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This will be my 3rd summer in the midwest after living in the PNW for 8yrs and growing up in Wyoming. I love to camp, wander around in nature, and get away from the city. I fully understand nothing in the midwest is going to live up to my PNW expectations, but does anyone have any recommendations for camp spots within about a 3 to 4 hrs drive from the Chicago area (near O'hare)? We're looking for places that aren't just parks with a bunch of RVs. More primitive, but also a place that we can still drive into with the Element and a bit secluded.
Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! ✌
 

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Thanks, @vadim I appreciate the helpful suggestion. We'll definitely check it out! So far Wisconsin has been a great place to explore.

Try Kettle Moraine South in Wi, about 2 hrs. Kettle Moraine South - Wisconsin DNR. Haven't been there in decades, but was good once. Perhaps not as primitive as you want, but lots of foot trails.
 

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Alaska is a great place to camp!! Oh, wait, you said 3-4 hours...... o_O ;) :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
 
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2003 Honda Element Sunset Orange Pearl 2WD Automatic 135K Miles I Love It!
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This will be my 3rd summer in the midwest after living in the PNW for 8yrs and growing up in Wyoming. I love to camp, wander around in nature, and get away from the city. I fully understand nothing in the midwest is going to live up to my PNW expectations, but does anyone have any recommendations for camp spots within about a 3 to 4 hrs drive from the Chicago area (near O'hare)? We're looking for places that aren't just parks with a bunch of RVs. More primitive, but also a place that we can still drive into with the Element and a bit secluded.
Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! ✌

Try Turkey Run in Indiana. Its south west of Indianapolis, but should be ~ 4 hours or less from Chicago (depending on where you are in Chicago, anyway!).

It has the usual camping, hiking trails, canoe trips, and more. Had a blast the last time I was there, but that was decades ago!

Per their website, it looks like it should be open now. But knowing how things are these days, you'll want to get some firm verification on that before going out there.

 

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@sdn4022 Thanks! Devils Lake looks beautiful. From the pictures, it reminds me a bit of Paulina Lake in Oregon.
No problem. It is widely considered the number one State Park in Wisconsin. And there are a lot of nice ones. Of course it somewhat depends on what activities you are looking to partake in
 

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This will be my 3rd summer in the midwest after living in the PNW for 8yrs and growing up in Wyoming. I love to camp, wander around in nature, and get away from the city. I fully understand nothing in the midwest is going to live up to my PNW expectations, but does anyone have any recommendations for camp spots within about a 3 to 4 hrs drive from the Chicago area (near O'hare)? We're looking for places that aren't just parks with a bunch of RVs. More primitive, but also a place that we can still drive into with the Element and a bit secluded.
Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! ✌
Sleeping Bear Dunes Mi. Take the ferry across lake Michigan to ludington and you'll be 30 minutes from all sorts of state land. Fort Wilkins Michigan if you want some wilderness. Southern shore of Lake Superior is very cool but 7 to 8 hours. Its worth it.
 

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Sleeping Bear Dunes Mi. Take the ferry across lake Michigan to ludington and you'll be 30 minutes from all sorts of state land. Fort Wilkins Michigan if you want some wilderness. Southern shore of Lake Superior is very cool but 7 to 8 hours. Its worth it.
@Horningsj Thanks for all the great suggestions! I've been wanting to get up near Lake Superior. We did a loop the lake trip last summer and it was my first time in the UP. I was blown away by how gorgeous it is.
 

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This will be my 3rd summer in the midwest after living in the PNW for 8yrs and growing up in Wyoming. I love to camp, wander around in nature, and get away from the city. I fully understand nothing in the midwest is going to live up to my PNW expectations, but does anyone have any recommendations for camp spots within about a 3 to 4 hrs drive from the Chicago area (near O'hare)? We're looking for places that aren't just parks with a bunch of RVs. More primitive, but also a place that we can still drive into with the Element and a bit secluded.
Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! ✌
I highly recommend Starved Rock State Park and it's next-door neighbor, Matthiessen State Park. Quickly, you will forget you are in Illinois. Both parks are stunningly beautiful and great for hiking. I cannot speak to the camping facilities in the least. I just know you will love both parks. Copy and paste the link below - it's for Google Maps. They are less than two hours' drive from O'Hare. In the winter, Starved Rock is a favorite place for Bald Eagle lovers. I lived in Chicago for 32 years, so I know my way around pretty well. - Patrick

 

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This will be my 3rd summer in the midwest after living in the PNW for 8yrs and growing up in Wyoming. I love to camp, wander around in nature, and get away from the city. I fully understand nothing in the midwest is going to live up to my PNW expectations, but does anyone have any recommendations for camp spots within about a 3 to 4 hrs drive from the Chicago area (near O'hare)? We're looking for places that aren't just parks with a bunch of RVs. More primitive, but also a place that we can still drive into with the Element and a bit secluded.
Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! ✌
I highly recommend Door County in wisconsin. Also Washington Island at the tip of Door County.
 

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This will be my 3rd summer in the midwest after living in the PNW for 8yrs and growing up in Wyoming. I love to camp, wander around in nature, and get away from the city. I fully understand nothing in the midwest is going to live up to my PNW expectations, but does anyone have any recommendations for camp spots within about a 3 to 4 hrs drive from the Chicago area (near O'hare)? We're looking for places that aren't just parks with a bunch of RVs. More primitive, but also a place that we can still drive into with the Element and a bit secluded.
Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! ✌
Here’s a list of 10 Indiana State parks. I’ve been to most at one time or another. Each has their charms. They should be reopening from Covid-19 restrictions by June 1: These 10 Indiana State Parks Were Voted the Best of Indiana
We also have wonderful preserves with primitive camping: Yellowwood (south central) and a brand new state forest preserve that just opened in southern Indiana.
 

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This will be my 3rd summer in the midwest after living in the PNW for 8yrs and growing up in Wyoming. I love to camp, wander around in nature, and get away from the city. I fully understand nothing in the midwest is going to live up to my PNW expectations, but does anyone have any recommendations for camp spots within about a 3 to 4 hrs drive from the Chicago area (near O'hare)? We're looking for places that aren't just parks with a bunch of RVs. More primitive, but also a place that we can still drive into with the Element and a bit secluded.
Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! ✌
Wolverine in Michigan. Campground closed but can go onto BLM land and primitive camp.
 
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