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FAQ

Boating

Can I launch my own watercraft at any Forest Preserve fishing lakes?

Whalon Lake in Naperville and Rock Run Rookery Preserve in Joliet offer fishing lakes where the District allows the launch of fishing boats (trolling motors only). Boating is also allowed at Lake Chaminwood Preserve in Minooka, but only watercraft that can be carried on top of a vehicle is permitted. There is no boat trailer parking at the Lake Chaminwood Preserve. Canoes and kayaks may also be launched at all three preserves; no launch pass is required.

You may also launch your own canoe or kayak at Monee Reservoir if you have a daily or seasonal launch pass. Canoes, kayaks, rowboats and pedalboats may be rented from Monee Reservoir as well.

Boats may be launched between April 1 and October 31. For more information about the use of watercraft in District preserves, visit the Boating page or Canoeing/Kayaking page.

What are the watercraft rental prices at Monee Reservoir?

Visit the Monee Reservoir Visitor Center page for the rental details and fees for canoes, kayaks, rowboats and pedalboats.

What are the regulations for fishing boats?

Visit the Boating page for information about launching fishing boats at District preserves.

Where can I rent a canoe or kayak?

Canoe and kayak rental is available at Monee Reservoir.

Camping

Is camping allowed in the forest preserves?

Tent campsites are available at a number of our preserves. Visit the Camping page for more information.

Is there a fee for camping?

Visit the Camping page for fee details.

How do I make a reservation for a campsite?

Family and group camping permits may be obtained in person or over the phone with a credit card at Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet, Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville, Monee Reservoir in Monee or Plum Creek Nature Center in Beecher. Reservations for campsites must be made two business days in advance of the reservation date. Visit the Camping page for more information.

What amenities are at your campsites?

Each campsite includes picnic tables and grills for cooking and is near bathroom facilities, drinking water and trails. Some campsites are near fishing opportunities as well. Only primitive camping is allowed, with no accommodations for recreational vehicles (RVs). Visit the Camping page for more information.

Dog Parks

Are dogs allowed in the forest preserves?

Leashed dogs are welcome in the forest preserves, excluding areas designated as State Nature Preserves unless otherwise posted. With a permit, dogs are allowed off-leash in designated dog parks only. Visit the Dog Park page for more information.

Do I need a permit to use the dog parks?

Yes, an annual permit is required to use our dog parks. The permit comes on a lanyard and must be displayed while you are in the park. Visit the Dog Park page for more information.

Where are the Forest Preserve's dog parks located?

The Forest Preserve offers five dog parks at: Forked Creek Preserve — Ballou Road Access in Wesley Township; Hammel Woods — DuPage River Access in Shorewood; Lower Rock Run Preserve — McClintock Road Access in Joliet; Messenger Marsh in Homer Glen; and Whalon Lake in Naperville. A sixth dog park will open at Plum Valley Preserve — Burville Road Access in Crete Township in summer 2017. Visit the Dog Park page for more information. 

How can I obtain a dog park permit?

A dog park permit may be purchased at Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet, Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville, Monee Reservoir in Monee Township or Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township.

A permit may also be obtained by downloading and completing the Dog Park Permit Application and mailing it with the applicable fee to the Sugar Creek Administration Center.

Visit the Dog Park page for more information.

How much does a dog park permit cost?

Visit the Dog Park page for fee information.

How many dogs can I bring to the dog park?

A maximum of three dogs per person are allowed in the dog park. Visit the Dog Park page for more information.

What information must I provide in order to buy a dog park permit?

In order to obtain a dog park permit, you much provide each dog's rabies vaccination tag number and the full date of when the dog is due for re-vaccination. You will also need to provide your driver's license number. Visit the Dog Park page for more information.

Drones

Can I fly a drone in the preserves?

The operation of drones — or traditional model aircraft — in the preserves by the general public is not allowed under the District's General Use Ordinance.

Education

Can schools go on field trips to forest preserves?

We offer educational programs for school groups at the Environmental Learning Center in Mokena, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon, Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville and Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township near Beecher.

Visit the Education page for more information.

As a teacher, how can I sign up my class for a field trip?

Reserve your field trip online by visiting the Education page.

Can a naturalist come to my classroom to give a presentation?

We offer in-school educational programs on Tuesdays through Fridays to schools in Will County. Visit the Education page for more information.

Do you have programs for scout groups?

Youth group programs are available at several of our visitor centers. Visit the Education page for more information.

Fishing

Is fishing allowed in the forest preserves?

Fishing is allowed in any forest preserve unless posted otherwise. Visit the Fishing page for more information.

Do I need a special permit to fish at Will County forest preserves?

There is no special permit required to fish in Will County Forest Preserves. However, in accordance with State law, anyone over the age of 16 who fishes a public Illinois waterway is required to have a fishing license, which may be obtained from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources or at the District's Monee Reservoir. Visit the Fishing page for more information.

