A Walk at Illinois Beach State Park – South Unit

Illinois Beach State Park became a state park in 1948 and the southern most area became a Nature Preserve in 1964. The Nature Preserve is also a national natural landmark and the entire park is certified as a RAMSAR wetland of significant importance. The lake shore is the last remnant lake shore in Illinois. The ridge and swale topography of the park was created around 15,000 years ago as the last glacier receded. More than 650 species of plants have been verified as occurring here and there are 14 ecosystems. The entire park covers about 4200 acres of beach, prairie, wetlands, and woodlands.


We will walk on the gravel loop trail in the Nature Area and make a stop to

Dead River – Illinois Beach State Park

look at Dead River. The walk will be about 2.5 miles on level ground. Some of the less common plants we will see are Prickly Pear cactus, Horizontal juniper, and Bearberry. The park is a unique area and we will see plants that are not common in other parts of Lake County. IBSP is also an Important Birding Area with many migrating birds stopping as they migrate north and south.


Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

Directions:  The entrance to IBSP – South is Wadsworth  Road.  Once you cross Sheridan Road in Zion you are entering IBSP. Cross the railroad tracks.  At the stop sign,  go straight. Follow the road past the Group Camping Area and  a gated road on the right.  Watch the signs and the first roadway is to the Nature Area parking lot. If you get the Resort you have gone a little too far.  




Date: Saturday August 28, 2021        

Eastern Prickly Pear (Opuntia humifusa)

Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm

Guide: Don Wilson

We will meet up in the Nature Area parking lot.  Please RSVP Pam Wolfe at [email protected] if you would like to attend. There is a 25 person limit.