About

The Champaign County Forest Preserve District is a local, property tax-supported government agency charged with the stewardship of seven forest preserves covering over 4,000 acres in Champaign County, Illinois. The Forest Preserve District, which covers all but seven sections of Champaign County, was established by referendum in 1935. Due to the Depression and World War II, however, the first park was not opened until 1948.

Mission Statement

Protect Champaign County's natural and cultural resources and inspire people to care for, enjoy, and explore their natural world.

Vision

Protecting Nature. Creating Connections.

Visitors with Disabilities

The Champaign County Forest Preserve District encourages its disabled visitors to utilize its facilities and to participate in its programs, and is committed to providing facilities and programs which meet the needs of both disabled and nondisabled visitors. Persons anticipating having reasonable special needs should contact District Headquarters in advance of their visit at 586-3360.

Board of Commissioners

The Champaign County Forest Preserve District is governed by a five member volunteer Board of Commissioners. The Champaign County Board appoints commissioners to five-year terms. There is a limit of two terms per commissioner. Board of Commissioners meetings are typically held the third Thursday of each month unless otherwise noted. To contact our commissioners, please send an email to [email protected]

Photographs

Frequently the District takes videotape or photographs of people enjoying programs, special events, preserves or facilities. These photographs are for the District promotions and marketing. They are used at the District's discretion and become its sole property.

Preserve Hours

Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve

Hours

Lake of the Woods opens at 7:00 AM year-around, weather permitting. Closing times vary. Headquarters Office is open 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Monday-Friday, closed on most Federal holidays.

Time of Year Closing Time
Monday-Sunday Varies
Second Sunday in March 7:00 PM
First Saturday in April (Peninsula open 24hrs, restroom closes at 7 PM) 9:00 PM
First Sunday after Labor Day in September 7:00 PM
First Sunday in November (Peninsula also closes at 5 PM) 5:00 PM
River Bend Forest Preserve

Hours

River Bend opens at 7 AM year-around, weather permitting. Closing times vary:

Time of Year Closing Time
Second Sunday in March 7:00 PM
First Saturday in April 9:00 PM
First Sunday after Labor Day in September 7:00 PM
First Sunday in November 5:00 PM
Heron View Forest Preserve

Hours

Heron View Forest Preserve opens at 7 AM year-round, weather-permitting. Closing times vary:

Time of Year Closing Time
First Saturday in April 9 PM
First Monday in September 7 PM
Monday before Halloween 5 PM
Sangamon River Forest Preserve

Hours

Sangamon River Forest Preserve opens at 7 AM year-round, weather-permitting. Closing times vary.

Time of Year Closing Time
First Saturday in April 9 PM
First Monday in September 7 PM
Monday before Halloween 5 PM
Homer Lake Forest Preserve

Hours

Homer Lake Forest Preserve opens at 7 AM year-round, weather-permitting. Closing times vary:

Time of Year Closing Time
First Monday in April 10 PM
Monday before Halloween 5 PM
Middle Fork River Forest Preserve

Hours

Middle Fork River Forest Preserve opens at 7 AM year-round, weather-permitting.

Although some portions of the Middle Fork River Forest Preserve close to automobiles at dusk, the North Waterfowl Management Area is open 24 hours a day for night sky viewing. The entrance and parking for the waterfowl area are located 2554 County Road 3500 North.  

Closing times vary: 

Time of Year Closing Time
May-October 9 PM
November-April 6 PM