Illinois Beach State Park: Info on Beach State, Illinois Lakes, Hotels, Openlands, Parking Area and Nature Chillin

ILLINOIS BEACH STATE PARK: INFO ON BEACH STATE, ILLINOIS LAKES, HOTELS, OPENLANDS, PARKING AREA, AND NATURE CHILLIN

If you are driving around and looking for a place to have a wonderful experience in the region, Illinois Beach State Park might be the place you are looking for. It is just a 3-hour drive from Springfield, the capital state of Illinois. IBSP is the only park in the state that offers a spectacular seaside experience and many amenities. IBSP features the seaside ridge and swale habitat in the state; it gives the park a vast place for seaside activities and camping.

Although the state is famous for its many parks, you may be surprised that one features a fantastic seaside perfect for a swim, amazing openlands, and other water activities. Tourists and visitors of other regions were left amazed by the features of this park. We are sure that if you decide to drop by and stay at Illinois State Park beach, you can leave with beautiful memories and experiences. The rich natural features, diversities, and many outdoor activities can give you satisfaction.

 Without further ado, here are some of the insights and reviews of Illinois Beach State Park county. Let us discuss all the national park has to offer for your friends, relatives, and folks.

Data Guide

If you are new to the place, here are the necessary details about IBSP that you can use for reference.

OPERATIONAL HOURS

  • 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Check-in time: 3:00 PM
  • Check-out time: 11:00 AM
  • Quiet Time: 10:00 PM to 7:00 AM

OPERATION TIMES

  • January to March: 8:00 am to sunset
  • April to Memorial weekend: sunrise to sunset
  • Memorial weekend to Labor weekend: sunrise to 8:00 pm
  • Labor weekend to October: sunrise to sunset
  • November to December: 8:00 am to sunset

CUSTOMER SERVICE TIME FRAME

+1 847 662 4811

8:00 AM to 8:00 PM

BUSIEST SEASON

May to September

ADDRESS

Lake Front Drive, Zion Illinois

LOCATION INFORMATION

  • Adeline Jay Geo-Karis IBSP Lakefront/Park Office Zion I-L 60099
  • Latitude: 42.43889 / 42°26’20″N
  • Longitude: -87.81056 / 87°48’38″W

Direction

DUNE TRAIL LOOP

Driving along the coastline with your car or a recreational vehicle is a good experience. Lake Front Drive, Zion is where you can locate Illinois Beach State Park county. Also, You can input these coordinates on your GPS – Latitude 42.43889 Longitude -87.81056 for the beach. 

If you are driving from Chicago, head on to S Federal Street towards Van Buren Street, then turn right onto W Congress Pkwy/W Ida B. Wells Drive. Continue on I-L-110 W/W Congress Pkwy/Eisenhower Expressway for 0.4 mi. Keep right off the road and look for I-90 W/I-94 W. Continue driving and follow Milwaukee/Interstate 94 W/Edens Expressway signs. Then make a right turn. Before reaching US-41 N., Take I-L-137 N and N Sheridan Road to LakeFront Drive in Benton Township, continue this road. Continue driving on Sheridan Road and look for the right turn onto Wadsworth Road. Illinois Beach State Park entrance is on your right.

If you are coming from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, you have to drive down south for approximately 55 mi. Get on I-794, then watch out for signs and take a left to I-43 S/I-94 E to US-41 S in Newport Township. Be aware and make sure you don’t miss the way, take exit 1B from I-94 E. Continue driving on US-41 S, then Take W Wadsworth Road to Lakefront Drive in Benton Township. You can see signs for the entrance to IBSP. Be responsible for driving and make sure not to miss any exits on the road so that you can get there and save time.

History and Interesting Facts

The park was progressively developed in 1948 when the state purchased the first portion of the land. They acquired the portion between 1971 and 1982. This zone of the land was formerly Camp Logan, an Illinois National Guard center training space. Camp Logan was also known as a Union prisoner of war camp during the American War.

The state park is in the northeastern part along the coast of Pothole, Michigan. Measuring 4.160 acres, the park is two units. You can find the park in the Zion Ridge plain, which is a thousand of years old formation of arched ridge-and-swale topography. Seaside ridges maintain the black oak savanna habitat, and the wetlands dominate the marshlands.

Natural Assets

If you are fascinated by relaxation and sitting back appreciating nature’s beauty, Illinois Beach State Park is the ideal destination for you. Animals and plant enthusiasts can surely be delighted to know that there are over 650 species of plants and numerous animal species seen during the park visit. 

The seaside is the best reason you should visit Illinois Beach, State Park. It is vast and varied. There are magnificent dunes, and the shoreline is an excellent place for a short walk and a nature breather. The coast and forest are the perfect places for a weekend getaway or vacation.

