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President's Letter: Make the Most of Summer Safely

This summer is unlike any we’ve experienced before. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we interact in public and has forced many people to hit pause on travel, often interfering with traditional summer vacation plans.

But there are still plenty of ways to make the most of summer while keeping you and your family safe. Below are some ideas for fun, exciting experiences throughout the season in the Forest Preserves of Cook County, even as we have changed some of our operations to continue to limit the possible spread of COVID-19.

  • Spend a night under the stars. Pitch a tent or book a cabin and build a campfire to roast some marshmallows while fully immersing yourself in Cook County’s natural wonders. Camp Reinberg, Camp Sullivan, Camp Shabbona Woods and Camp Bullfrog Lake are now open Wednesday evenings through Sunday mornings for tents and cabins, and every day for RVs.
  • Explore a new ecosystem. Many visitors have their favorite forest preserve. This year consider exploring someplace new. There are hundreds of preserves throughout Cook County, with ecosystems ranging from sedge marshes to bur oak savannas. Each ecosystem is host to hundreds of different species of plant and animal life.
  • Try a new activity. Our programming department has shifted to a whole new slate of online and limited in-person events and programs. Or try self-guided activities such as disc golf and fishing to experience the great outdoors.
  • Challenge yourself to exercise more. If you enjoy walking, hiking or biking, our nearly 350 miles of trails can be a route as you challenge yourself to hit new mileage milestones. Can you walk 50 miles of new trails this summer? Or perhaps this will be the year you bike a century!
  • Explore the waterways by canoe or kayak. Watching wilderness from the water can offer an entirely new perspective. If you don’t have your own boat, limited rentals are available at two boating centers in the Forest Preserves: Busse Lake Boating Center and Tampier Lake Boating Center.

No matter how you to choose to make the most of the summer, be sure to do so safely. Wear a face mask or covering. Practice physical distancing from anyone who does not live in your household. Be sure to bring hand sanitizer and water. Finally, for more information visit our COVID-19 web page for a full list of precautions and the latest information on closures and cancellations.

Stay healthy and safe,

Toni Preckwinkle, President

Forest Preserves of Cook County