What kind of fishing bait is available for purchase at Monee Reservoir?

Visit the Monee Reservoir page for information about bait and concessions sales.

Is ice fishing allowed in the forest preserves?

Ice fishing is not allowed in Will County forest preserves.

Getting Involved

Are there any opportunities for employment at the Forest Preserve District, and how can I submit an application?

Visit our Employment page for a list of current opportunities and information about the application process.

Are there opportunities for me to volunteer with the Forest Preserve District, and how can I sign up to volunteer?

There are always many opportunities to volunteer with us. Visit the Volunteer Information page for more information.

Miscellaneous Activities

Can I collect mushrooms, flowers, firewood or dead branches from forest preserves?

No natural material can be removed from the forest preserves.

Can I or my dog swim at any preserves?

The District does not allow wading, swimming or dogs in the water at any of its preserves.

What winter recreational activities are offered by the Will County Forest Preserve?

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing may be enjoyed at preserves throughout Will County. Sledding is offered at Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve  in Crete Township and Forked Creek Preserve – Butcher Lane Access in Wilmington when conditions allow. The sled hill at Forked Creek Preserve – Butcher Lane Access is not supervised nor monitored for snow conditions. Ice skating is offered on a pond at Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve when proper conditions exist.

Miscellaneous Information

Is alcohol allowed in the Will County forest preserves?

Alcohol is allowed in all forest preserves without any special permission unless there is signage posted prohibiting alcohol in a particular area. For example, alcohol is prohibited inside of the District's dog parks.

Picnicking

Do I need to make a reservation in order to use a picnic shelter or grove?

Groups of 25 or less may use picnic groves and shelters on a first-come, first-served basis without a picnic permit if the picnic area is not already reserved. However, purchasing a picnic permit is recommended due to the high demand for picnic groves and shelters. A picnic permit will reserve your space. Picnic permits are required for groups larger than 25 people. Visit the Picnicking page for more information.

How do I rent a picnic shelter or grove?

A picnic permit must be obtained in person at Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet, Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville, Monee Reservoir in Monee Township or Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township near Beecher. Call 815.727.8700 for picnic site availability. Reservations must be made at least two business days in advance of the reservation date.

To reserve the shelter at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, call 815.722.9470.

Visit the Picnicking page for more information. 

How can I find out if a picnic shelter or grove is available for rental?

To check on the availability of a picnic area, visit or call Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet at 815.727.8700. 

To check the availability of the shelter at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, call 815.722.9470. 

Do I need special permission to have alcohol at my picnic?

Alcohol is allowed in all forest preserves without any special permission unless there is signage posted prohibiting alcohol in a particular area. For example, alcohol is prohibited inside of the District's dog parks.

Programs

How do I register for a program offered by the District?

To register for one of the District's programs, call the number listed in the program description in the Event Calendar.

Safety

How can I report a safety concern in a forest preserve?

Call 911 in an emergency. Non-emergency safety concerns should be directed to the Will County Sheriff's dispatch at 815.727.6191 to have a Forest Preserve District Officer dispatched. Non-emergency and past concerns can also be reported to the District's police department by calling 815.727.8700 or through our online form.

What are the District's rules about firearms with regard to the Concealed Carry Act?

Visit the Frequently Asked Questions: Concealed Carry page for information about firearms in the District's forest preserves and visitor centers.

Visitor Centers

What hours are the Visitor Centers open?

Visit the Visitor Centers page for more information about each of our visitor centers, including their hours of operation.

When is the Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Visitor Center open?

The Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Visitor Center is open from May 1 through August 15 on Wednesdays from 10-11 a.m., and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. From August 16 through April 30, the visitor center is closed except for program dates/times as listed in the Event Calendar.

How much does it cost to visit the Isle a la Cache Museum or the Plum Creek Nature Center?

There is no admission fee for our visitor centers because we are tax supported.

Weddings

How do I find out more information about having a wedding at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon?

Visit the Four Rivers Environmental Education Center page, call 815.722.9470 or email fourrivers@fpdwc.org.

Wildlife

What can I do for an injured animal in a forest preserve or on my property?

The Forest Preserve District of Will County does not provide rehabilitation services or support for animals found on District or private property.

The University of Illinois Extension provides guidance on its Living with Wildlife website.

In addition, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County offers a wildlife rehabilitation facility, Willowbrook Wildlife Center, that may be contacted for assistance.

Is hunting allowed in Will County forest preserves?

No hunting is permitted in Will County forest preserves.

Mission

The Forest Preserve District is dedicated to protecting, conserving, enhancing and promoting Will County's natural heritage for the educational, recreational and environmental benefit of present and future generations.

Motto

Bringing People and Nature Together

Vision

The people of Will County will view the Forest Preserve District as vital to enriching their quality of life.

 

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