2016 Heartland North Trail
2016 Heartland North Trail
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Right next to the town of Ramsey is a lovely 1,980-acre recreation area known for its natural beauty, forested shores, and pristine lake. Scenic picnic spots and hunting and fishing opportunities lure outdoor adventurers of all kinds to camp at Ramsey Lake State Park.
In addition to the lake, the park is known for its history, as it used to be the "Old Fox Chase Grounds," where hunters targeted foxes and raccoons. RVers, hikers, and families from nearby towns like Vandalia and Nokomis are some of the park’s regulars. Visitors come to enjoy the peace and quiet, trek the park’s trails, or have fun skiing and ice skating during winter.
One of the best ways to ensure a pleasant stay and see what the state of Illinois has to offer is to find an RV rental. Book an RV in Fayette County and explore the Prairie State in style. If you're looking for a rental as close as possible to the state park, make sure to check out your options in one of the nearby towns. Located just 30 minutes from the park, Cowden is an excellent place to start your search for a rental RV.
As this is one of the most famous hunting areas in Illinois, guests who plan to spend their time hunting are going to have an eventful stay. The game on offer includes deer, squirrel, quail, dove, and pheasant. Apart from deer, which must be hunted using a bow, the park allows shotgun hunting. Before you set out, though, make sure you go over the hunting fact sheet and rules.
The fishing at Ramsey Lake State Park isn't bad, either. Anglers can catch largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, red-ear sunfish, and even black crappie. You should have no trouble finding a good spot to fish from your boat or from the shore. Head to the park's concession stand if you need fishing supplies. Fishing is available year-round, even when the lake is frozen over.
If you want to explore the park and its scenic surroundings, hit the one-mile hiking trail or mount your horse and take a ride down the 13-mile path. If you're camping at Ramsey Lake State Park in winter, you can access the hiking trails on your snowmobile.
Ramsey Lake State Park campground supports both tent and RV camping. Over 100 campsites are available, some of which come equipped with electric hookups. You can also opt for a primitive campsite in a densely wooded part of the park, as these sites have a better view.
Amenities include a dump station, restrooms, and showers. Ramsey Lake State Park campers also have access to picnic tables, fire rings, and drinking water. Driveway length for some sites can go above 60 feet, and in some cases, up to 100 feet. Choosing a camper rental that's between 30 and 50 feet long will make it easy for you to book a site at Ramsey Lake State Park.
What motorhome camping adventure is complete without driving around the state and checking out what the nearby towns have to offer? Ramsey might not be filled with cultural or historic attractions, but it does have stores and gas stations if you need to replenish your supplies and fuel. Vandalia, however, is a different story, as it has iconic landmarks and tourist attractions along with multiple dining options. If you're craving pizza, steak, burgers, Chinese, or Mexican food, definitely make Vandalia your next stop.
One of the main tourist attractions in Vandalia is the huge Kaskaskia Dragon. This statue has a simplistic yet brilliant appeal, and it fully lives up to your expectations in the fire-breathing department. Unlike the dragons from fantasy novels, you don’t need to provoke the dragon to see its blazing roar; all you need to do is insert a coin. This giant toy was built by hardware store staff back in 1995, and they had no idea it would turn out to be such an amazing attraction.
For those who prefer facts over creatures from fiction, the National Road Interpretive Center might be more enticing. Here, you'll hear the story of how the national road was built, see a model of Conestoga wagon, as well as vintage photos of the community that lived here and other historic antiquities. The exhibits are insightful and offer a chance for both you and your kids to learn new things about the area.
You can also visit the home of local historian Josephine Burtschi. The home is also known as Little Brick House, and it's a unique piece of Italianate architecture that's open to the public. Within the house, you'll find early Vandalia antiques and artifacts, fine china, and furniture. This elegant home offers yet another chance to learn more about Vandalia’s history and the figures who spurred its development and is a must-see for history buffs and art enthusiasts.