Plan Your Visit


BY CAR | Take Half Day Road from I-94 or US-41 and travel east.

  • Half Day Road becomes Prairie Avenue in Highwood.
  • Turn right on Green Bay Road
  • Immediately turn left on Bloom Street to pass under the Metra tracks
  • Turn left on Waukegan Avenue and proceed into downtown Highwood
  • Turn right on Walker Avenue
  • Turn left on Patten Road
  • The Preserve’s main parking lot is on the left after 0.8 miles

Note: the southern unit of the Preserve is accessible at the end of Walker Road where there is a small parking area

BY METRA | Take the Union Pacific North line to either the Highwood or Fort Sheridan station. Each is approximately a mile-long walk from the Lakeshore Preserve. The west access point of Bartlett Ravine and the Bartlett Ravine stairs are accessible from the Fort Sheridan stop, and the southern access of the Hamill Family Upland Trail is accessible from the Highwood stop.

Photo: Jasmin Shah


Things to know:

  • The Preserve is open daily from 6:30 am to sunset. Dress for the weather and bring water.
  • Please park in designated parking lots only.
  • Leashed dogs are welcome on all paved trails, but not along the Lakefront due to sensitive wildlife communities found there. Dog bags are provided along the trails — please use them.
  • Coyotes live in the Preserve and throughout the region. Leash dogs at all times to reduce conflicts. Stay near your picnics and snacks, and properly dispose of garbage. If a coyote approaches, help it retain its natural inclination to avoid people. Yell, wave your arms, and slowly back away. You can throw something in its direction, but please don’t hit it. Learn more at
  • Please do stop, smell, and photograph the nature features, but please do not remove any plants, seeds, or rocks.
  • Do not climb any trees or slopes, leave trash, or trample beach plants.
  • Bikes are welcome on paved trails — keep to the right, watch your speed, and watch
    for pedestrians.
  • For your own safety, the following are not permitted: swimming, wading, boating, camping, campfires, firearms, or hunting. State fishing regulations apply.
  • In an emergency, call 911. Emergency markers along the beach will help identify your location.

Please note:

  • Weather can be variable near the lake, so please dress in layers for the weather, wear sturdy walking shoes, and bring sun and/or insect protection as needed.
  • There are no drinking water facilities available on site.
  • The connection linking the Hamill Family Trail (bluff-top trail) from the Sun Central overlook to the trail section north of Schenck Ravine’s trail bridge is currently undeveloped. There are sidewalks through the adjoining neighborhood owned by the Navy.
  • Wedding ceremonies, receptions, and events are not permitted at the Preserve because it is a dedicated Illinois Nature Preserve.

The Fine Print:

For more information, please contact