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Even though Apple River Canyon State Park is a smaller park at only 297 acres, there are still several activities to enjoy, including motorhome camping. Even if you don't own an RV, you can still spend a weekend at the state park campground. You can book an RV in Jo Daviess County and head over to the Apple River in northern Illinois.
Apple River Canyon State Park is just over three hours west of Chicago. Before pulling into the state park for a weekend of fun, stop into Stockton, only about 20 minutes from the park. You can stock your camper rental with supplies and necessities to ensure you're set for the entire time you'll be camping at Apple River Canyon State Park.
Apple River Canyon State Park is a true paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Hunters flock to the park and enjoy camping with an RV while traipsing through specified units within the park. Hunters are allowed in the Thompson and Salem Units as well as the several other areas that are adjacent to the park. Be sure to contact the park office for details on hunting licenses and requirements.
Anglers of all skill levels can spend time at Apple River Canyon State Park casting their lines into the river. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources stocks the river with trout. Smallmouth bass, crappie, suckers, sunfish, and carp can also be pulled from the river. A valid Illinois fishing license is required to fish within the park. Check with the park office regarding the number of fish each person is allowed to catch. Fish cleaning stations are available within the park.
Five trails meander through Apple River Canyon State Park: Pine Ridge, Primrose, River Route, Sunset, and Tower Rock. All trails except Primrose Trail are rated as moderate to strenuous. Primrose Trail is rated easy. Visitors are encouraged stay on the marked trails and not wander off the paths as the terrain can be hazardous. The park office has a map of the park and details about the trails; pick one up before setting out for a day of hiking.
RV camping is a great way to reconnect with your family and create memories that will last a lifetime. While the campgrounds at Apple River Canyon State Park are fairly primitive, there are several campsites at the Canyon Ridge Campground that can accommodate RVs. There are no shower facilities at the campgrounds, but pit toilets are within walking distance of most campsites. Reservations are encouraged during the park’s busy season from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
The Apple Canyon Lake Campgrounds, just minutes from Apple River Canyon State Park is an excellent alternative to camping at the state park. The Apple Canyon Lake Campgrounds offers several campsites with full hookups including electric, water, and sewer. Modern restrooms with hot showers are centrally located within the campgrounds. Laundry facilities and vending machines are available for campers.
Less than 20 minutes from Apple River Canyon State Park is Lena KOA Holiday in Lena. Camping with an RV is pure bliss when you pull into a KOA. Larger campers, up to 75 feet, can be accommodated. Full hookups 50-amp electricity are available. Modern restrooms with shower facilities are located centrally within the campgrounds. Guests can enjoy Wi-Fi.
While camping at Apple River Canyon State Park, take time to explore some of the more interesting sights nearby. About 40 minutes from Apple River Canyon State Park in Galena is the Ulysses S. Grant Home. The historic home was donated to the city of Galena by General Grant’s children in 1904. The state of Illinois took possession of the home in 1931. The home has been restored to its former glory and now offers tours allowing visitors to learn more about Ulysses S. Grant's life and legacy.
Stick around Galena and visit the Horseshoe Mound Preserve, formerly known as Galena Gateway Park. You'll enjoy sweeping vistas of three states from the viewpoints at this 40-acre park. The Council Stones, Iowa's own version of Stone Henge, are also well worth seeing. Hiking, picnicking, birdwatching, and ranger programs are other popular activities for visitors.
The Dowling House is believed to be the oldest building in Galena and has been converted into a historic museum. Originally a trading post built in 1826, The Dowling House underwent many changes throughout its storied past. Visitors can join one of the guided tours to learn the complete history of the house and of the city of Galena.