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Camping at Our Preserves

The camping season is generally April 1 through October 31 of each year as weather permits. The 2020 camping season will open April 1st, weather permitting. Water access is weather dependent, and will not be available until night time temperatures stay above freezing.

Advanced notices of closures will be posted as soon as practicable.

Come take part in a night spent outdoors. From ghost stories to s'mores, you are sure to find a camping site that fits your family’s needs. The Rock Island County Forest Preserve District allows camping at Illiniwek and Loud Thunder Forest Preserves. A total of 186 campsites are available at the two preserves – 86 RV sites with electricity and water hook-ups and 100 primitive campsites.

Firewood Rules

Campers and other visitors are reminded that it is prohibited to bring or possess on District properties any firewood that does not meets the State of Illinois and the USDA firewood certification and labeling requirements.  This probibition is intended to help prevent the spread of the emerald ash borer (EAB). To find out more about EAB, visit the Illinois Department of Agriculture's website at www.IllinoisEAB.com.

The US Department of Agriculture also has a quarantine on interstate movement of firewood from the entire state of Illinois; so if you are an Illinois resident, you will not be able to take your firewood to another state without having it certified by the USDA. Regulated articles include ash nursery stock and green lumber; any other ash material including logs, stumps, roots, branches, as well as composted and uncomposted wood chips.  Due to the difficulty in distinguishing between species of hardwood firewood, all hardwood firewood, including ash, oak, maple and hickory are regulated articles.

Transporting firewood is one way the emerald ash borer can be spread from areas with infested trees. Quarantines have been imposed by state and federal authorities to prevent infested ash firewood, logs or nursery trees from being transported and starting new infestations.

Rock Island County Forest Preserve  Encourages On-Site Purchase of Firewood, Alternative Fuels, “Bring-It and Burn-It”

The Rock Island County Forest Preserve District offers firewood for purchase through local vendors at its campgrounds.  Visitors may be asked to forfeit firewood by park staff if it has been brought to the park and it does not meet the state and federal certifications and labeling requirements.  Consider using alternatives like charcoal and pre-fabricated logs that are available at retail outlets.

Prevention is the only way to contain the spread of the emerald ash borer because no treatments currently exist to cure infested trees. The insect can fly only short distances on its own, so limiting the movement of firewood and other potentially-infested wood products is the single most important step we can take to prevent the introduction of the pest to new areas and protect our ash trees.

What You Can Do To Help

Emerald ash borer is an exotic non-native insect that was first discovered in the U.S. near Detroit, Michigan in 2002, and thought to have been transported from Asia in wood packing material shipped to the U.S. Adult beetles cause some damage to ash trees by eating foliage. The most significant damage is the result of EAB larvae feeding on the inner bark of ash trees, eventually killing the affected trees.

Citizens can help in detecting EAB. The presence of the bug is difficult to detect in newly-infested trees. Watch for beetles of a metallic-green color about half the diameter of a penny on or near ash trees that are showing signs of disease or stress. Signs of the beetles in ash trees also include D-shaped holes in the bark of the trunk or branches and shoots growing from the base of the tree. For more information on EAB, check the web site at www.emeraldashborer.info.

Illiniwek Forest Preserve Camping

Camping at Illiniwek Forest PreserveIlliniwek Camp Office Hours:
Monday - Thursday: 8:00AM-1:00PM and 4:00pm-10:00PM
Friday & Saturday: 8:00AM - 10:00PM
Sunday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Camp host is available after 5PM on Sunday and on weekdays until 4PM. Office hours are extended during holiday weekends.
Camp Office: (309) 496-2620
Maintenance Building: (309) 203-1404

Camping is available from April 1- October 31, weather permitting.  The campground will be closed November 1, 2019 for the season.  Weather permitting the campground will reopen April 1, 2020 for the camping season.

Why is the Illiniwek Forest Preserve location so great for camping? We think it is because the park is set on the Mississippi River and is ideally situated for a combination of recreation, both on land and in the water. This means you can spend the day fishing and eat it for dinner while you camp overnight.

Facilities available at Illiniwek include 25 primitive camping areas of which 17 are riverfront campsites, 60 pads with water and electric hookups to serve RV's and other mobile camping options, two shower houses (one of the shower houses is ADA Accessible), and a dumping station. Other amenities include boat launch ramps (ADA Accessible), hiking & biking trails, a reservable picnic shelter, and a wooded bluff scenic overlook of the Mississippi River.
Campsite reservations are available only for organizations such as scouts or youth church groups. All other campsites are first come, first serve.
Illiniwek Campsite Maps

Camping Rules and Regulations

Camping Cost

  Primitive Camping Camping on Pads with Water and Electricity Hook Ups
County Resident $14 ($18 for River Site) $20
Non-County Resident $16 ($20 for River Site) $22
Senior Citizens (Over 62) $13 ($17 for River Site) $19
Youth Group (Per person) $1 $1


Loud Thunder Forest Preserve Camping 

Loud Thunder Forest Preserve CampingMake a Reservation Button
Camping at Loud Thunder is open from April 1 through October 31, weather permitting.  The campground will be closed for the season on November 1, 2019.  Weather permitting the campground will reopen April 1,  2020 for the 2020 camping season.

Camp the way you like. We understand that some people like to pitch a tent and cook over the open fire, and others just don’t. That’s okay with us because we have campsites for both. There are five campgrounds located within the Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. Please be aware that it is Loud Thunder's policy to not issue refunds or reschedule for reservations.
North Shore – located next to the Mississippi River
  • Riverview Campground – 30 primitive campsites (non-electric) along the Mississippi River with boat ramp access to the Mississippi River, hiking trails, bathroom & shower building, water access, and picnic area
East Shore – located along Lake George
  • Silva Campground - 19 primitive campsites (non-electric) surrounded by natural area with access to a boat ramp and docks on Lake George, pit toilets, water access, picnic area, and pavilion
West Shore – located along Lake George
  • Horse Corral Campgrounds – 12 primitive campsites and 9 equestrian only campsites with a horse corral, dump station, horse trailer parking, flush toilets, water access, and picnic area
  • Indian Meadows – 22 primitive campsites with shower building and water access
  • White Oak – 25 RV campsites with electricity and water hookups and shower building
Reservations for campsites are now available.  Click on the make a reservation icon.  Reservations can only be made online or in person at the camp office, no over the phone reservations and payments will be accepted.  If you do not have a reservation then campsites will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Please be aware that it is Loud Thunder's policy to not issue refunds on reservations.
Camping Rules and Regulations

Camping Cost

  Primitive Camping Camping on Pads with Water and
Electricity Hook Ups (White Oak Campground)
County Resident $14 $20 (W-26 is $24.00)
Two Tent Campsite County Resident $28 Not Applicable
Non-County Resident $16 $22 (W-26 is $26.00)
Two Tent Campsites Non-County Resident $30 Not Applicable
Senior Citizens (Over 62) $13 $19 ( W-26 is $23.00)
Youth Group (Per person) $1 $1