Laona Heights Sugar River Colored Sands Sugar River Two Rivers Ferguson Hartley Memorial Trask Bridge Four Lakes Pecatonica River Pecatonica Wetlands Crooked River Grove Creek Seward Bluffs Klehm Forest Preserve Severson Dells Fuller Memorial Cedar Cliff Indian Hill Hinchliff Memorial Kilbuck Bluffs Trailside Kishwaukee Gorge South Kishwaukee Gorge North Rockford Rotary Kishwaukee River Oak Ridge Blackhawk Springs Deer Run Espenscheid Memorial McKiski County Line Kieselburg Roland Olson Stone Bridge Clayton Andrews Ledges Hononegah J. Norman Jensen Millrace Isle Macktown Atwood Homestead Forest Preserve Headquarters


There will be limited sites available with electric at Hononegah Campground for the 2019 season.

The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County provides three campgrounds for general public use. The campgrounds provide paved access roads, running water, electric hookups, restrooms, and dump stations. Shower facilities are available only at Sugar River. A diversity of recreation opportunities including fishing, ball fields and hiking trails are found nearby. Select sites may be reserved online for Sugar River and Seward Bluffs. Five additional youth camping areas may be reserved online or at the District Office. Equestrian camping at Oak Ridge and Seward Bluffs Forest Preserves only. Overnight camping is not permitted outside these designated areas. Firewood may be brought in to campgrounds but unused firewood cannot be taken out due to forestry pest concerns.

Winter Public Camping Regulations

During the period of mid-November through mid-March, District campgrounds will be open to public camping on a limited basis.

  1. Roadways will not be plowed or open to vehicular traffic.
  2. Water and electrical service may not be available. Walk-in tent camping may be permitted at no charge when campers request a grounds use permit with three working days’ notice and approval of the Forest Preserves Director.


To reserve a campsite at Sugar River and Seward Bluffs Campground please click HERE. Select sites may be reserved at each campground and campsites MUST be reserved 7 days in advance.

  1. No Refunds or transfers to another party.
  2. Reservations may be rescheduled to another date with five (5) or more business days advance notice from your arrival date.

Camp Sites

Purchased in 1924, the preserve is located on the north bank of the Rock River and bisected by Dry Run Creek. The preserve was once a camping area of Stephen Mack, the County’s first permanent white settler, and Hononegah, his Native American wife. Upon entering the preserve, campers will enjoy the drive over the Rainbow Bridge and up into the cool maple grove. The Winnebago Indian Campground has campsites interspersed in a mature stand of white oaks and hickories. A launch for fishing boat access to the Rock River is available. The campground is located 2 miles from antique shopping in downtown Rockton and the Macktown Golf Course. Host on duty in campground May-October. In the absence of a host, please use the self-registration station. There are 57 sites, dump station, horseshoe pits, & playground.

Seward Bluffs
Purchased in 1930, this preserve is one of the most serene and pleasant areas in the County. The preserve is bisected by Grove Creek, which has high limestone bluffs on its north and south sides. The campsites are interspersed in a majestic stand of bur oaks. Located just off Highway 20, Seward Bluffs is two miles south of Pecatonica and the Winnebago County Fairgrounds, and is also an excellent overnight area for traveling campers. Host on duty in campground May-October. In the absence of a host, please use the self-registration station. There are 47 sites (15-50 amp, 21-30 amp & 11-non electric), 29 of the sites may be reserved online, dump station, horseshoe pits, & playground.

Sugar River
Most of the developed portion of this preserve is built on a large sand terrace overlooking the Sugar River. Purchased in 1925, workers in the Public Works Administration program built stone walls and the picturesque Riverview Shelterhouse. The pine tree campground has individual campsites nestled throughout a large pine plantation. A shower house is available. The preserve also offers primitive camping along the river’s edge. Canoes can be launched near the camping area or from an area downriver. A scenic hiking trail loop meanders through this unique preserve and takes the hiker through a variety of natural features. Host on duty in campground May-October. In the absence of a host, please use the self-registration station. There are 82 sites (13-50 amp, 57-30 amp, & 12 primitive) 39 of the sites may be reserved online, dump station, playground, basketball, & horseshoe pits.

FEES ResidentNon-resident
Cash or Check Only at Campground
(Credit Card for Online Purchases Only)
Sugar River$15/unit$25/unit
Senior (62 and over) & disabled$13/unit$23/unit
Electric hookup (additional) $8/unit$8/unit
Primitive-Senior (62 and over) & disabled$11/unit$21/unit
3 unit per site maximum (Tent-max of 3; RV-max of 1)
Seward Bluffs & Hononegah$13/unit$23/unit
Senior (62 and over) & disabled$11/unit$21/unit
Electric hookup (additional) $8/unit$8/unit
3 unit per site maximum (Tent-max of 3; RV-max of 1)
Organized Youth Group Camping by reservation only (per weekend reservation)
50 or less people$25$35
Over 50 people$35$45
Firewood from host (when available)$7/bundle$7/bundle
Non-camper dump station use fee$20$30

Note: All campers must be established and registered by 10:00 P.M. A fee will be collected and separate permits will be issued for each unit.

For assistance please contact the Forest Preserve District Office at 815-877-6100, Monday through Friday from 8:00am – 5:00pm. On Saturday, Sunday and Holidays please contact the Host at the appropriate number below:

Hononegah – N/A

Seward Bluffs – 815-289-4754

Sugar River – 815-988-7485 or 815-494-5661

Campgrounds will open mid-April and will close mid-November.

Youth Camping

Youth camping areas for scouts and other organized youth groups are offered at five preserves:  Hononegah, Sugar River, Pecatonica River, Seward Bluffs and Rotary. All are tent camping areas; Rotary also offers a large rustic cabin structure with fireplace (no electricity or water).  The campgrounds provide access roads, hand pump, fire rings, and pit restrooms. A diversity of recreation opportunities including fishing, ball fields and hiking trails are found nearby.    Reservations are accepted online or at the Forest Preserve Office for any of the five youth campgrounds. Overnight camping is not permitted outside designated areas.

An adult only (18 years old or over) may apply for a permit. A group composed of up to twenty (20) juniors must be supervised by a minimum of three (3) adults, and above this figure a ratio of one adult to not more than every ten (10) juniors  must be observed.

To reserve a youth camp at Sugar River, Seward Bluffs, Hononegah, Rockford Rotary and Pecatonica River  please click here.


Useful Links:

Click Here to Reserve

Camping Brochure

Youth Camp Brochure