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Outdoors Glance: Jan. 3, 2019

January 3, 2019

Daily Journal staff report

The Forest Preserve District of Will County will offer online picnicking and camping permits for the first time in 2019.

Online permits now are available at ReconnectWithNature.org.

“Reserving picnic shelters and campsites online through the district’s website will be an added convenience for our customers because they can now make reservations in the comfort of their home rather than making a trip to one of our visitor centers,” said Jenna Newcomb, the district’s permit administrator. “We currently offer online program registration and dog park permits, and it has proven to be a successful option. We are optimistic that our customers will enjoy this new feature just as much.”

To book in person, camping and picnicking permits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at three Forest Preserve visitor centers: Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville, Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township and Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet.

Monee Reservoir’s Visitor Center, which only sells picnic permits for the shelters and picnic grove at Monee Reservoir, is closed for the winter and reopens March 1.

Picnic permits cover more than 30 shelters that are nestled in forest preserves throughout Will County.

Shelter rental fees begin at $60 for Will County residents and $120 for nonresidents.

The cost to rent Monee Grove is $35 for residents, $70 for nonresidents.

Permits are required for groups of 25 or more and to ensure the shelter of choice will be available. Picnic permit details and view photos of the shelters are available online on the picnicking page.

Tent camping is allowed at Forked Creek Preserve — Ballou Road Access in Wesley Township, Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve in Crete Township, Hammel Woods — DuPage River Access in Shorewood, McKinley Woods — Frederick’s Grove in Channahon and Messenger Woods Nature Preserve in Homer Glen.

Campsite rental fees begin at $15 per night for residents and $30 per night for nonresidents. In addition to online and in-person booking options, camping permits also are available by phone.

For more information on picnic and camping permits and other Forest Preserve activities, visit the Recreation Page at ReconnectWithNature.org.

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