Department of Natural Resources
Illinois Beach State Park
Zion, IL 62863
Fax (847) 662-6433
If you are looking for something to do outdoors, Illinois Beach State
Park has something for you! Located on the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan,
Illinois Beach is a unique and captivating natural resource for all to
enjoy. It stretches for six and a half miles along the sandy shore of
Lake Michigan in Northern Illinois. The park consists of two separate
units which allow visitors to choose from many options for outdoor activities.
Our 4,160-acres of beauty provide visitors with an opportunity for swimming,
boating, picnicking, hiking, fishing, camping or just enjoying the beauty
Beach State Park also has a unique historical background. Once a huge
glacier occupied our present location. This glacier eventually melted
leaving a large lake called Lake Chicago. This large lake began to recede
and left behind five smaller lakes. These have become known as the Great
Lakes. This gradual recession of the lake left dramatic ridges and swales
of dune, sprawling marshes, forests of oak and vast arrays of animal life
and vegetation. Illinois Beach State Park encompasses the only remaining
beach ridge shoreline left in the state.
A portion of the south unit of the park was dedicated in 1964 as the
first Illinois nature preserve. In the nature preserve, you can see more
than 650 species of plants, including a multitude of colorful wildflowers.
The Dead River winds through the preserve creating a unique wetland habitat
for many endangered species. Nature walks and guided tours through the
preserve are available to the public on the weekends all summer long.
School or special interest groups may arrange for field trips led by a
park naturalist. For additional information on activities in the Nature
Preserve contact a park naturalist at (847) 662-4811.
Illinois Beach State Park also offers camping in a beautifully wooded
campground where both tent and RV camping are welcome. All of our 244
Class A sites are equipped with electricity and firepits. Water is available
throughout the area. Two bath houses offer hot showers, running water
and flushable toilets. Handicapped sites are also available. Camping is
$11 a night and reservations will be taken after January 2 for the following
year, in person or by mail only. The campround is located in our South
Beach Resort and Conference Center was recently renovated and is now
open to the public. It is located on a portion of our South Unit beach
to provide guests with a great view over the waters of Lake Michigan.
It offers a restaurant, pool, gift shop, and weight room. For more information
call the resort at (847) 625-7300.
So, why dont you stop by? Were located just South of the Wisconsin
border on Lake Michigan. Take I-94 to Rt.173 east. Follow Rt. 173 to Sheridan
Rd. To reach the South Unit, turn right onto Sheridan Rd., then turn left
on Wadsworth Rd. and follow the road into the park. To reach the North
Unit, turn left on Sheridan Rd., then turn right on 17th St. and follow
the road into the park.
Contact Duane Ambroz for more information on guided hikes.