Located within Lakewood Forest Preserve in Wauconda, this shelter makes 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.
The shelter area features nature exhibits, and a nearby playground that is shared with all preserve visitors. Picnickers also have access to four horseshoe pits, an asphalt volleyball court, and the preserve's hiking trails, including a connection to the countywide Millennium Trail.
Two large barbeque grills can accommodate large cookouts, and an extra-large playfield next to the shelter is perfect for a soccer or softball game, or a large tent to provide more covered space.
To access this shelter, enter the preserve's main entrance on Route 176 just west of Fairfield Road. Continue straight onto the gravel road.
Find Sunset Time
Preserves are open 6:30 am–sunset, daily. Find a sunset time for your desired date »
The Bat Shelter
You'll notice there is a second shelter in this area that has been closed off to public use. This former picnic shelter now serves as a nursery roost for a colony of Little Brown Bats that took up residency in its rafters. Since bats sleep during the day and only emerge at dusk, you probably won't be lucky enough to see one during your picnic.
If you do encounter a bat on the shelter floor 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, never attempt to approach, feed or touch them, both 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.
500: Shelter and surrounding area
288: Under the shelter roof
Total Picnic Tables and Grills
Water may not be available mid-October–May.
Band/DJ, amplified music or noise are prohibited.