Giant City State Park RV & Campground Guide

Illinois

Giant City State Park

features 4,000 acres, nestled within the Shawnee National Forest. Visitors can enjoy lush landscapes featuring more than 75 varieties of towering trees, hundreds of species of wildflowers and garments of fern, moss and flowering mints. There are also plenty of recreation activities too, including hiking, horseback riding, fishing, rappelling and more. One of the most popular activities is the Giant City Nature Trail, which features “Giant City Streets,” huge bluffs of sandstone that were formed 12,000 years ago. Read on to find out what else makes this park unique!

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Weather
Spring 44-77 F
Summer 64-89 F
Fall 40-80 F
Winter 22-41 F
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Nearby Cities
Pomona, IL
Cobden, IL
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Giant City State Park

Camping in an RV on your Giant City State Park camping trip makes for a memorable – and comfortable – trip! With an RV, you’ll have a private bathroom and shower, kitchen and a cozy bed. If you’re going to choose an RV for your trip, consider renting one from RVshare.com. You can take advantage of the support team to help with the process and find a completely custom RV that fits all your needs AND your budget. Plus, all rentals come with nationwide insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance.

After finding the perfect RV, you need the perfect campsite. Giant City State Park is home to a popular campground because they provide a wide variety of well-kept facilities. There are Class A sites with full hookups, a Class C camping area and a Class A equestrian campground. These campgrounds fill up quickly, especially on the weekend. Luckily, there are many campgrounds available nearby. Here are some worth checking out:

Little Grassy Lake Campground

Just a few minutes from the Giant City State Park, Little Grassy Lake Campground is located on Little Grassy Lake, within the Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge. With many amenities and lots of on-site nature recreation activities, there is something for everyone to do at the campground! Rates start at $20 per night.  

Water hookup: yes

Electrical hookup: yes

Sewer hookup: yes

Wifi: no

Pet-friendly: yes

Other amenities: indoor restrooms with hot showers, group site and gathering area, on-site canoe, kayake, jon boat and pontoon rental, general store, ice and firewood, 24/7 security, picnic tables, fire rings, swimming on the sand beach, fishing and hiking.

Hilltop Campgrounds

Just about 20 minutes from the State Park, Hilltop Campgrounds offer a variety of amenities in a quiet, family-friendly atmosphere. Whether you’re just looking to relax by the fire by your RV after a long day of hiking or want to enjoy a family cookout with the playground for your little ones, Hilltop Campground has it all!

Water hookup: yes

Electrical hookup: yes

Sewer hookup: yes

Wifi: no

Pet-friendly: yes

Other amenities: restrooms, showers, pet area, picnic shelter, playground and more.

RV Rentals Near Giant City State Park

Nearby RV Rentals

Restaurants

What to Do at
Giant City State Park

Inside Giant City State Park

Giant City State Park is one of the most beautiful State Parks in the area, and there are lots of ways to take in the beauty! From hiking trails leading to huge sandstone bluffs to fishing, boating, rock climbing and more, everyone in your family can find something to do. Here are some of the fun recreation activities within the park worth checking out:

Hiking – There is no better way to take in the lush beauty and natural wonders of the sandstone bluffs at Giant City Park than by exploring them on a hike! There are a wide variety of hiking trails, including a 12-mile loop trail that is perfect for horseback riding and a trail designed for disabled visitors. One of the most popular activities hikes is the Giant City Nature Trail, which features “Giant City Streets,” huge bluffs of sandstone that were formed 12,000 years ago.

Fishing and Boating – There are several ponds located throughout the 4,000-acre State Park, which offer bank fishing.

Horseback Riding – Not only is there a 12-mile Equestrian Trail for horseback riding, there is an Equestrian campground for those who bring their horses to the park and want to camp overnight. Giant City Stables, located in the State Park, also offers guided rides for those who don’t have horses, plus summer camps, lessons and even equine therapy.   

Hunting – There is some hunting allowed within Giant City State Park, for specific wildlife breeds, on a controlled basis.  

Rock Climbing/Rappelling – For adventure seekers, Devil’s Standtable Cliff and Shelter #1 Bluff allow rock climbing and rappelling, with ropes being permitted. Climbers need to bring their own equipment and no check-in is necessary.

Visitor Center – The perfect break from outdoor fun and educational indoor activity is the Giant City State Park Visitor Center, which provides a variety of interpretive displays on the geology, plants and animals who make their home inside the park.

Outside Giant City State Park

The communities outside of Giant City State Park offer a wide variety of things to do! Enjoy the natural beauty of the area from high above the treetops, see more sandstone creations and much more. Here are some fun things to do nearby the park:   

Restaurants

From Chicago-style deep dish pizza to unique brunch finds and historical settings, a delicious meal is a stone’s throw away from Giant City State Park (and some right inside the park!). Here are some of the local restaurants worth checking out:  

Giant City Lodge

Enjoy a delicious meal in a beautiful, historical atmosphere! Giant City Lodge Restaurant is located within the lodge right on the park grounds, and is a sandstone and wood lodge that was built in the 1930s. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, open seasonally, the restaurant is known for its fried chicken meal and much more.  

Type: American

Location: Makanda, IL

The Iron Whisk

Located about 15 minutes from the park, the Iron Whisk is the perfect stop for breakfast, brunch or lunch before or after enjoying the State Park. Enjoy biscuits and gravy, a Dutch Baby pancake, classic breakfast dishes and much more.

Type: Brunch

Location: Cobden, IL

Quatro’s Deep Pan Pizza

Quatro’s is proof you don’t have to be in Chicago to enjoy delicious Chicago-style deep dish pizza! The casual restaurant offers both Chicago-style and thin-crust pizzas, pasta, sandwiches and salads, so even your pickiest eaters will be happy! 

Type: Pizza

Location: Carbondale, IL

Sightseeing

Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour

Adventure seekers will love this local attraction! View the natural beauty of the area high above the treetops with the canopy tour. There are a variety of canopy tours available, with zip lines, aerial suspension bridges, and hikes. Entirely tree-based on 83 wooded acres, it’s a fun and unique nature activity.

Location: Makanda, IL

Pomona Natural Bridge

Located within the Shawnee Forest, the Pomona Natural Bridge is just what it seems – a naturally created bridge! The beautiful natural feature is about 90 feet long and a little over 8 feet wide, and is made entirely sandstone that has been carved out over many years of water wearing it. There is also a shallow cave nearby the bridge and a small creek that is perfect for nature play for all ages.

Location: Pomona, IL

Marberry Arboretum

Just about 10 minutes from the State Park is the opportunity to take in more of the natural beauty in the area at Marberry Arboretum! The area features 25-acres of walking and hiking paths, a pond, fishing and more than 100 genera, 600 species and 20,000 plants.

Location: Carbondale, IL

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How to Get to
Giant City State Park

Giant City State Park is located on Giant City Road, in Makanda, Illinois. For more information and directions, click here.

Entering Giant City State Park

There are no entrance fees to enter Giant City State Park!

There is something for everyone to do and experience at Starved Rock State Park! We can’t wait to hear about your next camping trip. When you post your fun vacation photos on social media, don’t forget to tag us, or shoot us a photo and some details at [email protected]. We may just feature your story on our blog or social media channels. Happy camping!