Located in Pope County, some ten miles west from the town of Golconda, Dixon Springs State Park is one of the top RV camping destinations in the state of Illinois. Golconda campers come here to enjoy the 800-acre recreation area, have a picnic with their families, hike through nature, or swim. The landscape is characterized by craggy terrain, cascading waterfalls, and lush forests home to groundhog, rabbit, deer, squirrel, and fox.
The park is named after William Dixon, who acquired the land back in 1848, which then led to the development of a small community. By the end of the 19th century, Dixon Springs had become a health spa, attracting hundreds of people who wanted to try out the mineral water bathhouses.
Today, people from all over the state and beyond come to camp in their tents, trailers, and RV rentals. If you're planning to rent an RV in Pope County, you can search for a rig in some of the nearby towns like Golconda, Vienna, and Metropolis.
Giant oaks, birch, and elm trees provide shade for the park's picnic area, playground, and the pool. These are some of the best ways to spend quality time with family and friends on your camping trip. The swimming pool has a lifeguard on duty as well as a 45-foot water slide, whereas the picnic area has tables and an outdoor stove.
Hunters and anglers also love camping at Dixon Springs State Park. With varied wildlife and marine life, the park provides endless engaging activities for these guests. As far as the hunting goes, both firearms and archery weapons are permitted, but guests are advised to go over the hunting rules, as hunting isn't permitted throughout the entire park. Anglers can spend their time at one of the five fishing ponds stocked with bluegill, red-ear, bass, and catfish.
Guests who prefer to simply explore the area and do some wildlife watching can hop onto one of the hiking trails. There's a self-guided pathway that's just under two miles long, as well as a one-mile trail that winds through Ghost Dance Canyon. As you go through the woods, you're likely to spot flycatchers, thrushers, woodpeckers, and tanagers.
Camping at Dixon Springs State Park
RV camping at Dixon Springs State Park is going to be a delightful experience. There are a dozen RV-compatible campsites that offer electric hookups and are also pet-friendly. Guests also have access to bathrooms with showers, drinking water, a dump station, picnic tables, stoves, a playground, and courts for basketball and volleyball.
You can make reservations in advance, and don't forget to pick up your permit before setting up camp at Dixon Springs State Park. Also, make sure the RV rental you choose is 40 feet long or less.
Exploring the Area
The state of Illinois harbors many natural and cultural beauties, so use this opportunity to visit some of the nearby towns, especially if this is your first time here. The cozy town of Golconda has multiple restaurants where you can grab some grub and prepare for your driving adventures. You'll also find a gas station in case you're running low on gas. In terms of cuisine options, Golconda has standard options, including bars and fast-food drive-throughs.
Another nearby town is Metropolis, a name you might recognize from the Superman comics and movies. Although the famous franchise isn't set in Metropolis, IL, the town celebrates the uncanny coincidence at its Superman Square. Snap a selfie with the statues of Superman and Lois Lane, then explore the Superman Museum and the town's Superman-themed restaurants. In the museum, you’ll see a wide collection of action figures, comic books, costumes, clothing, and miscellaneous items. You'll also get to learn about the entire history of this iconic fictional superhero.
Alternatively, you can go northeast of Golconda and visit the historic site known as Iron Furnace. It's the only remaining iron furnace in the state of Illinois, and its exterior is built using limestone blocks. The site, along with the blast furnace, were both restored because of its historic value, as iron played a crucial role in the industrial development of this part of the state.
Some 30 miles north of the park is a small town called Stonefort, where you'll find a lovely railroad museum. Stonefort Depot will be a nice stroll through history, as you get to see buildings and signs that date back to the late 19th century. You'll also get to learn a thing or two about this small town during the railway’s heyday.