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Picnic Shelters

Van Patten Woods Shelter D


Per day, per shelter, weekends and holidays (Holidays as Observed: Memorial Day; Juneteenth; Independence Day; Labor Day).
Number of People Resident Nonresident
1-50 $90.00 $180.00
For each additional group of 10 people, add $20.00.

Per day, per shelter, weekdays and non-holidays (Holidays as Observed: Memorial Day; Juneteenth; Independence Day; Labor Day).
Number of People Resident Nonresident
1-50 $80.00 $160.00
For each additional group of 10 people, add $20.00.

Located within Van Patten Woods Forest Preserve in Wadsworth, this shelter is adjacent to a large playfield and also has a horseshoe pit. A playground is located between Shelters A and B and is shared with all preserve visitors.

Several miles of trails are accessible from this shelter, as is the countywide Des Plaines River Trail, and a less-traveled grass path that leads through the woods down to the river. Picnickers also have access to the preserve's 86-acre Sterling Lake, stocked and managed for fishing. A public boat launch for cartop boats is located on the southwestern shore of the lake.

To access this shelter, enter Van Patten Woods from the main entrance on Route 173. Turn right just past the Ranger Station. Continue ahead to the last parking lot before the road loops back and returns.

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Find Sunset Time

Preserves are open 6:30 am–sunset, daily. Find a sunset time for your desired date »

Rules and Regulations

For your safety and enjoyment, please...

  • Leave nature as you find it for others to enjoy.
  • Leash and pick up litter from pets.
  • Smoking is prohibited within 15 feet of playgrounds.
  • Clean the shelter area before leaving your event.
  • Decorations and directional signs are permitted, but may not be attached to Forest Preserves signs. Use only twine or thumbtacks to attach decorations to the shelter. Do not use any forms of tape, staple guns, nails, screws or fishing line to attach decorations. All decorations, signs, twine and thumbtacks must be removed when event is finished.
  • Alcoholic beverages are permitted; must be 21 years or older. No alcohol consumption within 100 feet of parking lots. Host liquor liability insurance is available but not mandatory.
  • Park only in lots. Loitering in lots is prohibited. Vehicles left after closing will be towed at owner's expense.
  • Service roads may be used for unloading and loading only. Do not leave vehicles parked on service road. If you need use of the service road, place a request for the gate to be dropped at the time you reserve the shelter.


  • VAPA02
  • VAPA03
  • VAPA04
  • VAPA05

Shelter Features:

Maximum Capacity

100: Shelter and surrounding area
  90: Under the shelter roof

Total Picnic Tables and Grills

13 Tables
  1 Grill


  • Water may not be available mid-October–May.

Special Amenities

Picnic Tables
Service Road Access
Horseshoe Pit
Fishing Pier
Drinking Water
Public Parking

Special Activities:

Any vendors hired by the permit holder to provide special activities, including catering, must be licensed with the Lake County Forest Preserve District for the current year. Approved vendors for each special activity permitted at this shelter are listed in document below.

Special activities allowed at this shelter are:

Tent (Large)
Tent (Small)

Licensed Vendors:

Vendor List