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Sugar River

Sugar River Forest Preserve, nestled among beautiful woods and prairie on the banks of the Sugar River, is one of the most scenic in Winnebago County.  Its 529 acres comprise one of the most serene and unspoiled spots in northern Illinois. Ecological features include a braggingly pure river filled with wetland creatures (many endangered) and sandy bluffs that create small beaches along it.  As well as dense forest with tall pines, and sandy prairie, all of this surrounded by the quiet countryside of northern Illinois makes Sugar River Forest Preserve a popular place for humans and animals alike!  This quiet preserve offers a variety of habitats to hike and canoe. Explore woodlands, sand prairie, wetlands and river. Sugar River is the site of FPWC’s primitive camping area for tent camping right along the river, and offers a campground with electric sites and showerhouse, as well.

The 5.9-mile trail system at Sugar River Forest Preserve travels the entire preserve from the south end with restored prairie, up through forest and wetland, with such a mesmerizing array of colorful birds it could make anyone consider taking up birding as a hobby.

Acres: 529
Access Road: Yes
Restrooms: Yes
Drinking Water: Yes
Picnic Tables: Yes
Shelterhouses: 2
River View: Stone shelter with fireplace, 80 max. people, 8 tables, 48 seats, No electricity, vehicle access.
Sand Bluffs: Wood shelter, 132 max. people, 16 tables, 96 seats, No electricity, Vehicle access.
Playground Equipment: Yes
Ball Fields: No
Horseback Trails: Yes
Hiking Trails(miles): 5.9
Campground Sites: 82
Boat Launch: No
Canoe Launch: Yes
18 Hole Golf Course: No
Illinois Nature Preserve: No
Special Facilities: Youth/Scout Camp
Donated Land: No
Natural Areas: Yes
All reservations subject to the GENERAL USE ORDINANCE.

Trail Map

Download a printable trail map here.

Campground Map

Download a printable campground map here.

Download a printable primitive campground map here.


10127 Forest Preserve Road, Durand, IL 61024
9 miles west of Rockton. Rockton Road to Forest Preserve Road. Preserve is at dead-end of Forest Preserve Road.

Shelterhouses 360° Views

River View Shelterhouse


Shelterhouse *Fees
Max People Tables Seating Electric Playground
River View $50 $75 80 8 48 No No
Sand Bluff $75 $100 132 16 96 No No

*Residents or non-residents of Winnebago County


Reservations are Non-refundable and Non-transferable

All shelters reservations are FULL day reservations. Shelter use is from 7:00am – Sunset. (Preserves close a half hour after sunset)

Shelters MUST be reserved 3 days in advance

$2.00 convenience fee added to credit card purchases

Campgrounds 360° Views

Main Campground


Sugar River Campground$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$21
Firewood from host (when available)$7/bundle$7/bundle
Non-camper dump station use fee$20$30

(Primitive sites are not reservable, they are 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).

*Residents or Non-residents of Winnebago County


Reservations are Non-refundable and Non-transferable

$2.00 convenience fee added to credit card purchases