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Loud Thunder Forest Preserve


19406 Loud Thunder Road, Illinois City, Illinois 61259
(309) 795-1040

Hours of Operation: Sunrise to 10:00PM


Park Office Hours
April:
Mon: 8AM to 4:30PM
Tues: 8AM to 4:30PM
Wed: 8AM to 7PM
Thurs: 8AM to 7PM
Fri: 8AM to 7PM
Sat: 11AM to 7PM
Sun: 11AM to 7PM
May - August:
Mon: 8AM to 7PM
Tues: 8AM to 7PM
Wed: 8AM to 7PM
Thurs: 8AM to 7PM 
Fri: 8AM to 8PM
Sat: 8AM to 8PM
Sun: 8AM to 7PM
Labor Day (Sept) - October:
Mon: 8AM to 4:30PM
Tues: 8AM to 4:30PM
Wed: 8AM to 7PM
Thurs: 8AM to 7PM
Fri: 8AM to 7PM
Sat: 11AM to 7PM
Sun: 11AM to 7PM
November - March:
Mon: 8AM to 4:30PM
Tues: 8AM to 4:30PM
Wed: 8AM to 4:30PM
Thurs: 8AM to 4:30PM
Fri: 8AM to 4:30PM
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

Boat Rental Hours (May 26, 2017 to September 4, 2017):
Mon & Tues: Closed
Wed-Sun: 8:00AM to 7:00PM

The camping season is generally April 1 through October 31 each year as weather permits.  Advanced notices of closures will be posted as soon as practicable.  

Loud Thunder is the largest of the Rock Island County forest preserves at 1,621 acres. One of the main attractions at Loud Thunder is Lake George, a 167-acres man-made lake with depths up to 55 feet and stocked with many varieties of fish. Other amenities are:
  • Five campgrounds that include 117 campsites, including a Horse Corral campground
  • Seasonal Boat rentals and concessions
  • Hiking trails- a two-mile moderate level and a 12-mile continuous loop moderate level
  • Shared-use trails for mountain bikers, horseback riders, and hikers
  • Picnic shelters and one playground
  • A part of the Illinois Great River Road National Scenic Byway

Loud Thunder Forest Preserve History

Loud Thunder began in 1944 with the purchase of 1,240-acre ranch from Charles Searle. Adjacent properties were later purchased creating the existing park totaling 1,621 acres.

The development of the preserve started in the 1950's with the creation of campgrounds, trails, and parking lots. In 1967, the Big Branch Creek that ran through the preserve was dammed to create Lake George.