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With excellent hiking and beautiful natural scenery, Giant City State Park is a wonderful destination for anyone who loves immersing themselves in the great outdoors. Located about half an hour southwest of Marion, Illinois, this 4,000-acre park is home to the Giant City Streets, which were formed more than 10,000 years ago by imposing bluffs of sandstone.
Several miles of hiking trails wind their way through this patch of untamed wilderness, while fishing, hunting, rock climbing, and horseback riding are also on offer in the park. Best of all, Giant City Campground offers 85 Class A campsites where you can park your RV for a few nights while you explore the best the park has to offer.
If this sounds like your idea of the perfect getaway, rent a camper near Giant City State Park and start planning your visit.
More than one million visitors explore Giant City State Park each year, and many of them are drawn to the park's fantastic hiking trails. The large trail network here leads you past giant sandstone bluffs, through a lush landscape of ferns and moss, and past more than 75 varieties of trees that stretch skyward.
For some of the best views of the giant stone walls for which the park is famous, the Giant City Nature Trail is well worth checking out. If you're looking for a real physical challenge, tackle the 12-mile Red Cedar Trail that loops its way right around the park. Whichever route you tackle, just make sure you watch out for slippery sandstone and steer clear of steep cliffs.
For those who are particular adventurous, Giant City State Park also offers two sites for rock climbing and rappelling. Climbers are more than welcome to tackle the challenging features at Devil's Standtable cliff and the Shelter #1 bluff near the park's Makanda entrance, but take note that these steep and sometimes slippery cliffs aren't suited to beginners.
If you're looking for a slightly more relaxing pastime, a dozen ponds are spread throughout the park for bank fishing. There's surprisingly good bass fishing on offer in several of the ponds, so don't forget to pack your fishing poles if you feel like wetting a line.
If you plan to camp with an RV in Giant City State Park, book an RV in Jackson County and then reserve yourself a site in the Giant City Campground. RV travelers can pick a spot in the 85-site Class A Campground, where water and electrical hookups are provided.
Back-in and pull-through sites are spread throughout the campground. The maximum vehicle length varies from 10 feet to 40 feet, so make sure the spot you reserve is large enough to accommodate your RV rental.
Showers and restrooms are available, as is a dump station. However, please note that the shower building closes during deer hunting season and doesn't re-open again until April.
If you're traveling with horses, there's a separate Class A Equestrian Campground in the southwestern area of the park. A horse trail is found nearby if you want to do some exploring on horseback.
Giant City State Park also boasts a Class C Campground at the southern end of the main campground area. It features 14 walk-in tent sites for those campers who don't mind roughing it for a few nights.
For those who prefer all the creature comforts, Giant City Lodge boasts three different types of comfortable cabins, all of which offer lovely forest views.
When you rent an RV near Giant City State Park, you don't have to limit yourself to just exploring the park. You'll find plenty more to see and do nearby, regardless of which direction you decide to travel.
If you're keen to immerse yourself in some more beautiful natural scenery, Trail of Tears State Park is a two-hour drive to the southwest and offers more than 3,400 acres of forest to explore. If you'd like to enjoy a spot of wine tasting, check out some of the local wineries in and around Cobden — StarView Vineyards is a particular favorite.
If you'd prefer to head for a major city, St. Louis is just over a couple of hours away. While you're there, be sure to take a ride to the top of the iconic Gateway Arch for a spectacular view.
Giant City State Park is a beautiful park with abundant recreational opportunities. If you love nature and you're planning an RV camping getaway in southern Illinois, this popular park is well worth visiting for a few days or more.