Outdoor Activities

Forest Preserves of Cook County

Permits opening day
Camp in Cook

2018 Picnic & Event Permits available Jan. 2 at 8am

Picnic and event permits may be purchased starting January 2, 2018 at 8am online with Visa or MasterCard or in person with cash, check, Visa or MasterCard (and a driver’s licenses or state ID) at our General Headquarters or the Dan Ryan Visitor Center. Doors will open at 7am at both locations.

Reservations for athletic fields will be accepted on February 1, 2018

2018 Indoor Event Rentals and events with estimated attendance of 1,000+ can book now.

Click here for more info

Camp in Cook

Black History Month

Underground Railroad Hike


Join us to learn about Black History Month with an educational display and interactive history hike. An imaginary journey follows an Underground Railroad route used in Illinois in the mid-1800s.



Live Healthy, Discover Nature! Hike

Saturday, Feb. 3 • 1:30 pm                       Sand Ridge Nature Center, 15891 S Paxton Ave, South Holland

Join our monthly hiking club. One of our naturalists will lead a vigorous hike on our trails.


History of Women in Nature

Saturday, Feb. 10 • 1:30 pm
Trailside Museum of Natural History, 738 Thatcher Ave, River Forest

Where is the Lost Beach?

Saturday, Feb. 24 • 1:30 pm
Sand Ridge Nature Center, 15891 S Paxton Ave, South Holland

Join us for a 2-mile hike around Lost Beach Trail. We will discover why this trail is so-named as we also learn about local geology.


NEW!!! Click to View the 2017-2018 Winter FPDCC Schedule!!!

winter schedule

Did you know some birds sing notes too high for humans to hear? Or that ospreys almost always carry fish parallel to their bodies to improve aerodynamics? Have you ever seen a heron eat a fish whole, or a crow using homemade tools catch their prey? The native and migrating birds that can be spotted in the Forest Preserves of Cook County are as unique and diverse as the Forest Preserves themselves!

New and experienced birders can enjoy this fun and versatile year-round activity while experiencing the many amenities offered throughout the Forest Preserves, including miles of marked trails, major waterways that can be canoed or kayaked, dedicated nature preserves, nature centers and more.

Bird the Preserves

Keep Track!!--Download the Birding Checklist Here

Forest Banner

"The Forest Preserve District of Cook County, with more than 69,000-acres, is the largest forest preserve district in the United States. It receives an estimated 40 million visits each year, providing an escape into a world teeming with wildlife and rich with outdoor recreation and environmental education opportunities. Within its boundaries are rare habitats that offer plant and animal diversity on par with the rainforests of the world. This natural heritage offers something for everyone:

Oak woodlands and savannas

Tallgrass prairies

Native wetlands

Migratory fly-ways that afford spectacular birding

22 dedicated nature preserves

40 managed lakes and ponds

7 major waterways that can be canoed or kayaked and offer glimpses of waterflow and shorebirds

300 miles of marked trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and cross country skiing

Scenic spots for painting, photography or quiet reflection"

For more information on the Forest Preserves of Cook County, visit http://fpdcc.com/