Latest News

Forest Preserves Picnic Permits, Camping Reservations Open Jan. 2

Dec 27, 2017

Permits, Camping Reservations available online and in person.


With the New Year quickly approaching, 2018 offers numerous new opportunities to come together with family and friends. From birthdays, reunions and special event gatherings, to planning an exciting weekend camping excursion, the Forest Preserves of Cook County offers a variety of ways to reconnect with loved ones throughout the year.


Online and in-person permit sales for 2018 will begin at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 2. Picnic permits are required for groups of 25 or more. In addition to saving time by purchasing permits online, visitors can view information such as site availability, grove maps and the various fees associated with grove rentals by visiting


People can also apply for permits in person at Forest Preserves General Headquarters, located at 536 N. Harlem in River Forest. Additionally, permits will be available for in-person purchase at the Dan Ryan Visitor Center, 8700 S. Western in Chicago. Doors will open at 7 a.m. at both locations on Tuesday, Jan. 2, and those planning to apply for permits in person must have a valid state identification card or driver’s license.


Accepted payment methods for permits are cash, check or credit card (Visa or MasterCard). Purchasers should begin completing their permit application immediately upon arrival to expedite wait time, and have two or three additional locations in mind in case the first choice is not available.


Please note, this will be the last January 2 Opening Day for Forest Preserves picnic permits. Permit requests for picnics and special events hosted in 2019 will go on sale Thursday, November 15, 2018. More information will be released closer to the start of 2019 permit sales.


2018 Camping Reservations


In addition to picnic permits, all 2018 camping dates are available beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 2. Camping reservations for the Forest Preserves’ five campgrounds will be accepted for April 1 through Dec. 31.


Camping reservations can be made online at; by phone at (855) YES-CAMP (937-2267); or in person at Forest Preserves Campgrounds and by calling Camp Sullivan, Camp Bullfrog Lake or Camp Reinberg directly during office hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on business days or on weekends when there are campers. For campground contact information, visit


Residents and visitors can still enjoy camping at Camps Reinberg, Sullivan and Bullfrog Lake throughout winter; there is limited availability of heated cabins at some campgrounds in addition to tent camping and RVs. Camp Dan Beard in Northbrook is open for winter camping to large groups only.


For questions or assistance with making camping reservations, call (855) YES-CAMP (937-2267). For questions or assistance with online permit purchases, contact Forest Preserves permits staff by calling (800) 870-3666 or visit



Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County