RV Camping Guide to Moraine Hills State Park

RV Camping Guide to Moraine Hills State Park

24 Jul 2023 Illinois

RV Camping Guide to Moraine Hills State Park

Need a weekend getaway? Consider an RV camping trip to Moraine Hills State Park in beautiful Illinois. We have your complete RV camping guide of everything you need to know before you go.

With summertime here, this is the perfect opportunity for a quick getaway away from the city and reconnect with nature while recharging your battery. Just 90 minutes northwest of Chicago you will find gorgeous Moraine Hills State Park. It is located just next to McHenry Dam State Park providing ample opportunity to take in multiple sights along the way.

From hiking, biking, fishing, and birding, Moraine Hills State Park is known as a recreational paradise. With more than 2,200 acres of wetlands and lakes, there is a diverse set of nature habitats to enjoy along its ten plus miles of trails. With McHenry State Park and Dam next door, the Fox River attracts many birders, photographers, and anglers alike. Check out this RV camping guide to learn everything you need to know before you visit.


Moraine Hills State Park Hiking


Moraine Hills State Park Facts

This state park is located in McHenry County, Illinois and is composed of McHenry Dam that was constructed in 1907. The dam was later donated to the state in 1924 and a new dam built in 1934. What started as 15 acres of land on the east bank of the river, McHenry Dam State Park was founded in 1939. Later on, property on the west bank of the river was donated to the state Division of Water Resources in the 1960s and the state acquired additional land surrounding Lake Defiance in 1971. By 1975, park facilities were constructed and the park was renamed Moraine Hills State Park. Here are some interesting Moraine State Park facts to know before you visit.

  • Moraine State Park facts is comprised of 2,200 acres and was established in 1939.
  • The park name is derived from a geologic formation known as a moraine. This is the accumulation of boulders, stones, and other debris deposited by a glacier.
  • The surrounding waters and wetlands of Moraine Hills are home to more than 200 species of birds.
  • More than 10 miles of trails are made accessible to hikers, skiers, and cyclists.
  • Lake Defiance 48 acres located in the center of the park was formed when a large portion of ice broke away from the main glacier and melted.
  • Pike Marsh, a 115 acre area in the southwest corner of the park is home to many rare plants.
  • Moraine Hills offers three examples of wetland enhancements: Yellow-head, Black Tern and Opossum Run marshes are samples of what can be accomplished.
  • McHenry Dam Concession Stand offers refreshments, bait and tackle, and boat rentals for Fox River and Lake Defiance.


Moraine Hills State Park Trail


Best Moraine Hills State Park RV Parks and Campgrounds

Our handpicked list below gives you some of the best Moraine State Park RV park locations to choose for your next visit.


Fox Den Campground

Located at the Chain O Lakes State Park, you can expand your weekend getaway by experiencing the vast natural area in this part of Illinois. This campground offers 151 sites for both tent sites and standard RV sites. For campers, you will have access to trash, phone service, showers, electric hookups, picnic tables, drinking water, toilets, and fires. For your RVs, there is a sanitary dump station.

More Information:
Address: 8068 State Park Rd, Spring Grove, IL 60081


Fox River Recreation

This campground is located just 60 miles north of Chicago on 25 acres of beautiful wooded country on the scenic shores of Fox River. With easy access to various recreational opportunities to include fishing, canoeing, boating, sports, and more, this is the perfect spot to camp and elevate your outdoor experience. Amenities include a camp store, game room, playground, showers and laundry, dump station, and seasonal boat docks.

More Information:
Address: 27884 W. Route 173, Antioch, IL 60002
Phone: (847) 395-6090


Fish Lake Beach Camping Resort

This large lakefront campground and RV park provides a pool, beach, kids activities, various facility amenities, and more. Situated on Fish Lake, this serene and beautiful location is perfect for non motorized boating activities, fishing, and swimming. With a nearby beach, visitors have access to swings, a picnic area, playgrounds, and grills. You can catch various types of fish including the blue gill, crappie, bass, catfish, carp, and more. With various amenities and activities, make Fish Lake Beach Camping Resort a part of your visit to Moraine State Park.

