Giant City Campground takes its name from the massive bluffs of sandstones formed 12,000 years ago. Given the unique geology that surrounds the park and its verdant beauty, it's little wonder that this motorhome camping site is popular among locals and visitors alike.Dozens of developed sites await Makanda campers who may bring motorhomes of up to 40 feet in length. Access to water, 50/30 amp electric service, showers, and sanitary facilities are available in developed sites. Picnic tables, grills, and fire rings make outdoor meal preparation a breeze. If you need ice to cool food and drinks and firewood for your campfire, you may purchase them on-site.A pet-friendly campground near Shawnee National Forest, Giant City Campground is a suitable RV camping site for your canine and equine friends, with several sites provided for equestrian campers. Horse rentals are available for those keen to explore the trails on horseback. The campground connects to the Red Cedar Trailhead, which takes you on a six-mile walk to a primitive campsite. Two locations are open for rock climbing or rappelling, while ponds are located throughout the park for bank fishing.And the kids are not forgotten, with a playground in the campground. After an adventurous day out, take a cooling dip at the outdoor swimming pool or enjoy refreshments from the on-site snack store. Before going home, don't forget to pick up a souvenir at the gift shop.
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Damming the Cedar Creek created the 1,750-acre Cedar Lake where there's abundant opportunity to reel in crappie and bass. From the dock, you may also launch a canoe or kayak and explore the coves, gaze up at towering rock bluffs, and seek solitude in secluded bays. If you just like to sit back and soak up the sun, load your rental RV with a picnic, and enjoy the family atmosphere and scenery from the public beach.Rent a camper near Giant City Campground, and you’ll only be half an hour’s drive of the almost 44,000-acre Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. At this sanctuary, opportunities abound to fish, hike, and watch wildlife like bluebirds, white-tailed deer, and bald eagles nesting in winter. Sink a line for crappie from Wolf Creek Causeway, one of the refuge's most popular spots for fishing and also for wildlife watching. If you can tackle moderate terrain on two feet, follow the 2.2-mile Rocky Bluff Trail that will take you through ridges, valleys, and bluffs.If there’s one good reason to book an RV in Jackson County that would be proximity to the rolling hills of the Shawnee National Forest and one of its most picturesque sections: the aptly named Garden of the Gods. Intriguing sandstone rock formations sprouting in between verdant bush make for an enchanting walk when you follow the observation trail that, in some places, will take you around the edge of the cliff face.For a more challenging backcountry hike, the three-mile Little Grand Canyon Trail takes you through the base of 300-foot bluffs and past steep, wet, rocky creekbed. Equally scenic but more manageable, the Rim Rock National Recreation Trail will take you across a stone wall, past a lake, and into an observation platform where you can survey the valley spreading out below.
Before leaves turn orange, red, and yellow in Makanda, vultures flock to the village and in the surrounding areas to signal the arrival of fall. The community marks the change in season by celebrating Vulture Fest: live music, shopping, and art exhibits by local artists feature prominently during this event.For a two-week musical extravaganza – staged operas, orchestral concerts, and chamber music performances – book a campsite at Giant City Campground to be close to Southern Illinois Music Festival held annually in Carbondale from late May to early June. Carbondale is also one of the closest places for you to refuel and restock on food and supplies as gas stations and grocery/convenience stores are scarce in Makanda.Oenophiles need not look far to sample some of the country’s most promising varietals. Camping with an RV in Makanda brings you close to the Southern Illinois wine-growing region, with the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail as one of the most notable. Some of the renowned varietals coming from the area are whites like Niagara, Vidal, and Seyval, and reds like Chambourcin, Cabernet Franc, and Norton. If you're partial to craft brews, explore Murphysboro with your Makanda camper rental and experience its spirited brewpub and craft brewing scene.While in Murphysboro, carve time to browse the exhibits on display at the Jackson County Historical Center. Women's clothing from the 1860s, an 1850-era printer press, and military uniforms are just some of the artifacts you will see in their museum. African art collections and literary works and artifacts that celebrate the achievement of African Americans make up the exhibits of Carbondale’s African American Museum of Southern Illinois. To see memorabilia related to the history of railroads in the Carbondale area, plan to look around the Old Illinois Passenger Depot Railroad Museum.As you can see, when you camp in an RV near Makanda, there’s just so much you can do, whether you’re into culture and history, festivals and revelries, or nature and wildlife. Take your pick, pair it with a good wine, and drink to a wonderful journey ahead.