't forget to pack your sports gear in the RV! The park's eight picnic shelters are in close proximity to the park's baseball fields and volleyball courts. Looking to host a large group gathering or a family reunion? The park's pavilion is a perfect place to do it. Note that only six of the picnic shelters can be reserved in advance, and large groups are required to contact the park prior to arrival to prevent scheduling conflicts.