Illinois State Beach Park is a large, beautiful preserve containing countless recreational activities. The 4,160 acre park gives its visitors access to the Lake Michigan Water Trail, picnicking, hiking, biking, swimming, camping, geocaching, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and having one of the best experiences with nature.
North Unit. This massive park is split into two sections, the North Unit and the South Unit. The North Unit mainly consists of wetlands, savannah, forests, prairies, and a great pavilion to watch the migratory birds of prey. This unit is for enjoying nature and walking the trails or the lakefront in a serene location. The north unit also has a swimming beach.
South Unit. On the other hand, the Southern Unit is usually busier and provides guests with campgrounds, a nature center, a resort, bike trails, and the park office. Combined, the two units display over 6 miles of beautiful, swimmable shore line; all swimming at Illinois Beach State Park is unguarded and swim at your own risk. Inland, at both units, there are miles of trails along with multiple inland lakes which are fishable.
Water Trail Access. The Lake Michigan Water trail is an amazing adventure if you are willing to conquer the water of Lake Michigan. The water trail runs for 75 miles! From the New Buffalo, Michigan all the way north to Wisconsin border (Winthrop harbor). In Illinois, Illinois Beach State Park is the final stretch on the northern end. With all of the park being a landing/departure zone for the trail. Of course, you do not need to voyage all the way down the water trail to Chicago, but it is an amazing opportunity to see the tranquil and beautiful shore line of the state park.
Plants and Animals. With a massive amount of land and wide variety of ecological sites comes massive biodiversity. As previously mentioned, this park has dunes, savannah, wetlands, forests, and prairies. According to a report, that was revised in 2013 by Linda W. Curtis, Illinois Beach State Park has more than 740 plants species. The report goes into further detail about how the land has evolved and the plant species along with it. If you are curious, you can read the full report here.
Illinois State Beach Park is a marvelous place to visit. Ranging from the extensive walking trails to the amazing resort, this state park never gets boring. So, grab your towel, bike, fishing rod, hiking boots, kayak, or binoculars and enjoy this incredible state park.
Funding for this project was provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.