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2017 Forest Preserves Picnic Permits, Camping Reservations Open Jan. 3

Dec 23, 2016

Permits, Camping Reservations available online and in person


With the New Year quickly approaching, 2017 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 2017 will begin at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3. 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. Doors will open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3, and those planning to apply for permits in person must have a valid state identification card or driver’s license. Additionally, permits will be available for in-person purchase at the Dan Ryan Visitor Center, 8700 S. Western in Chicago, from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. every Friday in January beginning on Jan. 6.


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.


In addition to picnic permits, all 2017 camping dates are available beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3. 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 General Headquarters from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on business days. Reservations can also be made by calling Camp Sullivan, Camp Bullfrog Lake or Camp Reinberg directly during office hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 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