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

Picnic Shelters

COVID-19 Phase 4 Update – 6/26/2020

Shelterhouses remain open to the public: Shelters may be reserved by clicking here or at the Forest Preserve District office, 5500 Northrock Drive, Rockford, IL 61103. A shelterhouse reservation requires a fee and covers the entire day, from 7:00 AM until sunset. Outhouses will be open for public use. No hand-pumps will be available at this time. If the shelter is not reserved, the public may use the shelter on a first-come first-served basis. Playgrounds will now be open for public use. Social-distancing protocols should continue to be followed.

Plan your picnic or family reunion now. Schedule your summer event in the beautiful, relaxing, natural setting of a forest preserve. Now is the time to reserve a shelterhouse for your annual picnic, for your family, company or club. Twenty-three shelterhouse facilities are available in 17 different preserves. Playground equipment is available at: Atwood Homestead, Blackhawk Springs, Hononegah, Pecatonica River, Roland Olson, Seward Bluffs, and Sugar River Forest Preserves.  A shelterhouse reservation requires a fee and covers the entire day, from 7:00 AM until sunset.

Picnic Shelters can be reserved online by clicking here or at the Forest Preserve District office at 5500 Northrock Drive, Rockford, IL 61103. We start taking reservations the first Monday in February online and at the Forest Preserve District office starting at 8:00am for the 2020 season.


Fees for 2019-2020


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


Daily reservation small shelter (up to 80 people)
Daily reservation large shelter (up to 300 people)$75$100
Daily reservation large shelter with electric (up to 300 people)$85$115
Daily reservation large shelter or large shelter with electric (over 300 people)$400$500

Note: over 300, you must contact the office at (815)877-6100 to reserve. Reservation will require an opening in the schedule for day of and day after planned date. Forest Preserve District will provide one port-o-let along with one garbage dumpster. (Rate includes: shelter for day of and day after, port-o-let and garbage dumpster.)

Ground Use Permits

 Resident Non-Resident
Rides & Amusements (maximum 5)$35$35
Building use permits per day - Headquarters, Pecatonica Study Center$50$50
Other ground use permits (designated areas, tents, etc.)$25$40
Special Use Permits (commercial videography, weddings)$25 and up$25 and up
Annual Commercial Photography Permit$100$125
Daily Commercial Photography Permit$25$35

Preserves With Shelterhouse

Max PeopleTablesSeatingElectricVehicle Access
Atwood HomesteadOld Settlers$75$10030024144NoYes
River Oaks$75$10030021126NoYes
Blackhawk SpringsIndian Springs$85$11530025150YesNo
Espenscheid MemorialShady Oaks$50$7580848NoNo
Four LakesLake View$50$75804-12ft.48NoNo
HononegahBird Grove$50$7570742NoNo
Indian Rest$85$11520021126YesNo
Towering Pines$85$11530021126YesNo
KieselburgBlack Willow Springs$75$10020024144NoNo
Red Cedar Ridge$75$10020021126NoNo
Kilbuck BluffsEdgewood$75$1001001060NoNo
Kishwaukee RiverFort Vincennes$50$7580848NoYes
Sleepy Hollow$75$10015022132NoNo
Laona HeightsIronwood$50$7550424NoNo
Pecatonica RiverHighview$85$11530025150YesNo
Pecatonica WetlandsArrowhead$85$11530016-12ft.192YesNo
Roland OlsonStuga$85$11530024144YesYes
Severson DellsPrairie Knoll$75$10020025150NoNo
Seward BluffsOak Ridge$50$7580848NoYes
Sugar RiverRiver View$50$7580848NoNo
Sand Bluff$75$1001321696NoYes
Trask BridgeCoffee Tree$50$7580848NoNo

Playgrounds only at Atwood Homestead, Blackhawk Springs, Hononegah, Pecatonica River, Roland Olson, and Seward Bluffs Forest Preserves.


Useful Links:

Click here to reserve

Shelterhouse Brochure

Special Event Request Form