(Click here for an article I wrote about Thousand Trails.)
Address: 970 Green Wing Rd, Amboy, IL 61310
Phone: (815) 857-3860
# of sites: 636
Full hookup price: From $75/night
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Warnings: Rust in water, mosquitoes
This is a very well-groomed resort with a lot of family activities. It's on a lake and the fireflies are abundant. The biggest advantages for us were the amount of space between sites, probably 20 feet on many, and the thick green grass throughout the campsites. Amenities include inexpensive laundry facilities, paddle boat and kayak rentals on the lake and plenty of green space.
The number 1 con was the amount of rust in the water. After just 2 days our hoses were brown (see photos) and there were stains in the bathroom toilet, shower and sink, as well as on clothing we washed in our own washing machine, and that was with a brand new water filter on the incoming line. Obviously we had to stop using the water for cooking, drinking, making ice and iced tea and for laundry.
We talked to other campers who said that they had rust damage during past campouts here. When we complained about the rust damage to the manager, he told us we couldn't prove our damage in the photos wasn't already there before we came to his resort. While that may be true, how many people take photos of everything while setting up camp in case there's damage? He refused to give us his insurance information and said that no one had ever complained before.
There are other cons as well. There are over 2,000 sites in this park, and all but 636 camping sites have permanent setups, either trailers and motorhomes set up with full-time hookups, decks, etc., or park model homes. There are as many residents here as the whole town of Amboy, which makes it feel you are camping in town.
This park is very much set up for families with kids. Noise like screaming kids or loud music isn't regulated or limited in hours, and kids were never told to leave the adults-only jacuzzis. Most of the activities were for families as well, not much for adults-only. In fact, there was nothing for adults to do on the grounds in the evening.
Bugs! There were many flies, mosquitoes, gnats and "no seeums" everywhere in the resort when it wasn't raining. We were bit up quite a bit, even by some of the flies and even though we were using Off. I finally started wearing sweat pants and sweaters even when it was hot when I walked the dog to help protect myself, but even then I got bit as they must have crawled up under the clothing. The rain did help, but it only rained a couple of days (though we did get 6 inches over that time).
This is also an expensive resort to stay in. If you aren't Thousand Trails members, the cost of a site with full hookups starts at $75 per night, but our site, with 50 amp electric in the section we were in, was $108/night.
I would highly recommend this park to families with small children (not so much teens) as long as you bring and use your own water. Adults without kids can skip this park unless you have a Thousand Trails membership and it's on the way somewhere else on your trip.
Click here for an article I wrote about Thousand Trails.
Jack Huber is a novelist with 7 mysteries published, along with several books of poetry and photography. Now retired, he and his wife, Nadyne, are free to travel the country in their 32' 5th wheel and 1-ton Ford pickup.