Illinois BSP is an excellent way to experience Lake county Michigan’s shoreline, and the diverse ecosystems nature has to offer.

AMENITIES

Illinois Beach State Park offers amenities available for public use; make sure you enjoy them while also taking good care of the place.

AMENITIES
(Credits to TripAdvisor)

VISITOR CENTER

VISITOR CENTER
(Credits to Illinois)

Illinois Beach State Park has one visitor lounge in the southern unit, which contains restrooms, exhibits, and classroom space.

TENT SITES

TENT SITES
(Credits to Camping Road Trip)

There are many tent sites to choose from in the northern and southern units of Illinois BSP. Please make sure to reserve them online at www.ReserveAmerica.com.

Illinois Beach State Park Site

Illinois Beach State Park Site
(Credits to the DYRT)

There are parking spaces with electrical hookups that are excellent for your R.V. There is a sanitary dump, sewer hookups, and water hookups.

ACTIVITIES

Illinois BSP has numerous activities it has to offer. Here are some of them that you definitely enjoy:

ACTIVITIES
(Credits to Enjoy Illinois)

BIKING

BIRD WATCHING AT THE BEACH
(Credits to Enjoy Illinois)

You can enjoy the fantastic bike spot throughout the northern and southern sections of Illinois Beach State Park in the center. Zion Bike zone is also made use of by people who want to bike. Be careful in biking because these are multi-use spots, hikers and other visitors present here.

FISHING

FISHING
(Credits to When In Your State)

You are allowed to fish at designated fishing spots like the seaside except in the swimming lounge. There are also several inland ponds in the northern and southern sections. There is also a fishing pier at Sand pond. Fishers or anglers are not permitted to make use of the ecological preserve.

HIKING

There are a lot of activities you can do along the shoreline of Illinois BSP. The park features marshes, animals, and luscious forest. Hikers can have a great time at the park. Here are the spots that you can enjoy at the park.

DEAD RIVER AND DUNES LOOP

DEAD RIVER AND DUNES LOOP
(Credits to Alltrails)
  • Length: 4 km
  • Elevation: 8 meters
  • Route Type: Loop Route
  • Route Difficulty: Easy
  • Est. Time: 1 hour

You can find the spot located in the southern part of the park. The Dunes Area features 2.2 mi of Dead River loop.  It is graveled and excellent for good hiking.

NORTH UNIT TRAIL

NORTH UNIT TRAIL
(Credits to Alltrails)
  • Length: 13 km
  • Elevation: 20 meters
  • Route Type: Loop Route/Trail
  • Route Difficulty: Easy
  • Est. Time: 3 hour

The spot is excellent for all prowess levels and is accessible all year round. It is also kid-friendly. There are over 650 plant species that you can see. This trail is an excellent sector for plant and environment lovers.

DUNE TRAIL LOOP

DUNE TRAIL LOOP
(Photo Credits to cdn-assets.alltrails)
  • Length: 2.9 km
  • Elevation: 6 meters
  • Route Type: Loop Route/Trail
  • Route Difficulty: Easy
  • Est. Time: 45 minutes

Enjoy the panoramic views along the area and the wonderful lake Michigan. Excellent for all prowess levels and kids. The area is near the seaside, so you would be able to feel the breeze.

ILLINOIS BEACH MARSH TRAIL

ILLINOIS BEACH MARSH TRAIL
(Credits to Alltrails)
  • Length: 5 km
  • Elevation: 5 meters
  • Route Type: Loop Route
  • Route Difficulty: Easy
  • Est. Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Enjoy the area that is good for walking, running, and bird watching. Be mesmerized by the featured lake and the scenic views of the environment around.

OAK RIDGE AND DUNE TRAIL LOOP

OAK RIDGE AND DUNE TRAIL LOOP
(Credits to Alltrails)
  • Length: 2.3 km
  • Elevation: 5 meters
  • Route Type: Loop Route
  • Route Difficulty: Easy
  • Est. Time: 35 minutes

Walk around and get active in the area. Be careful of animals that you may encounter along the way. Enjoy the grass and the view of trees.

BEACH ACTIVITIES

SCUBA DIVING

SCUBA DIVING
(Credits to The Outdoor Journal)

Lake Michigan is the most famous body of water. You may charter a company that can take you to beautiful diving spots. Enjoy the place and the pristine waters. Make sure you have a guide because diving is not for the inexperienced. Exploring wrecks and corals has many risks.

SWIMMING

SWIMMING
(Credits to We Galavant the Globe)

Swimming is a fun activity for the family. Grab your beach pack and head to the water to enjoy the clear waters and the heat of the sun.

