If you’re visiting the Chicago area, then Camp Reinberg is one of the RV parks closest to the city. It is a small RV park run by the county, with only five RV campsites available, but an excellent option to stay close to Chicago. We stayed here in our Airstream when we were visiting Chicago.

Map of Camp Reinberg
Map of Camp Reinberg

Camp Reinberg Location

Camp Reinberg is located about 36 miles to Chicago by car, or about an hour by the Metra train.

The Google map below shows its exact location.

The Metra train station in Palatine is located about 2 1/2 miles from Camp Reinberg, so is very convenient to use to get into downtown Chicago.

Camp Reinberg check-in office for campers
Camp Reinberg check-in office for campers

Camp Reinberg is run by the Forest Preserves of Cook County, one of the oldest and largest forest preserves in the United States.

It is located in northwestern Cook County, northwest of Chicago.

The actual campground is located in a larger forest preserve called Deer Grove, which includes over 1,800 acres of protected land.

Twin fawns in Camp Reinberg campground
Twin fawns in Camp Reinberg campground

We woke up one morning to find two adorable baby fawns in the campground.

We saw other deer too frequently during our visit.

Camp Reinberg Campsites

The campground area of Camp Reinberg includes five RV camping sites, as well as tent camping sites and some cabins. We stayed in one of the RV sites.

Tent camping sites at Camp Reinberg
Tent camping sites at Camp Reinberg
Cabins at Camp Reinberg
Cabins at Camp Reinberg

There are public restrooms available for campers, with the odd choice of only one toilet in the women’s restroom (and only one in the men’s restroom as well), along with 4-5 showers in each gender’s respective bathroom.

Bathroom with showers at Camp Reinberg
Bathroom with showers at Camp Reinberg

The RV campsites have a strange setup when compared to other RV campgrounds.

Each has electricity and a sewer connection, but no water connection.

To get water, the campground hosts will hook your RV up to a hose near the bathroom, so you’ll need to fill up when you get to the campground.

Apparently campsite #5 (and maybe #4) are reachable by the 150 foot hose if you need to refill your water tank. 

We stayed in campsite #3 which was not directly reachable by the water hose so we had to pull our travel trailer to the bathroom area to get water.

Campsite #3 at Camp Reinberg
Campsite #3 at Camp Reinberg

We stayed in Camp Reinberg in July 2018.

The mosquitoes were BAD! So much so, that we couldn’t even enjoy the outside of the camper in the evening.

We had to hide away inside since the mosquitoes were that invasive. So plan accordingly and come armed with lots of bug spray.

Camp Reinberg overflow parking area outside the gate
Camp Reinberg overflow parking area outside the gate

The campground officially closes at 10 PM, and they supposedly lock the gates after 10 PM.

However, they were open after 10 PM when we stayed there.

There is an overflow parking lot directly in front of the campground if you happen to get locked out, so you can park your car and walk back to your campsite until the next morning.

Deer Grove East Park

Deer Grove East Park bike path
Deer Grove East Park bike path

Directly behind the Camp Reinberg campground is Deer Grove East Park.

This is a major restoration area designed to repair and maintain the wetlands that used to dominate in the area.

This area includes 630 acres of natural wooded and grasslands areas, including 23 wetlands (probably the source of the mosquitoes), with paved trails throughout for biking and walking.

Wooded section of Deer Grove directly behind our campsite
Wooded section of Deer Grove directly behind our campsite

There are also unpaved mountain biking trails and hiking trails throughout.

In total, there are about 4 miles of paved trails and 10 miles of unpaved trails in the area.

Deer Grove East Park walking and biking paved trail through the grasslands
Wetlands area of Deer Grove East Park

Model Airplane Flying Field

Model airplanes at Deer Grove Park
Model airplane pilots and their airplanes at Deer Grove Park

In addition to the trails in Deer Grove East Park, there is also a model airplane flying field, complete with a mini runway for the Barbie doll size airplanes.

The primary airplane pilots seemed to be retired men while we were there.

These guys had considerable expertise with their model planes as they were doing some aviation acrobatics in the air with flips, turns, dives, and other cool maneuvers.

Model airplane preparing for takeoff on the mini runway
Model airplane preparing for takeoff on the mini runway

Kids and adults alike will enjoy watching these fun model airplanes.

The model airplane flying field is located directly off the main biking and hiking trail in Deer Grove East Park.

Model airplanes at the park behind Camp Reinberg RV park
Model airplanes at the park behind Camp Reinberg RV park

Final Thoughts on Camp Reinberg

Finding campgrounds and RV parks near major US cities can be challenging. Camp Reinberg worked well for visiting Chicago, as did the Boulder County Fairgrounds campground for when we visited Denver, the La Plata County Fairgrounds for when we visited Denver, and the Highway 6 RV Resort for when we visited Houston.

We enjoyed our time camping at Camp Reinberg and would go back. More details about the campground are available here.

It was a good option for staying near Chicago in our Airstream.