As of 29 May 2020, camping has re-opened at the Hennepin Canal State Park.
The Hennepin Canal State Park is not enrolled in the ReserveAmerica camping reservation system and DOES NOT take camping reservations. Camping at the Canal is on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are no set check-in or check-out times. The Canal’s site security officer makes rounds to each campsite to collect camping fees, in-person. Campers can pay by cash or check.
Camping along the Hennepin Canal towpath is PROHIBITED – camping is only allowed in the designated campsites. Fires are only allowed in the state designated fire pits at the campgrounds. Camping is not permitted in the main complex area (the area around the visitor center).
Currently, the ONLY DRINKING WATER available on the ENTIRE canal is located at the main parking lot in front of the visitor center at the large shelter. There is also a faucet on the side of the visitor center, just to the left of the main entrance. There are no operable drinking water fountains along the rest of the canal so bring your own water for your hike or camping trip.
The canal offers class "C" (primitive camping without showers or electricity) for $8.00 per family/per night, regardless of mode of camping, i.e. tent, camper, pop-up.
Youth groups = $20.00 daily minimum. When the minimum has been met, each additional person is $2.00 per night. Each group of up to 15 youths must be supervised by at least one adult. Youths are considered persons under the age of 18.
IL Senior citizens camp for free from Monday-Thursday; Friday-Sunday = $8.00.
IL Disabled persons with a Class 2 or Class 2A card camp for free Sunday-Saturday.
Campgrounds with multiple campsites along the canal can be found at:
- Lock 6, on the north bank of the canal east of the lock
- Lock 11, west of the Canal Prism
- Lock 17, northwest of the lock
- Lock 21, North Day Use Area
- Bridge 14, north bank
- Lock 22, southwest of the lift bridge
- Bridge 23, south bank
- Lock 23, just west of the parking lot
- Lock 26, south bank
Equestrian camping is restricted to the south side of the Lock 21 area. Equestrian campers are asked to bring a shovel to clear their own horse droppings, which may be pushed off to the side of the trail. There is no tethering to trees.
If you are not familiar with the canal it may be confusing trying to find the campsites. Stop by the Hennepin Canal Visitor Center to pick up a detailed map of the canal, which shows all of the country crossroads. You can also call the visitor center and ask to be mailed a copy: 815-454-2328. If you don't have time to wait for "snail mail", you can view our campground locations as well as images of some of them on our interactive Google map.