At the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve, explore some of the region’s most stunning nature. Located in Highland Park, Illinois, just 25 miles north of Chicago, the Preserve is open year-round free to the public.
The Openlands Lakeshore Preserve is home to three unique ecosystems — ravines, bluffs, and lakefront — and this is one of the only places in Illinois you can see these natural communities up close. It balances the preserve’s ecological and cultural history, inviting visitors to enjoy panoramic views while contemplating humanity’s impact on the land and the planet.
The 77-acre Preserve is home to three trail systems, and paved trails are ADA-accessible. Art installations and educational signage offer interpretations of the nature around you, and you can download audio tours at Openlands.org
As a portal to the Lakefront Preserve, the trail system allows visitors to celebrate the unique ravine, bluff, and lakeshore geology of the Preserve and region. With access to nature, art installations and interpretive opportunities, the trails foster a sense of wonder for the Preserve and nature by providing both tangible and unique experiences to engage visitors’ interest in and among nature. ADA access to the beach is provided via the Bartlett Ravine Trail that has a 2/3 mile continuous slope well under 5%. These pathways create an accessible walking path with overlooks and bridges on the tableland, as well as access to the interpretive signage and inspirational artworks.