Cook County Forest Preserves offer wilderness camping

Families from Chicago and across Cook County can experience the great outdoors in new ways during a series of camping activities in the Forest Preserves of Cook County the weekend of Sept. 20. For the second year, an overnight “camp out” will be held in the Palos Preserves in partnership with the Chicago Park District.

“We are excited to give families an opportunity to connect with nature, and each other, with an overnight camp out in the forest preserves,” County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. “We think that it’s important that children understand that they are as much caretakers of our county’s green spaces as we adults are. Getting them to experience nature is a great way to teach them just that.”

The Family Camp Out will be held on Sept. 20, and Sept. 21. Registration is open to all Cook County residents; up to 100 families will have the opportunity to sleep under the stars at Bullfrog Lake, cook over a campfire, and enjoy night hikes, canoeing, story-telling and other nature activities. Food and tents will be provided. The fee is $50 per family of up to six people and families are limited to one reservation. Email Experience.Nature@cookcountyil.gov to register and for more information.

In 2012, the forest preserves released its camping master plan, outlining plans for renovating or creating six new public campsites in Cook County, including at Bullfrog Lake. The project is in the construction phase with the first public campgrounds scheduled to open in 2015.

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