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Camp Bullfrog Lake!

The fourth of five new and revitalized campgrounds is now open for reservations.

Camp Bullfrog Lake, located at 9600 Wolf Road in Willow Springs, is part of the Forest Preserves of Cook County's renewed camping program which launched this summer. Additional sites include:

* Camp Sullivan in Oak Forest (revitalized site, Now Open)

* Camp Shabbona Woods in South Holland (new site, Now Open)

* Camp Reinberg in Palatine (revitalized site, Now Open)

* Camp Dan Beard in Northbrook (new site, Coming Soon)

Reservations for all opened campsites can be booked online at, by phone 1-855-YES-CAMP and in-person at Forest Preserves of Cook County Headquarters located at 536 N. Harlem Avenue in River Forest. Phone and in-person registration are open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

"Camping is a favored summer tradition and now, for the first time in 50 years, residents do not have to travel out Cook County to experience this activity," said Toni Preckwinkle, Forest Preserves of Cook County President.

Camp Bullfrog Lake is nestled in the Palos Preserve of southwest suburban Cook County and offers a variety of accommodations and amenities for individuals, families and groups. Lodging options include two-bedroom (heated and air conditioned) cabins with private bathroom, various walk-up and drive-up (with electric service) camp sites, as well as small rustic cabins.

The site also features new restrooms and shower facilities, a small concession area, a common area for field games and special events as well as three picnic pavilions overlooking scenic Bullfrog Lake.

"Camping is a great way to connect with nature and one another," said Arnold Randall, General Superintendent of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. "All of our campsites are also located near other forest preserve amenities, so visitors can maximize their experiences."

Nearby, there is access to nature trails, including the newly dedicated Stone House single-track mountain bike trail. Water activities can be enjoyed at Tampier Lake & Boathouse, the Saganashkee Slough and coming soon, the newly remodeled Maple Lake Boathouse. Also nearby is the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center and Sagawau Environmental Learning Center.

Unlike other camping sites, Forest Preserves of Cook County Camping will offer optional daily activities and regular special events for campers at all sites. This free programming is provided by Forest Preserve staff and varies by site, but includes archery, campfires and nature hikes.

Gear rental, Camping 101 and Family Campouts are also available.

All sites are professionally managed by Billy Casper Golf, the longtime manager of the county's golf courses. Campsites have 24-hour staff and will be monitored with regular patrols by the Forest Preserves Police Department. Camps Sullivan, Bullfrog and Reinberg are open 362 days a year but closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Camps Dan Beard and Shabonna are open April through October.

Fees vary by season and day, but range from $30 for a weekday tent pad to $200 for a Saturday night stay at a 36-bed bunkhouse (at Camp Sullivan) for Cook County residents. Non-residents will pay $10 more per night. There is also a 50 percent discount for all non-profit organizations.

The total cost of the campgrounds including design, engineering and construction is approximately $29 million and is part of the Forest Preserves' Capital Improvement Program. Funding for the campgrounds came from General Obligation Bonds issued in June 2012 for the purpose of funding land acquisition and capital improvement projects.


Video by Waclaw Szary.

"Camp just steps from the water in the heart of the vast, hilly Palos Preserves. Camp Bullfrog Lake offers year-round camping, group activities and water-based recreation such as canoe rentals and fishing. Just around the corner from Maple Lake's boathouse and the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, it's also a perfect launching pad for hiking, mountain biking and birdwatching adventures on Palos' 50-plus miles of trails."


Comments welcome.


Posted on August 20, 2015

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