2021 Forest Preserve District picnicking and camping permits will go on sale Monday, January 4.
Permits are available on a first-come, first-served basis either online or in person at select visitor centers: Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon, Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville and Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township. Visitor center hours for these facilities are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday and closed Monday. Permits also can be purchased at Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet. Sugar Creek's hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The building is closed Saturday and Sunday. Masks are required for entry and capacity limits will be enforced as a result of the state's COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
Picnic permits are available for more than 30 rentable shelters that are nestled in forest preserves throughout Will County. Shelter rental fees begin at $70 for Will County residents and $140 for nonresidents. Permits are required for groups of 25 or more (when allowed during the pandemic) and they also ensure use of a location for smaller groups.
Browse picnic permit details and view photos of the shelters on the Picnicking Page before deciding on a location for your 2021 get-together with family, friends or colleagues.
Tent camping is allowed at Forked Creek Preserve – Ballou Road Access in Wesley Township, Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve in Crete Township, Hammel Woods – DuPage River Access in Shorewood, McKinley Woods – Frederick’s Grove in Channahon and Messenger Woods Nature Preserve in Homer Glen.
Campsite rental fees begin at $20 per night for residents or $40 per night for nonresidents. In addition to online and in-person booking options, camping permits also are available by phone. A 50 percent discount is offered to youth groups. The Forest Preserve also offers a "No Gear, No Problem" program for those who need to rent camping equipment. Learn more about camping in the preserves by visiting the Camping Page.
Stay up-to-date on the happenings in Will County's forest preserves by subscribing to The Citizen, our weekly digital newsletter that provides subscribers with updates on Forest Preserve news, upcoming events, and other fun and useful information for the whole family. If you're only interested in programs, subscribe to The Weekly Five, which outlines the five must-do programs each week. Signing up for either newsletter is easy and free of charge.