Best Camping Trips by Region: The Central Midwestern States

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Go Camping with Kids, Dogs and Extended Family in the Midwest This Year.

The Midwest offers a host of great places to go camping with kids, extended family and pets. Many modern campgrounds are equipped with swimming pools, tennis courts, nature centers and a host of other activities for kids that are pet-friendly, too. “We’ve found that camping grounds in the Midwest are very focused on providing activities for kids and places to take the dogs,” says Doug Melvin of Boise Idaho. “We never run out of fun things to do when we go camping in the central U.S.”

If you like to tow a camping trailer, you’ll be right at home in the wide open spaces offered by these camping grounds. Wooded forests, rivers and green pastures make the central region a favorite stomping ground for camping with kids any time of year.

Camping with Kids: Best Places to Go in the Central U.S. by Doug Melvin of Boise, Idaho.

  • Natural Bridge in Kentucky offers peaceful camping grounds next to a soothing, babbling brook. If you’re camping with kids and family, you’ll find plenty of activities, including fishing and hiking and exploring nearby Red River Gorge. And like all Kentucky resort parks, it has Wi-Fi access too! $12-$26 depending upon the season and whether you camp in a tent or have a camping trailer.
  • Our top spot in Nebraska for families is the Two Rivers state recreation area. Kids love staying here because of the unique park lodging- retired Union Pacific train cabooses! Swimming, hiking and fishing are just some of the fun daytime activities available. The park has only 10 cabooses, so call in advance to find out about availability and fees.
  • Deep in the heart of the Ozarks, the Mark Twain National Forest camping grounds welcome camping trailers, tent enthusiasts and RVs. Hiking, fishing and more than a million acres of forest to explore make this a must-see in your exploration of the central U.S. Fees vary.

Steve J. Smith Talks about More Central U.S. Camping Grounds: Indiana, Illinois and Ohio.

The central Midwest states offer wine festivals, rolling farms under blue skies and friendly, welcoming people. Explore Amish country in Ohio and come home with handmade quilts and furniture. Indiana offers rugged outdoors camping, plenty of history and plenty of places to exercise your pets. And when you go to Illinois campgrounds, you’ll find fun activities for the kids and family-oriented places to stay.

If you’re Camping with Kids this Year, Consider these Central U.S. Camping Grounds:

  • Ohio’s Amish country has something for everyone: great food, historic relevance and if you pull your camping trailer, a lot of great shopping too! There are close to 100 camping grounds in Amish country to choose from; fees vary.
  • Ouabache state park in Indiana is a great spot to stop when you’re camping with family. Guided hikes, historic home tours and crafts make up just a few of the available activities for kids in this densely wooded campground. Fees range from $6 for primitive camping grounds to $38 (peak season) nightly for camping trailers.
  • Family-friendly Illinois Beach state park stretches along Lake Michigan and offers some alcohol-free campgrounds if you’re camping with kids. Swimming, fishing and hiking are just a few of the activities available. Fees vary.

We thank our contributors:

  • Doug Melvin Boise, Idaho
  • Steve J. Smith Dayton, Ohio

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