Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Latest updates:

4/7/20: The Bluff Road parking lot at Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Darien is closed to alleviate congestion and large crowds in the area. Rocky Glen Waterfall is closed.

4/5/20: Parking is limited to DuPage residents only at the following preserves: 

  • Waterfall Glen: street parking prohibited 
  • Fullersburg Woods
  • Blackwell
  • Herrick Lake
  • Hidden Lake

Revised forest preserve hours: Open one hour after sunrise until sunset

 

Latest COVID-related news:

District Urges Visitors to Follow Social Distancing, Public Health Guidelines
Published 4/3/20

 

What's Open

  • Most DuPage forest preserves, trails and parking lots.
  • Off-leash dog areas. Visitors must follow the District's Social Distancing Guidelines at Off-Leash Dog Areas.
  • Willowbrook Wildlife Center continues to accept wildlife patients 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., but call 630-942-6200 first for no-contact curbside drop-offs.
  • Open to fishing: White Pine Pond and Sand ponds at Blackwell; Green Lake, Stonewort and Riverbend ponds at Cricket Creek; Rush Lake and Sunfish Pond at East Branch; Muskrat Pond at Hawk Hollow; Herrick Lake; Eagle and Round Meadow lakes at Hidden Lake; Coverdale Pond and Mallard Lake at Mallard Lake; Mays’ and Trinity lakes at Mayslake; Mud Lake at McDowell Grove; Maple Lake at Meacham Grove; Catfish and Horsetail ponds and Harrier Lake at Pratt’s Wayne Woods; Songbird Lake at Songbird Slough; Spring Creek Reservoir; and Bass and Deep Quarry Lakes at West Branch. In addition, East and West Branch DuPage River, Salt Creek

What's Closed

  • Forest preserve buildings and restrooms.
  • Trails and areas surrounding our animal care locations: Willowbrook Wildlife Center, Danada Equestrian Center, and Kline Creek Farm to allow staff to safely provide core animal-care services.
  • Closed to fishing: Silver Lake at Blackwell, Pickerel Lake at Pratt’s Wayne Woods and Grove Lake at Wood Dale Grove
  • Archery range at Blackwell Forest Preserve
  • All model-craft areas
  • District golf preserves: The Preserve at Oak Meadows; Maple Meadows and Green Meadows 

When Using Trails and Open Spaces

The Forest Preserve District actively promotes compliance with the governor’s executive order and encourages visitors to follow these recommendations while visiting DuPage forest preserves:

  • Stay home if you're sick or have been near someone who's sick.
  • Practice safe social distancing and stay at least 6 feet away from the next person. (Forest preserve limestone trails are 8 to 10 feet wide.) If this is not possible, move to another location.
  • Follow all CDC best practices, including wearing cloth face coverings in public settings.
  • Make sure other visitors know you're near if they can't see you. (A simple "passing from behind" works.) Stay at least 6 feet away as you pass.
  • Do not gather in groups or meet with friends in the preserves. No group runs, hikes or rides.
  • Don't touch things others might also touch, such as signs, benches or shelters.
  • Note that all forest preserve restrooms are closed and water fountains are off, and time your visits accordingly.
  • Visit only with members of your household.
  • Keep dogs on a leash in preserves and on trails.
  • Clean up your trash  

All visitors must follow Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommended COVID-19 prevention strategies. Forest Preserve District police will monitor attendance, and close preserves if it appears that the public health goals for increased social distancing goals are being compromised due to crowds, or if the State of Illinois orders that further distancing measures be taken.

Consult your local and state ordinances and guidelines for the most up-to-date recommendations on park and trail use.


Other District Services and Facilities

Visitor Services

The Visitor Services Center at Forest Preserve headquarters are closed to walk-in visits until further notice. However, permit requests, registrations, and all other inquiries can be processed:

Forest Preserve District Headquarters

The headquarters building is closed to the public.

 

Police Department

The Police Department continues to serve the public and protect our preserves, but some in-person administrative services are limited at this time.

Danada Equestrian Center

The Danada barn and buildings are closed. The grounds and surrounding forest preserve are also closed.


Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center

The visitor center is closed. The surrounding forest preserve is open. Parking lot access is limited to DuPage residents.

 

Kline Creek Farm

The visitor center and buildings on the farm are closed. The grounds of the farm and surrounding forest preserve are also closed.

 

Mayslake Peabody Estate

The hall is closed. The grounds and surrounding forest preserve are open.


St. James Farm

All buildings, including the indoor riding arena, are closed. The grounds and surrounding forest preserve are open.


Willowbrook Wildlife Center

Willowbrook's visitor center, outdoor exhibit and nature trails, and forest preserve surrounding the center are closed to allow staff to safely provide core animal-care services.

We continue to accept wildlife patients 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., but call 630-942-6200 first for no-contact curbside drop-offs.

 

Blackwell Forest Preserve

The boat rental facility is closed, and Silver Lake is closed to fishing until further notice. The forest preserve and all trails are open.

Blackwell Family Campground has suspended accepting reservations until we have a confirmed opening date. 

 

Danada House

The Danada House is closed to the public. All events with attendees of 5 or greater are canceled. A representative from the Danada House will be reaching out to the organizers of the impacted reservations. 

 

Background

These steps are being taken in keeping with Illinois Governor Pritzker’s stay-at-home order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. To give residents the opportunity to take advantage of the health benefits of being outdoors, parking lots, preserves, off-leash dog areas, and trails will remain open with some exceptions.

The District’s No. 1 concern is the safety of its visitors and staff. We will continue to strive to keep our trails and open spaces open, while adhering to the recommendations from the State of Illinois and CDC to provide residents with the opportunity to connect to nature. District staff will be working only to perform activities that comply with provisions of the governor’s executive order including Essential Government Functions, Minimum Basic Operations, and duties performed by telecommuting.

Previous actions the District has taken to align with Centers for Disease Control's guidelines and recommendations regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus included the cancellation of all organized group events, public programming and rentals along with closing all District campgrounds and public buildings.

  

The Forest Preserve District offers a monthly e-newsletter that includes timely information about projects, programs and events in our DuPage forest preserves. Subscribe to our e-newsletter, and get the latest nature news straight to your inbox.

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