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Department of Natural Resources


Illinois Beach State Park
Lake Front
Zion, IL 62863
(708) 662-4811
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 of nature.


Illinois BeachIllinois 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 Unit.

The Illinois 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 don’t you stop by? We’re 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.




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