Model Crafts

If you enjoy navigating model planes or boats, the Forest Preserve District has the perfect area for you! Model-craft areas are located at six forest preserves. Operators must have valid Forest Preserve District permits in their possession when using any of these areas.

Model Crafts

If you enjoy navigating model planes or boats, get a Forest Preserve District permit and get outside!

Click here to read the rules and regulations. 

Cricket Creek 

model boats at Riverbend Pond

Fullerton Park 

helicopters and drones

Greene Valley  

nonpowered model gliders and sailplanes

Pratt’s Wayne Woods 

model planes and drones

Springbrook Prairie 

model planes and drones

Waterfall Glen 

model planes and drones (qualified clubs only)


Permits and Fees

Purchase a daily or annual model-craft permit online. For other options, download the 2017 Model Craft Permit application with instructions, or call Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

DuPage residentAnnual permit$35 aircraft or $25 boat
 Daily permit$7 per day
NonresidentAnnual permit$45 aircraft or $35 boat
 Daily permit$9 per day

Permit holders who are 65 or older are entitled to one free annual permit per household per year. 

Model Craft Rules and Regulations

Use of a model craft area is on a first-come, first-served basis unless someone has obtained exclusive use of the area from the Forest
Preserve District via written request. For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, you must follow these rules and regulations. 

  • Have a valid model craft permit in your possession.
  • Only operate your transmitter when you’re operating your craft. Double check other transmitters to make sure no one is using the same frequency.
  • Fit all craft with mufflers.
  • To protect the grass, use mats or platforms when fueling gasoline-powered engines.
  • Follow all Forest Preserve District of DuPage County ordinances, state statutes and administrative orders. The Forest Preserve District may modify its model boat rules and regulations at any time.

For Model Aircraft 

  • Only fly designated model aircraft in designated Forest Preserve District areas: Pratt’s Wayne Woods, Springbrook Prairie and Waterfall Glen (airplanes and helicopter ), Fullerton Park (helicopters only) and Greene Valley (radio-controlled nonpowered gliders or sailplanes only using battery-powered assist engines if necessary). 
  • Per Academy of Model Aeronautics recommendations, do not fly airplanes or helicopters over 55 pounds or gliders or sailplanes over 15 pounds.
  • Affix your current Forest Preserve District permit or pin to the control stand to indicate which radio band you’re using when flying.
  • Turn off any radio bands that you’re not using. At Greene Valley, affix a frequency flag to your transmitter antenna and a similar flag of the same color with your name and frequency to your frequency control device. 
  • Carry your aircraft to the runway and do not taxi into or through the pit area.
  • Control your aircraft from designated flight lines per selected flight patterns, which are posted at each area.
  • Yield the right-of-way to landing aircraft and to aircraft that have just landed.
  • Respect fellow operators and flight patterns regardless of the type of aircraft.
For Model Boats
  • Only use the designated area at Cricket Creek Forest Preserve.
  • Only use radio-controlled model boats. 
  • Do not operate boats over 25 pounds (including fuel), over 60 inches long (bow to stern) or over 90 dBA.
  • Affix a frequency flag to your transmitter antenna.
  • When launching your boat, yield to other boats operating in the designated water pattern or returning to the launch area.
  • Do not swim or use full-sized boats or rafts to retrieve stalled model boats. Instead, take a fishing rod and reel and affix a rubber ball to the end of the line. Cast the ball over the stalled boat. Once the line snags the boat, reel it to shore. If this method does not work, with the help of a second person stretch a large spool of 50-pound test fishing line across the lake, capture the boat and drag it to shore.
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©2016 Forest Preserve District of DuPage County