Model Crafts

Model Crafts

If you enjoy navigating model planes or boats, the Forest Preserve District has the perfect area for you. 



Permits & Fees

Model-craft hobbyists can purchase daily and annual permits online 24/7For other options, download our model craft permit application (PDF) or call Visitor Services at 630-933-7248 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Model-Craft Permits

Annual permits are valid January – December.

DuPage resident

Annual permit
Model aircraft
     Model boat

Daily permit





Annual permit
     Model aircraft
     Model boat

Daily permit



Senior citizens  who are 65 or older are entitled to one free annual permit per household per calendar year with proof of age (driver's license or birth certificate).



Cricket Creek
Model boats
Riverbend Pond

Fullerton Park
Helicopters and drones
Grace Street north of North Avenue and south of Fullerton Road
Open daily one hour after sunrise until sunset

Greene Valley
Nonpowered model gliders and sailplanes
Scenic overlook off Greene Road south of 79th Street
Open weekends only May through October 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Pratt’s Wayne Woods
Model planes, helicopters and drones
On Stearns Road
Open daily one hour after sunrise until sunset

Springbrook Prairie
Model planes, helicopters and drones
Plainfield/Naperville Road south of 75th Street
Open Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – sunset and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Waterfall Glen
Woodland Aero Modelers Club members only
Model planes, helicopters and drones
Off Lemont Road
Open daily 9 a.m. – sunset


Model Craft Rules & Regulations

For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, you must follow these rules and regulations, which the Forest Preserve District may change at any time. Use of model-craft areas is first-come, first-served unless someone obtains exclusive use from the Forest Preserve District via written request.

  • When you’re using a model-craft area, carry your permit with you as well as your Academy of Model Aeronautics open membership card, International Model Power Boat Association membership card, or proof of required insurance. Present your permit to a Forest Preserve District of DuPage County agent for inspection if requested.
  • Operate your transmitter only 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, and use mats or platforms when fueling gasoline-powered engines to protect the grass.

For Model Aircraft

  • Only fly designated model aircraft in designated Forest Preserve District areas: airplanes and drones at Pratt’s Wayne WoodsSpringbrook Prairie and Waterfall Glen (you must also be a member of the Woodland Aero Modelers Club to use Waterfall Glen); helicopters and drones at Fullerton Parkand radio-controlled nonopowered gliders or sailplanes at Greene Valley (using battery-powered assist engines only 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. 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.
  • Follow all Federal Aviation Administration rules and regulations specific to your model aircraft type.

For Model Boats

  • Only use radio-controlled model boats in the designated area at Riverbend Pond at Cricket Creek Forest Preserve.
  • 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.

By agreeing to the rules and regulations on your permit application you agree to abide by them as well as all Forest Preserve District ordinances and administrative orders and state statutes. You understand, too, that the Forest Preserve District may fine you or revoke your permit without refunding your permit fee if you supply false information on your application or fail to comply with any rules, regulations, ordinances, orders or statutes.

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County offers scores of nature-related programs and activities for grownups, kids, families and groups year-round. Click below to register for programs, reserve shelters and campsites or purchase permits, and we'll see you soon!

Reserve Facility
Purchase Permit