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Who We Are

COVID-19 Updates

September 14, 2021 10:27 AM

What Is Open, Closed or Canceled

Most forest preserves and trails remain open. Lake County has moved into the “substantial“ transmission level for COVID-19. As a result, based on CDC recommendations, staff immediately resumed wearing masks in all District buildings.

Several facilities and in-person education programs, volunteer projects, and special events have been 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.  

Education Programs and Events

Our current COVID-19 program protocols are as follows: 

  • Masks are required indoors.
  • Do not participate if you or members of your group are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 prior to arriving at a program. If you need to cancel a registration email us at
  • Observe a physical distance of at least 6 feet from other preserve patrons whenever possible.
  • Respect directions given by staff during a program and please practice kindness. We are here to help and are looking out for each participant’s health and safety. 

Virtual programs are available. See calendar for details.

Dunn Museum

The Dunn Museum in Libertyville is open. Plan your visit today. View our calendar for a list of virtual history programs.

School Field Trips

Educators are offering 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. If interested in booking a virtual field trip or learning more about what's offered, email Each program is 30 minutes long. Cost is $30 for first classroom, $20 for additional classrooms. Learn more »

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. 

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. 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 preserves and trails open, 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% 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. 

Facilities and Special Use Areas

  • The General Offices are open for permit sales. You can purchase permits in person, online or by phone at 847-367-6640. For assistance, email our customer service staff at
  • The Operations and Public Safety Facility is open for permit sales. Plexiglass has been installed for additional safety. Bring your own alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol) and face coverings.
  • All other public buildings, visitor centers and drinking fountains are open with similar modifications.
  • Youth group camping areas are closed.
  • Restrooms: Most public restrooms in the forest preserves are open.  Restrooms are cleaned regularly. Bring your own alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol) and face coverings. Follow CDC recommended COVID-19 prevention strategies. Before heading out, use this map to view which preserve restrooms are open.

Dog Exercise Areas

All five Dog Exercise Areas are open. Permit holders are asked to follow these guidelines. Purchase permits online »


Boating, Marinas and Bike Rentals

  • Fox River marina and public boat launch are open for the season. Check here for details, hours and fees. All public buildings remain closed until further notice. 
  • Independence Grove marina is open for the season. 
  • Des Plaines River canoe launches are open.
  • Boat launches are open at Van Patten Woods, Grant Woods, Lake Carina, and Hastings Lake for cartop boats, canoes, kayaks, or other small, nonmotorized watercraft.


Permitted at many lakes and ponds in forest preserves throughout Lake County as long as safe social distancing is practiced. Read the spring issue of our Horizons magazine for fishing tips and best places to fish in the preserves. Learn more »

Lakes will not be stocked or open for rainbow trout fishing this season. Visit for a list of available trout fishing locations.


All Lake County Forest Preserve playgrounds are now open. Please follow social distancing guidelines, as well as DCEO and Illinois Department of Public Health guidance.

Rentals and Special Use Permits

  • Picnic shelter reservations for 2021 are open. Purchase permits online, by phone or in person at the General Offices in Libertyville. 
  • Greenbelt Cultural Center and ThunderHawk Golf Club are currently booking events for 2021 and beyond.  
  • Independence Grove rentals are available through Events at Independence Grove in accordance with CDC guidelines.
  • Special use permits for third-party events held within forest preserves will not be available for 2021.
  • 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.


Restoration workdays and other volunteer activities have been modified in response to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. You can submit a Volunteer Interest Form and a staff member will contact you about available volunteer projects. 


Contact Us

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

Stay Connected

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


More Information Regarding Coronavirus