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CLOSURES AND CANCELLATIONS RELATED TO COVID-19

May 7, 2020 02:07 PM

Though most forest preserves and trails remain open, several facilities are closed and all in-person education programs, volunteer projects, and special events have been canceled or modified in response to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. New preserve and trail use protocols and guidelines are also in place for the safety and health of our preserve visitors and employees, and the entire community. As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, we will continue to follow CDC guidelines, and work in close coordination with the Lake County Health Department and other local partners.  

Trails and Preserves

Preserves will remain open 6:30 am to sunset, daily, as long as visitors adhere to the 6-foot social distancing rule and other public safety and health guidelines. Our Ranger Police continue to closely monitor preserve and trail usage to ensure safety rules, social distancing and other public health guidelines are being followed. 

We intend to keep most of the preserves and trails open during the state’s stay-at-home order, but that could change quickly if visitors don’t abide by safe social distancing rules by maintaining a 6-foot separation between people or family groups, and follow CDC recommended COVID-19 prevention strategies. 

Additional signs placed at trailheads remind preserve visitors to do their part and abide by rules put in place for safety reasons to prevent the spread of COVID-19. By following these rules, visitors can help keep the preserves open. However, if any specific location is no longer maintainable due to visitors not being compliant with Forest Preserve and CDC rules and guidelines, those preserves will be closed.

  • Bring your own alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60 percent alcohol) and face coverings.
  • When arriving, if you see the parking lot is full, use our interactive trail map to find another nearby preserve.
  • When in the parking lot, wait until the area near your car is clear of other nearby people before exiting or entering your car.
  • Follow social distancing rules at all times by staying 6 feet apart.
  • When on the trails, groups of two or more must break into single file and move to the right shoulder when approaching or passing others to allow for maximum physical distance.
  • Where dogs are allowed, keep them leashed and on trails at all times, and pick up after them. Do not leave pet waste on trails or in parking lots.
  • We encourage you to call 847-549-5200 if you spot anything you consider to be dangerous visitor behavior not in conformation to social distancing guidelines.
  • Thank you for being respectful of the health of your fellow preserve visitors.

Before Heading Out—Check These Maps

  • For preserve trail and underpass closures due to seasonal flooding and related trail repair projects, check this interactive map. Public access is restricted at closed trails and underpasses. Please follow signage, and use caution around closures, construction or detour zones.
  • If a parking lot is full, use this interactive trail map to find another nearby preserve. 

Facilities and Special Use Areas

  • All public buildings, visitor centers, playgrounds, drinking fountains, and restrooms are closed until further notice.
  • Youth group camping areas and the model aircraft field are closed.
  • Dog Exercise Areas: All five off-leash dog parks remain closed at this time based on CDC guidelines that say, “Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household. Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.”

Dunn Museum

A future reopening date is undetermined, and modifications may have to be made to permanent exhibitions to address public health concerns for visitors and staff.

Rentals and Special Use Permits

  • Picnic shelter rentals and open area reservations are canceled through the end of May and may remain canceled into the future until state guidelines are in place that allow for large gatherings. 
  • Banquet and facility rentals at Independence Grove, Greenbelt Cultural Center and ThunderHawk Golf Club are canceled through May and may remain canceled into the future until state guidelines are in place that allow for large gatherings.  
  • Food service at ThunderHawk Golf Club is canceled through May and will then be re-evaluated.
  • Special use permits for third-party events held within forest preserves are canceled.
  • Staff will work with members of Stevenson Center for Democracy at the Adlai Stevenson Historic Home and the Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods, both license holders of the buildings, to assist in following the state’s public health and safety guidelines.

Golfing

  • Countryside Golf Club in Mundelein is open
  • Brae Loch Golf Club in Grayslake is open
  • ThunderHawk Golf Club in Beach Park is open. Food service at ThunderHawk Golf Club is canceled through May and will then be re-evaluated.
  • The state's modified order permits golf to reopen with operational restrictions, and additional safety and social distancing guidelines in place. View all guidelines here.
  • Golf outings are canceled for the season. 

Boating and Marinas

  • Independence Grove Marina is closed for the summer season. 
  • Fox River Marina and public boat launch are open. Check here for details, hours and fees. All public buildings and restrooms remain closed until further notice. Please follow CDC’s guidelines for safe social distancing and adhere to the state’s modified boating restrictions.
  • Des Plaines River canoe launches are open.
  • Boat launches are open at Van Patten Woods, Grant Woods and Hastings Lake for cartop boats, canoes, kayaks, or other small, non-motorized watercraft.

Swimming

The beach at Independence Grove is closed for the summer season.

Fishing

Permitted at many lakes and ponds in forest preserves throughout Lake County as long as safe social distancing is practiced. Learn more »

Summer Concerts

All summer concerts at Independence Grove and Greenbelt Cultural Center are canceled.

Education Programs and Events

All in-person nature and history education programs are canceled. Virtual programs are available. See calendar for details.

  • Science Explorers in Nature summer program will be offered virtually.
  • Conservation Explorers summer program is canceled.
  • Senior programs and USG-sponsored Thursday Night programs at the Dunn Museum will be conducted remotely through the rest of the year. 
  • Civil War Days in July is canceled.
  • Kids Nature Funfest in June is canceled.
  • OAKtober Celebration in October may be modified.
  • Halloween Hikes in October may be modified to adapt safety features.
  • Adlai Stevenson Historic Home programs and events are canceled.

Summer Camps

In-person summer camps running June 15–August 14 are canceled, and many will be replaced with virtual camps to offer a balanced learning experience for children ages 6–14. Fees and schedules will be modified, and auxiliary activities will provide at-home learning along with an outdoor adventure component. Virtual registration for camps is available now.

School Field Trips

Educators are working on curriculum support for teachers. These resources help teachers with their classroom’s e-learning, supporting topics they had chosen as their field trips. History and nature virtual field trips are available now. Learn more »

For questions or to book a virtual field trip, contact Brittany Abrams, babrams@LCFPD.org

Volunteering

Restoration workdays and other volunteer activities and projects are canceled at this time. You can still submit a Volunteer Interest Form and a staff member will contact you when volunteer projects resume. 

Contact Us

For customer service questions related to rentals or permits, or for general information, please call 847-367-6640, email forestpreserves@LCFPD.org, or visit our Contact Us page.

Stay Connected

Bring the outside in by following the Lake County Forest Preserves (@LCFPD) on FacebookInstagramTwitter for inspiration.

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