The great outdoors await at Loud Thunder Forest Preserve and Illiniwek Forest Preserve where RV and tent campgrounds are open for the 2021 season.
This includes the new Deer Haven campground, a full-service RV campsite that opened Labor Day weekend in 2020 at Loud Thunder Forest Preserve.
“With a variety of trails, campsites, playgrounds and activities, we have something for everyone to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather without traveling far,” Jeff Craver, Forest Preserve District director, said in a news release. “We’re excited to open for the 2021 season. We’ve already seen more foot traffic than we’ve ever had. People want to take advantage of the gorgeous weather.”
Loud Thunder Forest Preserve now has 61 campsites between its Deer Haven and White Oak sites to accommodate RV camping units. The newest Deer Haven area features 35 pull-through sites with water, sewer and 50-amp electricity. Online reservations can be made at ricfpd.org/Activities/Camping.aspx for no additional fee, but require a two-night minimum stay. In addition to the RV sites, more than 80 primitive campsites are available for tent camping.
Illiniwek Forest Preserve provides campsites on a first-come, first-served basis. It includes 25 primitive camping areas of which 17 are located within feet of the Mississippi Riverfront, 60 campsites with water and electric hookups to serve RV camping units and two shower houses (one of the shower houses is ADA-accessible).
During the 2020 season, Rock Island County Forest Preserve welcomed an exceptional number of campers. With travel restrictions and worries abounding due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people turned to the parks.
“We were very busy last year, but with more than 2,500 acres, the Rock Island County Forest Preserve offers a respite from the monotony and a time to connect with nature,” said Craver. “We had great weather and folks were eager to get outside. One of the silver linings of last year was the fact that locals got to explore some of the great amenities near them, and the Forest Preserve District is one of those.”
Beyond camping, the Forest Preserve offers miles of hiking trails.
Boat rentals at Lake George in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve will begin Memorial Day Weekend. In the meantime, the public boat launches at Loud Thunder and Illiniwek Forest Preserves are both accessible and open for public use. This includes a new kayak launch at Lake George which was added last year.
For more information on the Rock Island County Forest Preserve District parks, visit www.ricfpd.org.