GENEVA — The Forest Preserve District of Kane County's campgrounds are opening for the season on May 1.
Recreational camping is open each year from May 1 through Oct. 31 at Paul Wolff Campground and Big Rock Campground.
Paul Wolff Campground, located in Burnidge Forest Preserve in Elgin, contains 104 total camp sites. There are 89 improved sites with 50-amp electrical service, water access, parking pads and fire rings.
There are 10 primitive sites for tents-only camping, which do not have electricity, as well as five equestrian camp sites. ADA-accessible camp sites are available upon request.
The surrounding Burnidge Forest Preserve contains more than 700 acres of rolling hills and woodlands along with nine miles of hiking trails including a 2.25-mile multi-purpose trail suitable for hiking, biking or equestrian use, fully stocked fish ponds, a picnic shelter and a climbing rock. Paul Wolff Campground is located at 38W235 Big Timber Road, Elgin.
Big Rock Campground in Big Rock Forest Preserve in Big Rock contains 109 total camp sites. There are 96 improved campsites with 50-amp electrical service, water access, parking pads and fire rings. There are nine primitive, tent-only sites without electricity, as well as four equestrian sites. ADA-accessible camp sites are available upon request.
The surrounding Big Rock Forest Preserve is an 850-acre preserve containing several sandy hills that overlook the valley filled with woodlands and crystal clear streams. Catch-and-release fishing is permitted at the campground pond, as well as in the preserve’s former quarry, Siegler Lake. There are more than 10 miles of hiking trails suitable for hiking, biking or equestrian use and two picnic shelters. Big Rock Campground is located at 46W499 Granart Rd., Big Rock.
Daily fees for the improved camp sites (with pad, electric, water) at both campgrounds are $20 for Kane County residents and $35 for nonresidents. Primitive/non-electric camp sites are $12 per day for Kane County residents and $18 for nonresidents. Equestrian camp sites are $15 per day for Kane County residents and $25 for nonresidents. Dump stations are $15 per day. Firewood is available at registration for $5 per bundle.
Sites are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Campground reservations are not taken for the public, however, reservations are available for camping clubs with a minimum number of sites reserved and paid in advance. The campground hotline at 630-444-1200 is updated daily during the camping season, and provides more information on camp site availability and conditions.
The forest preserve district also offers a “Camp with a Ranger: Introduction to Camping” program for inexperienced campers. Experienced staff will guide participants through the necessary steps such as site setup, cooking and fire building. Registration is $40 and is intended for one family or group of up to 6 people. Call 630-232-5980 to register or for more information.
For more information about camping in the forest preserves, visit www.kaneforest.com or on social by searching @forestpreserve.