Hickory Hollow Campground – Utica, IL
My husband and I booked a cabin at Hickory Hollow campground a month or so in advance for a 4 night stay. The website promised solitude, woodland creatures right outside your front door, nice cabins with refrigerators, microwaves, table, chairs, and a sink.
When we checked in around 4pm, we asked to be moved to another cabin that wasn’t right under a billboard and next to the highway. She said no. We dropped our things off in our cabin, and realized that this cabin probably had not been swept out in a few months… there were spiderwebs everywhere and lots of dead bugs on the bed, under the beds, and on the floor. We swept the room out before leaving to go to Utica for a quick hike and a trip to the grocery store. We returned around 7-8pm and immediately noticed we had a bug problem in the cabin.
Inconveniently, the office was closed, and we were informed upon check-in that there would be absolutely no one to get a hold of if we locked ourselves out of our cabin in the middle of the night. We decided to zip up our few belongings and put them in our large tupperware containers, and sleep in the cabin with the lights on since it was too cold to sleep in the car. We saw very large cokroaches on the wall, but had no where else to stay by the time we realized we had a problem. Neither of us slept at all. We packed all our things up in our car to leave the campground immediately.
We met the employee who opened the office the next morning at the door as she opened up 5 minutes late. She seemed very polite as she opened the front door, and we had some small talk. Then, we came up to the front counter and informed her that we would not be staying at this campground one more night because of the roach infestation in our cabin, and we wanted our money returned to us for the other three nights that we would not be staying (We paid in advance upon checkin–all 4 nights)! She immediately got angry and said she didn’t owe it to us and raised her voice and went on about how hard it is to rent out cabins! She actually told me that they were not roaches, they were another kind of large beetle that looks just like a cockroach, and then she told me that I should expect bugs while camping! I expect spiders and flies and snakes maybe, but not cokroaches. I told her that she could confirm that it was a cockroach by looking at the smashed ones on the cabin floor! She gave us our money back for the 3 nights because my husband demanded his money back.
I have NEVER interacted with a less hospitable employee! My husband and I have stayed in several cabins in Illinois, and have NEVER had a cockroach problem. By my estimation, the cabins are not properly maintained. And there are no refrigerators, microwaves, tables, chairs, or sinks as the pictures on the website show. And to top it all off, we are now battling for the first time a roach infestation in our home! I do not recommend this campground!