ILLINOIS CITY, Ill. (Aug. 29, 2017) – Rangers at Loud Thunder Forest Preserve in Illinois City, Ill., are encouraging the community to close out summer by spending Labor Day weekend camping and enjoying the outdoors. 

While camping pads with water and electrical hookups have already sold out, primitive campsites are still available.

“Camping over Labor Day weekend is a time-honored tradition for many families,” said Ben Mills, park ranger at Loud Thunder. “Spending the holiday weekend outdoors with family and friends is an experience unlike any other. Families bond while roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, making shadow animals on tent walls, chasing after fireflies and telling ghost stories.”

Loud Thunder boasts a total of four campgrounds with a combined 83 primitive campsites. Many of the sites are along the Mississippi River or close to Lake George and have easy access to hiking trails, playgrounds and other amenities. Primitive sites are non-electrical and are designed for tent camping.

The park also offers boat rentals, including kayaks, canoes, small and large pontoons. Rentals will be available Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday for Labor Day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. After Labor Day, fall rental hours will commence – changing from the existing Wednesday to Sunday schedule to Saturdays and Sundays only between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Visitors can expect Loud Thunder primitive campsites to fill quickly and park officials are recommending campers make online reservations to save their spot. Reservations for Loud Thunder campsites can be made online or in person at the camp office on a first come, first serve basis.

The park does not accept phone reservations. The cost for primitive camp spots is $13 for county residents ($14 for a river site) and $15 for non-county residents ($16 for a river site). Two-tent campsites for county residents are $28 and non-county residents $30.

For more information, visit


About the Rock Island County Forest Preserve District

The mission of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve District is to maintain and acquire lands and facilities in Rock Island County with the intent to restore, conserve and protect the waters, forests and prairies they contain and the goal to create educational and recreational opportunities for the residents of Rock Island County and beyond.
The Rock Island County Forest Preserve District is governed by the Forest Preserve Commission. Today the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission governs six forest preserve areas totaling 2,529 acres. They include Loud Thunder Forest Preserve, Illiniwek Forest Preserve, Niabi Zoo, Indian Bluff Golf Course and Forest Preserve, Dorrance Park and Martin Conservation Area.

For more information about the Rock Island County Forest Preserve District, visit