BIRD WATCHING AT THE BEACH

BIRD WATCHING AT THE BEACH
(Credits to Lake Cook)

Multiple parts of the park are perfect for bird watching, including an outlook along Dead River Trail. Birders can see rare migratory and breeding birds, including Solitary Sandpiper, Flycatchers, Brewer’s Blackbirds, and Whip-poor-wills.

CAMPING

CAMPING
CAMPING

The forest in the southern unit provides 244 Class A sites with electricity and access to showers and sanitary purposes. You must obtain a permit for camping from the park management before setting your tent. Reservations may be made by mail for the summer season. Send the completed reservation application to Illinois BSP c/o North Point Marina, 701 N. Point Drive, Winthrop Harbor, I-L 60096. Because of this area’s high use from Memorial to Labor, reservations are recommended but not required. Encampments are also on a first-come, first, serve basis but usually full up by early Fri mornings. E-mail and phone-in reservations are not available. For questions about your reservation application, please call 847-746-2845 Tues – Sat.

NOTE: Illinois BSP has limited encampments starting 7/2. No reservations accepted for July, and these sites are on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can make reservations for August and September online at www.ReserveAmerica.com.

State Park Policies

PETS

Dogs are not allowed on the seaside or in the ecological preserve. They are only allowed in the camping ground, some hitchhiking, and the picnic ground, provided that they are on a leash. Please make sure you do not leave your beloved pets unattended.

ALCOHOL

Any type of alcoholic beverages is not allowed on the camping grounds.

CAMPING

  1. The maximum stay for a camping party is only up to 14 nights within any 30 days.
  2. You must have a permit obtained from the Camping ground Permit Booth of IBSP.
  3. The requirement of having a camping permit is to bring your camping unit or shelter.
  4. Multiple households are not permitted. A family consists of both parents and minor youngsters under 18 years old. 
  5. Campers MUST check into the camping ground by 10:00 PM and set up their campsite immediately; so as not to disturb neighboring campers.
  6. Campground quiet hours are 10:00 PM to 7:00 AM.
  7. Check out is 3 PM on the next day.
  8. Unregistered campers must leave by 9 PM every night.
  9. Alcohol beverages are allowed inside Resort Hotel Only.
  10. No gathering of Firewood.
  11. Do not dispose of water directly to the ground. There are sanitary dump stations at the park you can use.
  12. Camper’s copies of permits must be displayed and always on hand. You lose the permit, and you lose your camping site.

COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

Always practice the disciple of social distancing at the campsite. Heed to the advice of health experts and institutions. If there are protocols in the national center that you need to follow, please read and follow them. You should only consider water activities and trips if you can safely have time for leisure. Do not hang in a crowded place, for it is the worst scenario that you can be in. 

Preparations

R.V. AND CAMPING ESSENTIALS INFO

Suppose you are camping in an R.V. Here are some reviews that we think can improve your comfort inside your R.V homes. There are also things that you may want to consider bringing if you are tent camping: 

  • Tent – choose your desired camping tent based on the number of people to use it. There are a lot of tents to choose from online or stores near you. Having a tent must be your number one priority when camping. The nights could be frigid, and the morning could be so hot, you need somewhere to rest and home.
  • Portable Grill/ Camp Stovehandy cooking tools are essential when camping. Fresh food is always the best when it is hot. You might want to cook the fresh fish, so this is a must.
  • Cooler/ Food Storage – food must be kept and protected if you are camping for a few days. It would be best to have a reliable storage box for food so it won’t get putrid. Having a cooler is also an excellent way to cool your drinks.
  • Camping Mattresschoosing the right mattress can save your back from extreme aching, especially if you are camping on the ground, not inside a recreational vehicle. Choose a mattress that fits great inside your log house.
  • Awningthis is excellent to join on to your recreational vehicle if you want an extra shade or set up a table beside your motorhome. 
  • LED BULBhaving an extra bulb as an emergency replacement is an absolute must, especially if you plan for an overnight.
  • R.V. T.V. – tired of playing games outside with your companions? If you have a tv inside your recreational vehicle, you won’t get bored. Having many options for entertainment on an outing is right for you. You can also get up to date with the news and weather if you have one.
  • Air Condition comfortable outing is a good sign. Suppose the site you plan to go to has high heat conditions, a working Air condition unit for your recreational vehicle, and a reliable one to include. You can buy a new one too.
  • Dehumidifier – is an excellent recreational vehicle essential to control the humidity and avoid high levels that can cause your motorhome to be moist. Having no dehumidifier installed may pose some problems if you don’t have one.
  • GPSa GPS in your recreational vehicle is essential if you do not know the place you are going to. We know that you have digital maps on your phone, but sometimes you cannot use them if you are on grounds with low coverage. The recreational vehicle GPS comes in handy in these situations. New technology can help you navigate better.
  • Sewer Hose some camps have sewage hookups. You must have a reliable hose so that it won’t leak. If you are planning to stay for a few sunrises, your tanks may get filled. You can empty them through sewer hookups by the use of your sewer hoses.
  • Convertersome recreational vehicle sites have electric hookups, but it is necessary to know your devices’ right output. In these instances, a reliable converter comes in handy.
  • Lock for Doorsa durable lock is essential for security. You must always keep your motorhomes secured. Doors should be closed because animals can sometimes come inside your recreational vehicle and might destroy some of your appliances inside.
  • Tow Dollyif you have an extra vehicle or something to tow, this can come in handy. You can also use it for emergencies if fellow guests on the road need help with their vehicle.
  • Portable tableware – bringing your own handy and reusable tableware is a big save and help for the environment. Make sure to also bring cleaning materials for them.
  • Ready to Eat Foods – having instant foods, can goods, food packs is the right choice. It can be for emergencies or include the fresh foods you plan to eat.
  • Personal Hygiene – remember that you should clean yourself after the exciting activities. Some camps have bathhouses, so you need to have your personal effects. If you have a recreational vehicle, these can be inside your motorhome, and you just need to prepare it and remember it. It is always better to include hygiene materials.
  • First Aid supplies – it is better to be prepared for any eventuality. If you get hurt or have a minor accident, it is better if you have the tools to treat your injuries before heading to the hospital for the right treatment. Having first-aid can minimize the chance of aggravating an injury.
  • Toilet Paperchoose the tissue brand that you are comfortable using.
  • Extra Clothes – some ground activities may get you all dirty. You might want to get changed now and then.
  • Foldable Camp Chair – This best to set up beside your camping ground or recreational vehicle for a relaxed sitting position. You can also store them away when not needed.
  • Foldable TableTable – having a table is handy when eating with the folks. Just store it away when done. A folding table is a space saver.

