Openlands Lakeshore Preserve

  • Accessibility & Access for All
  • Arts & Culture
  • Beach Access
  • Bike Share Dock
  • Biking
  • Biodiversity
  • Birdwatching
  • Boat Rentals Available
  • Boating
  • Bus Parking
  • Calumet Heritage Area
  • Camping
  • Canoe or Kayak Rentals Available
  • Canoeing
  • Children's programs
  • Climbing
  • Community Science
  • Concessions
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Education
  • Education Center
  • Equipment Rentals
  • Family-Friendly
  • Field Trips
  • Fishing
  • Free Admission
  • Free Parking
  • Free Programs
  • Habitat Restoration
  • Hiking
  • Historical Connection
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Kayaking
  • Native Plants
  • Nature Center
  • Parking
  • Paved Trails
  • Pet-Friendly
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Picnicking
  • Playground
  • Public Transit Access
  • Restrooms
  • Running
  • Scenic Views
  • Snowshoeing
  • Swimming
  • Teacher Resources
  • Tours
  • Trail Running
  • Walking
  • Wetlands
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Show More


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

NOTICE: Openlands has temporarily closed the Lakeshore Preserve for the protection of all. 

On two occasions the week of April 5, 2021, explosive materials were found within the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve. Shortly thereafter, with help from the Highland Park Police Department, the Waukegan Bomb Squad removed the explosives. The military has taken the lead on determining if there are additional explosive materials on the property. Due to the seriousness of the situation, Openlands has closed the Preserve until this matter is resolved. We ask the public to respect this closure, and for their sake, to not enter the Preserve. We share everyone’s desire to re-open the Preserve and will do so as soon as possible.  To receive updates and announcements of reopening as they become available, email  In the meantime, we thank you for your patience and understanding.

Openlands Lakeshore Preserve is patrolled by Advance Security, to uphold the rules and regulations for the safety of all.

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.