Forest Preserves picnic permits, camping reservations open Jan. 2

Online and in-person permit sales for picnic and camping in Cook County Forest Preserves 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. Visit for more information.

People can also apply for permits in person at Forest Preserves General Headquarters, 536 N. Harlem in River Forest or 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.

Anyone planning to apply for permits in person must have a valid state identification card or driver's license with them.

This will be the last Jan. 2 opening day for picnic permits. Permit requests for picnics and special events hosted in 2019 will go on sale Thursday, Nov. 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 855-937-2267; 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 855-937-2267. For questions or assistance with online permit purchases, contact Forest Preserves permits staff by calling 800-870-3666 or visit

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