CAMPING GEAR AND TOOLS

Seaside camping is fun if you have the right gear to make you comfortable during your stay. Here are some of the things that you should consider bringing.

  • Rucksack
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Propane-powered lantern, solar-powered lights, or awning lights (for outdoor lighting)
  • Solar charger
  • Extension cords
  • Thermacell bug spray/ repellent
  • Water sieve
  • GPS
  • Cell signal booster
  • Compass
  • Binoculars
  • Trip chairs and folding TableTable (if not provided)
  • Pocket knife, multi-tool, pliers, and wrenches
  • Rope, cable ties, and duct tape
  • Hammock, mat patio, or patio rug

MEDICAL KIT

You should prepare for any emergency. Having a first aid kit is a vast difference in your trip. 

  • First Aid Kit
  • Ointment
  • Aloe Lotion
  • Medicines for allergies
  • Saline Solution
  • Band-aids
  • Towels

Nearby Hotels

If you did not prepare for camping, fear not. There are nearby inns where you can try to relax and rest to prepare for the next set of activities at IBSP.

Nearby Restaurant

Are you hungry and looking for a place to eat? We got you covered. Must try the nearest restaurants from IBSP that you can drop by and satisfy your hungry tummies.

Camp Rates and Fees

The full amount of the camping fee and, if applicable, the management shall collect the fee when the permit is issued. If you have checks, they shall be made payable to the Department of Natural Resources and the site identified.

PARK SEASON

SITE TYPE

RATES

Walk-in

01 April 2021 – 30 April 2021

Standard – A Premium

Youth Group Camp

10 USD to 25 USD

20 USD

Peak

01 May 2021 – 30 September 2021

Standard – A Premium

Youth Group Camp

10 USD to 25 USD

20 USD

Walk-in

01 October 2021 – 31 December 202

Standard – A Premium

Youth Group Camp

10 USD to 25 USD

20 USD

The reservation fee for Shelters is 25 USD for each 24hour the shelter is reserved. All Shelter fees are non-refundable unless the zone is closed by the management. Upon vacating the site, shelter users need to remove all personal things and place all trash in the appropriate disposal spot located at the site. Founders cleaning up the area after you leave can result in a fee of $50. Unable to pay the disposal fee results in a consequence, which is a denial of future reservations until you pay the fee in full.

Payment Instruction and Reservation Policy

Park reservations must be at least three days ahead of arrival to the park. A reservation can also be 180 days in advance. You can read the specific encampment at https://www.reserveamerica.com. You can pay for the reservation online.

The person 18 years of age or older must be the one to register for the visiting or camping party, and this is a sign of acknowledgment and compliance to the rules and regulations of the park of the people involved.

Conclusion

An ideal place for a fun and unique getaway experience that is what Illinois Beach State Park will give you. Moreover, the area is rich in natural features that will leave you in awe. You will be able to experience all that nature has to offer.

We hope that we have provided you with beautiful insights regarding Illinois Beach State Park. We are sure that this will help you on your next trip to Illinois.

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