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

Camping

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. 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.

Your pets are welcome in the campgrounds, but for their safety as well as the other visitors and native plants and animals, they must be attended and on a leash at all times. Quiet pets are welcome if they are on a leash, not to exceed 10’, and are under control at all times. Do not leave pets unattended. Cleaning up after pets is the owner’s responsibility. Do not tie pets to trees. Must have required vaccinations.

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

Reservations

$2.00 Convenience Fee Charged with Online Purchases or with Credit/Debit Card Purchase in the Office. 

  • No Refunds or transfers to another party.
  • Reservations may be rescheduled to another date with five (5) or more business days advance notice from your arrival date.
  • 3 Units per Site Maximum (Tent-max of 3; RV-max of 1 & up to 2 tents)

Seward Bluffs Campground

  • All 47 sites at Seward Bluffs may be reserved online, click  HERE to reserve (online reservations MUST be made 7 days in advance). If not reserved 7 days in advance, campsites will then be on a first-come first-served basis (please register with the campground host or in the absence of a host, please use the self-registration station).

Sugar River Campground

  • All 70 sites in the main campground at Sugar River may be reserved online, click  HERE to reserve (online reservations MUST be made 7 days in advance). If not reserved 7 days in advance, campsites will then be on a first-come first-served basis (please register with the campground host or in the absence of a host, please use the self-registration station).
  • No reservations available for the primitive sites at Sugar River, primitive sites are on a first-come first-served basis.

Hononegah Campground

  • No reservations available for sites at Hononegah, sites are on a first-come first-served basis. The host will register campers on a per unit basis after the units are established.

Camp Sites

Hononegah
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. There are 57 sites with limited electric sites available. No reservations available, sites are on a first-come first-served basis. The host will register campers on a per unit basis after the units are established. In the absence of a host, please use the self-registration station. Host on duty in campground May-October. Hononegah campground provides a dump station & nearby playground. (Electric is limited to sites 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 15, 19, 20, 26, 30, 34, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 45 )

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. There are 47 sites (15-50 amp, 21-30 amp, & 11-non electric), All 47 sites may be reserved online by clicking HERE. (online reservations MUST be made 7 days in advance). Onsite registration is on a first-come first-served basis. The host will register campers on a per unit basis after the units are established. Host on duty in campground May-October. In the absence of a host, please use the self-registration station.  Seward Bluffs campground provides a dump station, horseshoe pits, & nearby 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. There are 82 sites (13-50 amp, 57-30 amp, & 12 primitive), All 70 sites in the main campground at Sugar River may be reserved online, click  HERE to reserve (online reservations MUST be made 7 days in advance). If not reserved 7 days in advance, campsites will then be on a first-come first-served basis (please register with the campground host/attendant or in the absence of a host, please use the self-registration station). Primitive sites are on a first-come first-served basis (please register with the campground host/attendant or in the absence of a host, please use the self-registration station). Host on duty in campground May-October.  Sugar River campground provides a dump station, playground & 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$13/unit$23/unit
Primitive-Senior (62 and over) & disabled$11/unit$21/unit
3 unit per site maximum (Tent-max of 3; RV-max of 1 & up to 2 tents)
 
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 & up to 2 tents)
 
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 – N/A

Sugar River – N/A

 

Winter Public Camping Regulations

During the period of mid-November through mid-April, 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.

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.

Handpumps may not be operational at the time of reservation. Please contact the office at 815-877-6100 for further information. 

$2.00 Convenience Fee Charged with Online Purchases or with Credit/Debit Card Purchase in the Office. 

Useful Links:

Click Here to Reserve

Camping Brochure

Youth Camping Brochure