More Information:
Address: 32223 N. US Highway 12, Volo, IL 60073
Phone: (847) 546-2228


Camp Reinberg

This campground offers tent sites and heated year round cabins, plus outdoor gathering areas that are perfect to make a part of your getaway. Situated in a historic area surrounding by oak woods, you will have access to various trails, restored landscapes, and unlimited recreational opportunities. Rent a RV campsite with gravel parking space, electricity, picnic table, and fire ring with grate. Campground features include access to bathroom and shower building, and a roll-in shower with a bench and changing area. All RV campsites have sanitation stations.

More Information:
Address: 1801 N. Quentin Rd, Palatine, IL 60074
Phone: (855) YES-CAMP


Moraine Hills State Park Landscape


Things to Do in Moraine Hills State Park

With 2,200 acres of recreational paradise, there are various activities to participate in apart from the diverse habitat and abundant plants and wildlife. Many people boost about the trails and rivers to experience along the river. Here is a look at the most popular things to do it Moraine State Park.


Geological Formation:

Moraine Hills gets its name for the geological formation known as a moraine. This accumulation of boulders and stones make this place a perfect wonder to experience with its gravel rich deposits called kames that form the many parks wooded hills and ridges.



With a wide spectrum of wildlife, Moraine State Park is home to the red fox, coyote, white-tailed deer, eastern cottontail, mink, opossum, and raccoon, along with more than 200 species of birds. From the great blue herons and green herons that feed in the marsh areas and the park heavily migratory waterfowl, you may also catch a look at the mallards, teal, wood ducks, and Canadian geese along the way.



Fishing is available at both Lake Defiance and along Fox River. To preserve the natural state and dangerous peat shoreline of Lake Defiance, bank fishing is prohibited except at designated piers along the boardwalk. The McHenry Dam provides access to Fox River with accessible fishing pier.



Shotgun deer hunting is available on the 1,400 acres northeast of River Road. Hunting is allowed by permit only.



Boat rentals are available for Lake Defiance and Fox River on a first-come, first-serve basis. While trailers are prohibited in the park, private boats may be brought in by car top for use on Lake Defiance and the Fox River. Watercraft is required to be registered with the state of Illinois. Electric trolling motors are allowed.



More than 10 miles of trailers make Moraine Hills a destination spot for hikers, skiers, and cyclists alike. As one of the main recreation features of Moraine Hills, three trails, surfaced with crushed limestone make your travel through the park exceptionally scenic. You have the choice of the 2 mile Fox River Trail, 3.2 mile Leatherleaf Bog Trail, and the 3.7 mile Lake Defiance Trail. A fourth 1.7 paved trail at River Road Trail is also available. All trails are color coded and one way for easy marking.



Visit Moraine Hills as a day trip and enjoy one of the 10 day use areas with shaded tables and open settings. Each area offers parking, drinking water, and rustic toilet facilities. Flush toilets are available at the McHenry Dam concession building and park office.



The park features a conveniently located concession stand at McHenry Dam. It provides not only refreshments, bait and tackle, but also boat rentals for both the Fox River and Lake Defiance.


Moraine Hills State Park Turtles


Tips for Visiting Moraine Hills State Park

Before you start on your trip, these final tips on visiting Moraine State Park will ensure you have a smooth and relaxing trip.

• Dogs are allowed, but must be kept on a leash.
• Hunting season is subject to seasonal closure.
• Pike Marsh supports one of the state’s largest known colonies of pitcher plants, which attract, track and digest insects.
• Lake Defiance is gradually filling in with peat from its unstable shoreline. The lake is one of the few glacial lakes in Illinois that has remained largely undeveloped, maintaining a near natural condition.


RV Rental for Moraine Hills State Park

If you are looking for a fun and easy way to enjoy a quick getaway to this historic natural wonder, check out our fleet of RV Rentals. Our RV lineup is perfect for any budget and loaded with the necessities and conveniences you look for to make your journey as fun as the destination.

Reserve a Moraine Hills State Park RV rental today.