Reservations now available at three new and revitalized campgrounds in Cook County
Families and groups in Cook County now have the option to camp close to home in Forest Preserves of Cook County. Three of five new and revitalized campgrounds are now open to the public, ushering in a new era for the preserves.
“As part of our Centennial Celebrations, public camping has returned to the forest preserves,” said Toni Preckwinkle, President of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. “Camping is a time-honored tradition and now people can do so conveniently, located just a short drive from home.”
Camp Reinberg, located at 1801 N. Quentin Road in Palatine, offers a variety of camping options. There are several two-bedroom cabins which accommodate up to 10 people with air conditioning and a private bathroom with a shower. Smaller cabins accommodate up to eight people who have access to modern toilet and shower facilities. Camp Reinberg also has spots for small RV’s, mulch tent pad sites and a large dining hall with two community kitchens.
“We want to offer a camping experience inclusive of all skill sets and comfort levels,” said Arnold Randall, General Superintendent of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. “Our camping program appeals to experienced campers and beginners. Our goal is for camping to be a gateway to forge lifelong connections with nature.”
Since Memorial Day weekend, camping has been fully booked at Camp Shabbona Woods, located at 15810 S. Torrence Avenue in South Holland and at Camp Sullivan 14630 Oak Park Avenue in Oak Forest. Additional sites opening this summer include:
- Bullfrog Lake located at 9600 Wolf Road in Willow Springs
- Camp Dan Beard located at 200 Portwine Road in Northbrook
Unlike other area campgrounds, each Forest Preserves of Cook County camping site will offer programming and regular special events for campers. Gear rental, Camping 101, Family Campouts as well as leadership courses are also available.
Large groups will have the opportunity to participate in the Camping and Leadership Immersion Course (CLIC) which provides certification for group leaders to use donated gear by CSX and Columbia, the Outdoor Empowered Network and the Forest Preserve Foundation.
Fees vary by season and day, but range from as low as $20 for a weekday tent pad to $200 for a Saturday-night, 36-bed bunkhouse for Cook County residents. Non-residents will pay $10 more per night. Peak season rentals begin in April and run through October. Some camps – Bullfrog Lake, Reinberg, and Sullivan – feature four-season, heated cabins and are open 362 days a year. Campgrounds are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
All sites will be professionally managed by Billy Casper Golf, the longtime manager of the county’s golf courses. All campgrounds will have 24-hour staff and will be monitored with regular patrols by the Forest Preserves Police Department.
Campground reservations can be made online at fpdcc.com/camping, by phone at 1-855-YES-CAMP and in-person at Forest Preserves of Cook County Headquarters located at 536 N. Harlem Avenue in River Forest. Phone and in-person registration can be accommodated from 8:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The total cost of the campgrounds including design, engineering and construction is roughly $30 million and is part of the Forest Preserves’ Capital Improvement Program. Funding for the campgrounds came from General Obligation Bonds issued in June 2012, for the purpose of funding land acquisition and capital improvement projects.
About the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Don’t you sometimes just want to escape? Explore the natural beauty of Cook County for an hour, a day or even a night. When you’re surrounded by 70,000 acres of wild and wonderful there’s no better place to feel free.