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Recreation Activities

Model Aircraft Flying Field

Preserves are open 6:30 AM to sunset. Some facilities remain closed and all in-person education programs, volunteer projects, and special events have been canceled or modified in response to COVID-19 concerns. Follow CDC guidelines for safe social distancing.Virtual education programs and school field trips are available.



People come from miles around to enjoy the wide-open spaces at our Model Aircraft Field, which offers flying space up to 373 feet wide and 560 feet long. The field is the home flying area for the Lake County Radio Control Club, which offers instruction and sponsors flying events at this location.

Permit Required

Before you can purchase a permit, you must have a valid model flyer’s license issued by the Academy of Model Aeronautics. You'll also need the license plate number for each car you wish to register.

Annual Permit Fee
$40 Lake County residents
$80 nonresidents

How to Purchase

Hours and Location

6:30 am–sunset, daily.

The field is located at Van Patten Woods Forest Preserve in Wadsworth, near the Wisconsin border. Use entrance on the north side of Russell Road, just east of I-94/US-41. Map»

Field Rules

  • All aircraft powered by engines must be fitted with a muffler conforming to AMA guidelines of 90dB at 9 feet and must not weigh more than 55 pounds.
  • Spectators shall remain in the spectator area behind fence. Only pilots and their crew shall be allowed into the pit area, flight area or flying field.
  • There shall be no flying of any sort beyond the flying zone, over pit area, flight area, parking or other designated restricted areas.
  • Flyers shall attempt to maintain a minimum 10-foot spacing between one another while on the flight line.
  • View permit application for complete listing of rules.

For Assistance or to Report a Problem

For emergencies call 911. For nonemergencies, call 847-549-5200 and ask to speak to a Ranger. You can also contact our Public Safety Office at 847-968-3411, 6:30 am–3 pm, weekdays.