If you are a nature lover looking for an ideal destination for your next RV vacation in Illinois, Moraine View State Recreation Area should be the first on your bucket list. The park features 1,679 acres of gently rolling hills, lush thicket, and sparkling water, making it an excellent blueprint of environmental engineering achievement. Moraine View lies in the middle of a big sprawling feature, Bloomington Moraine, left by the glaciers in the early years. It is covered by scattered groves of red and white oak, maple, hickory, black walnut, and elm.
The park offers many refreshing outdoor activities like camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, hunting, and boating. For hikers, there are miles of hiking trails that wander along the lake edges and grassy areas that you can explore once you park your camper. If you are a wildlife lover, Moraine View is home to deer, grouse, ear, and rabbit. The park also features the 158-acre Dawson lake that offers plenty of aquatic adventure.
There is fun for the whole family since the park hosts educational activities, guided walks, and evening programs. The park also offers a variety of winter activities like snowmobiling, ice fishing, and skating.
RV Rentals in Moraine View State Recreation Area
Transportation in Moraine View State Recreation Area
Moraine View Recreation Area is located in East Central Illinois, in the city of LeRoy. The Bloomington Moraine, which this park is known for, spans all the way from Elgin to the Illinois River at Peoria east to Saybrook. The recreation area is located right in the center of it, just a few minutes east of Bloomington/Normal off I-74. Once you get off of I-74, you should be able to find Moraine View Park Road, which will lead you to the entrance.
Once inside the park, you should have no problem navigating in your car, RV, or any other vehicle. You can also pick up a map at the main office. You will find that there is plenty of parking available as well. Parking lots are scattered all throughout the park, including near the trailheads and the picnic areas.
Campgrounds and parking in Moraine View State Recreation Area
Campsites in Moraine View State Recreation Area
Gander Bay Campground
There are 137 electric campsites with a central sanitary station. 102 of these sites are available for reservations. The maximum RV length that one of these sites can support is 35 feet. Most of the sites are back-in as well. Water is only available in certain locations at the campground. You can bring your pet to stay with you too!
Shower amenities in the campground are closed by November and re-open in May depending on the weather. There is a concession stand near the boat launch that offers dock and boat rental, bait, fishing tackle, and refreshments. Breakfast and lunch are served daily at a restaurant in the campground. The restaurant has a sitting capacity of 60 people. Reservations for the campground must be made three days prior to arrival. They can also be made up to 11 months in advance.
Seasonal activities in Moraine View State Recreation Area
If boating isn't really your thing and you brought your horse with you instead, you can take it out for a ride here. There are more than 10 miles of bridle paths for you and your trusty steed to explore together, and they are located on Timberland Ridge Trail. If you would like to stay overnight with your horse, there is an equestrian campground that you can stay at as well.
The peak season is a great time to go boating, so feel free to take your boat out on Dawson Lake. Boating is a very popular activity, and for good reason! You can take a sailboat or a motorcraft out on the water. But if you take a motorcraft, make sure that it is 10 hp or less. If you did not bring your own boat, you can rent one at the concession stand.
Swimming and Picnicking
From Memorial Day until Labor Day, you can enjoy a cool and refreshing dip into waters at any time while you're staying here in your RV. Moraine View has a sandy beach area that is open to the public. It is located at the Black Locust Picnic Area. Just be sure to stay within the buoyed areas and swim at your own risk though, as there are no lifeguards on duty. If you brought alcohol or pets with you on your trip, please leave them at your camper, as they are not allowed on the beach area.
During the winter season, Moraine View gets lots of snow, providing ample opportunities for fun activities. You can go ice fishing and ice skating on the lake, as long as the ice is thick enough. There are also seven miles of trails that become available for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. There is lots of fun to be had here in the winter time. Just be sure to keep your heaters going in your RV.
Fishing is a great activity for any time of the year. The lake is stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, bullhead, crappie, channel catfish, walleye, yellow perch, and northern pike. You can fish from your boat, or even from the handicap-accessible pier. During the colder months though, the lake freezes over, so you can go ice fishing in the lake. Before drilling a hole though, please check to make sure the ice is thick enough.
If you want to get out, stretch your legs, and enjoy some fresh air, you should go hiking here at Moraine View. For a short hike, you should take the half-mile Tanglewood Self-Guiding Nature Trail. And if you want something a little more challenging, Tall Timber Trail is a mile and a half long over moderate terrain. But if you have handicap disabilities, don't worry. There is a half-mile trail for that too, and it is the Timber Point Handicap Trail.