Pitch your camp in the path of totality and greatest duration. :)
Heron House Family Campground is in the path of totality just a few miles from the point of greatest duration. The duration of the eclipse at Heron House will be ~2 minutes, 28 seconds!
Heron House is located 5 ½ miles northwest of Murphysboro at the edge of Kinkaid Lake and the Shawnee National Forest in the Illinois Ozarks (away from city lights). It is gorgeous country! Here the skies are dark, the laughs are belly-deep, the wildlife is boisterous, and deep breaths of contentment live among the breezes in the bluffs. Heron House Family Campground is registered with the local health department (Jackson County, Southernmost Illinois).
Campsites available August 17—August 22
Tent sites are full.
Tent sites have shade trees with access to a large, open area to view the eclipse in open skies (nothing to inhibit view). Please note that Heron House also has a shaded porch that campers are welcome to sit and enjoy a cold beverage on. :)
Attractions & Amenities:
- Multiple gorgeous hiking trails—from easy to rigorous—and biking opportunities close by (hosts have additional information)
- Walking distance to Kinkaid Lake and Marina, which has a restaurant, bar, laundry (coin), showers, and convenience shop
- Kinkaid Lake Spillway is the area’s most beautiful “swimming hole” and can be accessed by car (6-min. drive) or boat
- Lake and multiple fishing docks within walking (and driving) distance
- Beautiful lakeside and sunset strolls
- Owners/hosts on-site
- Wineries nearby; firewood available for purchase on-site
- Parking on-site (one standard-size parking place per campsite (on-site); boat parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis in an adjacent public lot)
- Award-winning restaurants nearby, including 17th Street Barbecue, three-time World Grand Champions
- Science and history museums (adult and child-friendly)
- The area is a nature lover’s paradise, surrounded by national forest and state parks and stunning beauty
Campers have access to shared, serviced toilet facilities and hand-washing stations that meet county code. Laundry (coin) and shower facilities are located within walking distance at the local marina. Potable water, dumpster for trash, and a large, in-the-ground, shared campfire pit on-site for campers to share. Campers are very welcome to bring self-sustaining cooking/campfire equipment as long as it is in a contained unit that is raised off of the ground. In other words, no fires or dig pits on/in the ground. Thanks!
A power-strip station is available for campers to share to charge mobile phones, laptops, and tablets; these are the only electronic devices that can be charged at the power station, so please be sure to have adequate batteries or charging equipment for other devices. For the courtesy of others, gas-powered generators are not permitted, and power is not available on-site for electric generators.
Please note that each individual camper must sign a release of liability (guardians sign for minors). If the release has not been signed before arrival, it must be signed upon arrival. Please note that refunds will not be granted, including for refusal to sign the release on the part of any camper in the party. We are very happy to email a copy of the release for your review ahead of time (prior to booking).
Free coffee in the morning for early risers from 6 a.m. 'til it's gone, and free treats in the evening for after-supper snackers ('til they're gone). :) We look forward to hosting your magnificent stay in Southernmost Illinois for the 2017 Total Eclipse!
- Check in: After 12PM
- Check out: Before 5PM
- Cancellation policy: Super Strict (30 Days)
- On arrival: Meet and greet
- Minimum nights: None
- Accepts bookings: 6 months out
The vibe at Total Eclipse Camping
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
My stay at Heron House was absolutely perfect. The hosts are so unbelievably kind and accommodating. They were so knowledgeable about the area and gave us great information about things to do and places to see during our stay. They have a large, beautiful, grassy backyard with many places to pitch a tent. Several trees offer morning and evening shade. They have a large fire pit to relax by or cook meals. Their property was so serene and peaceful. The Heron House is conveniently located near Kinkaid Lake, where you can boat, swim, cliff jump, etc., and the Kinkaid Spillway, a small waterfall/lake swimming hole. Shawnee National Forest is also nearby, which has many hiking trails and viewpoints of the southern Illinois landscape. This area invites adventure seekers and outdoor lovers. This is the best it gets in Illinois!
Our stay for the eclipse at Heron House was beyond our expectations. Joanna and David were exceptional hosts - the coffee every morning was delish and so were all the great recommendations of restaurants and pubs. They managed to crest a community for all us camping to experience the eclipse together. Highly recommended this stay and can't wait to come back! Thanks, Joanna & David!