Preserve Picnic Shelters
Lakewood: Shelter E
Shelter E at Lakewood Forest Preserve boasts an extra-large capacity, nature exhibits, an adjacent open area. It is an ideal spot for large gatherings and is one of our most popular picnic areas. Make your reservation early, weekend availability for this shelter fills fast.
Four horseshoe pits and an asphalt volleyball court are available for your use (bring your own equipment). Two large barbeque grills can accommodate large cookouts, and an enormous open field next to the shelter is perfect for a soccer or softball game, or a large tent to provide more covered space. The playground near the shelter is shared with all other preserve visitors.
No amplified music or noise is permitted.
This shelter features flush toilets, running water, and drinking fountains.
To access this shelter, enter the preserve's main entrance on Route 176 (Liberty St) in Wauconda. Continue straight onto the gravel road.
500: Shelter and surrounding area
The "Bat Shelter"
You'll notice there is a second "picnic shelter" in this area that has been fenced off to public use - it now serves as a nursery roost for a colony of Little Brown Bats. Since bats sleep during the day and only emerge at dusk, chances are good you won't be lucky enough to see one during your picnic.
If you do encounter a bat on the floor of the shelter or on the ground, please do not approach or touch it. It is most likely a baby bat learning to fly and its mother will rescue it. A small percentage of bats do carry rabies. Do not allow children to play unattended near the bat shelter. As with all wild animals, do not ever attempt to approach, feed or touch them - for your safety and theirs. The bats are accustomed to having people around their resting spot and will not bother you. Please do the same for them.
You can learn more about these fascinating animals through the interactive exhibits adjacent to the shelter. Or visit the website of Bat Conservation International.
Rules and Regulations