Big Rock Campground
Big Rock Campground opened in the summer of 2013. This project was partially funded by an IDNR OSLAD and Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant.
The campground contains 110 camp sites including 96 improved, vehicle campsites complete with 50-amp electrical service, water access, parking pads and fire rings, 10 primitive, tent-only sites without electric access, and four equestrian camp sites.
Daily fees for the improved or equestrian camp sites are $15 for Kane County residents and $25 for nonresidents. Primitive/non-electric camp sites are $10 per day for residents, $15 for nonresidents. Please note, due to state restrictions on the transport of firewood, outside firewood is not permitted to be brought in to Forest Preserve District campgrounds. Firewood is available for purchase on site at the campground registration office.
For more information on Big Rock Campground within Big Rock Forest Preserve, or Paul Wolff Campground within Burnidge Forest Preserve in Elgin, please view our Camping brochure
Big Rock Forest Preserve
Mature woodlands, high-quality marshes, tallgrass prairie, clear-running creeks and a 65-foot deep lake are just some of the highlights of Big Rock Forest Preserve. Visitors will find lots to enjoy in any season of the year, from summertime fishing, to hiking in the autumn woods, cross-country skiing in winter, and birdwatching during spring migration.
Siegler Lake is a premier feature of the preserve. Formerly a limestone quarry, the lake was formed when high floodwaters breached the banks of Big Rock and Welch Creeks in 1996, sending torrents of water into the quarry. The result of this flood event was a 32-acre lake, complete with fish and invertebrates that were swept in with the floodwaters. Subsequent fish habitat projects have been undertaken, and the lake supports a diversity of fish and aquatic wildlife. It’s a popular destination for anglers. Please follow posted regulations for catch-and-release fishing. Fishing is allowed in the Big Rock Quarry on a catch and release basis. Swimming is not allowed.
Big Rock Creek, rated one of the best quality streams in Illinois, is home to freshwater mussels — indicators of high-quality habitat.
High sandy bluffs overlook patches of woodlands and prairies in the preserve, and a specialized wetland called a fen is fed by underground seeps on the southeastern portion of the preserve.
Visitors may walk from either of the two parking lots to the woodlands, the marsh, the fen and the prairie. There is a loop trail around Seigler Lake, with beautiful views over the water. A 1.25 mile, screenings trail, established in 2013, leads north from the lake to Big Rock Campground.
Horses are allowed on designated equestrian trails.
The preserve originated in 1992 with 294 acres. In 1998, 133 acres were added, which includes the gravel quarry. In 2003, 30 acres were added to the preserve. In 2006, 118 acres were added. In 2008, 19 acres were added. The final 246 acres that make-up the preserve were purchased in 2010, with partial funding through an Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Open Space Land Acquisition & Development (OSLAD) acquisition grant.
This preserve also includes a horseback riding area. Most horse trails are natural surface, mowed grass paths. Limestone screenings trails and asphalt bike trails are available in some of the preserves. These are multi-use trails shared with runners, bicyclists, dog walkers etc. Horse riders are required to stay on designated, forest preserve-maintained trails. Trail riding is not allowed in restricted natural areas, Illinois Nature Preserves, picnic areas or in farmed areas. To prevent trail damage during wet weather, trails may be temporarily closed. Individual forest preserves will post a sign at the entrance when horse trails are closed. Trails are currently OPEN for equestrian use at this preserve.