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Recreation

Camping   Camping

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Visitor Centers have closures and special hours for the Christmas and New Year's Day holidays. Preserves and trails are closed Christmas Day. View more information.
Learn about permits for picnics, camping, and dog parks for 2015. View more information.
The removal of emerald ash borer infested trees will take place at several forest preserves in 2015. View more information.
Camping

A number of our preserves allow for overnight tent camping. Only primitive camping is allowed, with no accommodations for recreational vehicles (RVs) or electrical output.

Campsite Permitting

Family and group camping permits may be obtained in person or over the phone with a credit card at the Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet, Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville, Monee Reservoir in Monee, or Plum Creek Nature Center in Beecher. Call 815.727.8700 to check site availability; for the campsites at Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve, call 708.946.2216. Reservations for campsites must be made at least two business days in advance of the reservation date. See permit fees below.

Camping Regulations

All campers are to remain in the preserve after closing hours. Campers must observe quiet time hours between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Check-out time for all campers is noon.

The District does not provide firewood, and gathering firewood from any forest preserve in prohibited.

Additional regulations apply. For more information, download the District's Camping Permit Regulations and General Use Ordinance No. 124, or call 815.727.8700.

Campsite Locations

Location Number
of Sites
Capacity
per Site
Amenities
Forked Creek Preserve - Ballou Road Access
Wilmington
2 6 Campsites are in partial shade on flat terrain. One site is ADA accessible on a concrete pad; one site is on natural surface terrain. Both sites provide access to fire pits, latrines, and a water fountain.

Nearby amenities include 0.54 mile of crushed limestone trail and access to the crushed limestone Wauponsee Glacial Trail, the Ballou Road Access Shelter, and a dog park.
Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve
Beecher
16
(8 Pods)
6-18 Campsites range from full sun to full shade on flat to hilly terrain. Two sites are ADA accessible on concrete pads; 14 sites are on natural surface terrain. All sites provide access to fire pits, latrines, and a water fountain.

Nearby amenities include 2.28 miles of natural surface and paved preserve trails and the crushed limestone Plum Creek Greenway Trail. This campground is ideal for large groups such as scouts.
Hammel Woods - DuPage River Access
Shorewood
6 6 Campsites are in full to part shade on mostly flat, natural surface terrain, and provide access to fire pits, latrines, and a water pump.

Nearby amenities include the paved DuPage River Trail, fishing and canoeing/kayaking on the DuPage River, and a dog park.
McKinley Woods - Frederick's Grove
(Boatman's Landing Campground)
Channahon
(Closed November 1-April 15)
4 6 Campsites range from mostly sun to full shade on flat terrain. Two sites are ADA accessible on concrete pads; two sites are on natural surface terrain. All sites provide access to fire pits, latrines, and a water pump.

Nearby amenities include the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' crushed limestone I&M Canal State Trail, fishing and canoeing/kayaking on the Des Plaines River, and Frederick's Grove Shelter.
Messenger Woods Nature Preserve
(Kyle Zuleg Campground)
Homer Glen
4 6 Campsites are in full sun to part shade on moderately sloped terrain. Two sites are ADA accessible on concrete pads; two sites are on natural surface terrain. All sites provide access to fire pits, latrines, and a water pump.

Nearby amenities include 1.92 miles of natural surface trail and the Hawthorn Grove Shelter and Oak Knoll Shelter.

Photograph Courtesy of Glenn P. Knoblock

Activity Fees
Family Camping
Family camping is for groups not associated with a particular organization or club. The fee listed is for a group of up to 6-18 individuals, depending on the campsite selected.
Resident: $15/night
Non-Resident: $30/night
Group Camping
Group camping is for groups associated with an organization or club. The fee listed is for a group of up to 6-18 individuals, depending on the campsite selected.
Resident: $7.50/night
Non-Resident: $15/night
View All Activity Fees
You can enjoy this activity at the following locations:

Preserves
Forked Creek Preserve - Ballou Road Access (Wilmington)
Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve (Beecher)
Hammel Woods - DuPage River Access (Shorewood)
McKinley Woods - Frederick's Grove (Channahon)
Messenger Woods Nature Preserve (Homer Glen)
Visitor Centers
Plum Creek Nature Center (Beecher)
 
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17540 W. Laraway Road, Joliet, IL 60433
815.727.8700 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Weekdays
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