Family and Youth-Group Camping

Enjoy a night under the stars, and plan an outdoor overnight adventure for your family or youth group.

Family Camping

The family campground at Blackwell has more than 60 wooded and semiwooded sites. There are sites for tents, trailers and motor homes; all have electricity but none have sewage or water hookups. Each has a gravel parking pad, fire ring and picnic table and is close to portable toilets, running water, and trash and recycling containers. There’s a shower house with flush toilets and a dump station for recreational vehicles with self-contained waste systems. Outside firewood isn’t allowed, but you can buy firewood for $5 a bundle at the campground office.

View the Blackwell Family Campground map

2017 Dates
The campground opens at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 5 and will be open Friday and Saturday nights through Oct. 1 as well as Thursday nights May 25 ‒ Aug. 31. To accommodate holiday campers, sites are also available the nights of Sunday, May 28; Sunday, July 2 through Saturday, July 8; and Sunday, Sept. 3.May 5 – 21 and Sept. 8 – Oct. 1.

Permits and Fees
Purchase a family camping permit online. For other options, download an 2017 Family Campground Permit application with instructions, or call Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Fees are per site per night.

DuPage resident$20

Campers who are 65 or older are entitled to one free permit for one consecutive two-night stay per calendar year.

Same Day Reservations
If a site’s available, you can reserve it between 1 and 7 p.m. for use that night with cash or credit card at the campground office.

Youth-Group Camping

The Forest Preserve District has semiprimitive areas just for tents at five forest preserves plus a cabin at Herrick Lake. The sites are open year-round and have portable toilets, trash and recycling containers, water pumps, a limited supply of firewood (outside firewood is not allowed), picnic tables, and fire rings. Only the cabin has electricity.


  • The youth group cabin and campgrounds are for the exclusive use of youth groups, which are defined as recognized, nonprofit organizations whose members are 17 or younger. A recognized group must be organized with by-laws, have an Article of Incorporation filed with the Secretary of State, and be insured on forest preserve property with a current certificate of insurance on file.
  • Only members of qualifying groups with their accompanying leaders may camp in these areas. Family camping is not allowed.
  • Adult supervision of one group leader 21 or older for every 10 members 17 or younger is mandatory for the duration of the stay.
  • A youth camping permit requires receipt of a valid Council Charter Certificate as soon as possible. Charter certificates must be valid for the specific youth event date and can be emailed to or faxed to 630-933-7217.

Permits and Fees
To purchase a youth-group camping permit, call Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. For other options, download the 2017 Youth-Group Camping Permit application with instructions.

Click the forest preserve name to download a campground map with rules and regulations. Fees are per site per night.  

 Site Capacity DuPage group Non-DuPage group 
Blackwell 1 – 12 25 $25 $30 
Churchill Woods 
Greene Valley 
2 – 9  
Herrick Lake Cabin 26 $50$60
Pratt's Wayne Woods 1 – 2 25 $25 $30 
Waterfall Glen  1 – 2 25$25 $30 

Camping Rules and Regulations

  • Permit holders must be 21 or older and remain on site all night.
  • Alcohol and cutting or collecting live or dead wood are prohibited.
  • Keep ground fires in designated fire rings and completely extinguish your fire before you leave your site.
  • Stereos and similar equipment are allowed 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. but only at volumes that do not disturb other campers.
  • Stay with your pets at all times and always keep them leashed and quiet. Pick up any pet waste, too.
Get Adobe Reader
©2016 Forest Preserve District of DuPage County