Escape with Nature

Brody Sparks, Writer

We could all use an escape from the mundane patterns of everyday life. Vacations and traveling can be expensive but there are cheaper ways to get away for even a single night. Camping is an excellent way to have a relaxing get-away, experience an adventure, or simply regain a connection to nature. As beneficial as being plugged in can be, sometimes it is necessary to unplug and reconnect with the more primitive side of nature and reconnect with the natural world.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Saint Louis division has put countless hours of work into maintaining and improving campgrounds in the Lake Shelbyville area. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversees federally owned campgrounds on the outskirts of Findlay such as Coon Creek and Lone Point, campgrounds in the Shelbyville area including Opossum Creek, Lithia Springs, and also in Sullivan at Bo Woods. These campgrounds tend to be well maintained and focus mainly on the lake.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources takes care of state owned campgrounds in the Lake Shelbyville area such as Eagle Creek outside of Findlay and Wolf Creek outside of Sullivan. Eagle Creek is known for its locally famous eighteen-hole golf course and the notorious Chief Illini trail which is great for both bicycling and hiking. Wolf Creek is known for its beautiful beach and countless trails. One such trail, named Red Tail Trail has a final destination of the twin trees. These two trees have experienced an unexplained phenomenon in which they each have two separate root systems, but have grown together and fused into one tree.

Exploring local campgrounds can be more than just camping itself. Campgrounds also provide safe and organized hunting grounds and places to fish. Federally ran campgrounds are usually surrounded by what is known as “Corps ground”. Corps ground provides an area to hunt a variety of animals with shotguns, rifles and bows. State campgrounds tend to lean more toward bow hunting and shotguns are often prohibited in many areas. Most of the area campgrounds touch the lake which provides places for fishing and boating. Many of the area campgrounds also include ponds that allow fishing and frog gigging.

Our area is surrounded by campgrounds and miles of woodland that even many of the locals rarely explore. Be sure to note that some campgrounds have a camping season and to contact the park regarding the time of year they allow camping. Some campgrounds may require a reservation so always call ahead and plan the stay from start to finish. With so many different wonders of nature in our area, anyone can experience a pocket-friendly getaway while still having lots of fun. Contact the local parks and get started with a camping getaway vacation.


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