Annual permits for off-leash dog areas, private boating and model aircraft in DuPage County forest preserves will go on sale at 8 a.m. Dec. 3 in the visitors services offices at the district's headquarters, 3S580 Naperville Road in Wheaton.
The forest preserve district processes applications from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Individuals must apply in person and present proof of residency for DuPage County resident rates. Current permit holders may submit their renewal notices by mail, fax or in person. New annual permits will be effective Jan. 1.
Camping and picnic-area reservations begin Jan. 2.
Application forms and permit information is in the "Recreation" section of the district's website, dupageforest.org. To reach visitor services by phone, call (630) 933-7248.
There's plenty of room for romping, running and fetching at the off-leash dog areas at the following preserves: Blackwell in Warrenville, East Branch in Glendale Heights, Greene Valley in Naperville, Mayslake in Oak Brook, Pratt's Wayne Woods in Wayne and Springbrook Prairie in Naperville.
For DuPage County residents, off-leash dog area annual permits are $40 for the first dog and $8 for each additional dog. Nonresident fees are $150 a year and $25 for each additional dog. Senior citizens 65 and older and active or honorably discharged military veterans are entitled to one free off-leash dog area permit per household.
Dog owners may obtain permits for as many of their dogs as they wish; however, owners may only have three dogs at an area at one time.
Privately owned boats may be launched at Silver Lake at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville, Round Meadow Lake at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve in Downers Grove, and Mallard Lake at Mallard Lake Forest Preserve in Hanover Park.
Nongasoline-powered watercraft up to 20 feet in length, including boats, canoes, kayaks and multichambered inflatables with factory-installed hardened floors and transoms, are permitted. Sailboats are permitted only at Silver Lake. Silver Lake features a boat ramp, while only carry-in boating is allowed at Round Meadow and Mallard lakes.
For carry-in boating, trailers are prohibited and boats must be transported on or in a vehicle and carried from the parking lot to the lake. Annual boating permits cost $35 for residents and $45 for nonresidents. State watercraft registration is required. Senior citizens are entitled to one free boating permit.
Model-craft enthusiasts have a number of locations for their activities. Model-aircraft fields are located at Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve in Naperville and Pratt's Wayne Woods Forest Preserve in Wayne. Model-helicopter fliers may use the field at Fullerton Park Forest Preserve in Addison.
Those with model gliders or sailplanes may fly them from the top of the hill at Greene Valley Forest Preserve in Naperville when the hill is open May through October. Model-boat enthusiasts can explore the waters of Riverbend Pond at Cricket Creek Forest Preserve in Addison.
Annual permits for model aircraft are $35 for residents and $45 for nonresidents; model-boat annual permits are $25 for residents and $35 for nonresidents. Senior citizens are entitled to one free model-craft permit.