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Beaches

Our beaches are open for the 2021 season.
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About Our Beaches

Nearly ten percent of the Illinois Lake Michigan shoreline is within Highland Park. The Park District maintains four public beaches that offer public access to this magnificent natural resource. Upper parks along the bluffs connect pedestrians to each beach. 
Millard Beach A non-swimming beach for passive recreation.
Moraine Beach  Dog beach and a non-swimming beach for passive recreation. Please Note: Dog Beach is closed indefinitely. For more information, click here
Park Avenue Boating Facility   North Shore Yacht Club, concrete and sand launching ramps, and a non-swimming beach.
Rosewood Beach –  Swimming beach,  beachfront Interpretive Center, nature programming, beach yoga & volleyball.

Hours:  Beaches and parks are open from dawn until dusk.

NEW This Year!!!!   Rosewood Beach Pass and Lakefront Parking Decals 

This summer beach season, a new Rosewood Beach Swimming Pass is required for each individual to access the swimming and recreation beach coves during the swimming hours (10am-6pm daily) and  a new lakefront parking decal is required for all vehicles at all lakefront parking lots. Residents are required to purchase a decal.  Learn more and get your passes and decals. 

Beach Safety

This summer, shark signs will be posted at our non-swimming beaches as a reminder that a lifeguard is not present, and swimming is prohibited. Because swimming off a Lake Michigan beach without a lifeguard on duty can be as dangerous as swimming in shark-infested waters. 

Did You Know?

  • Lake Michigan ranks as one of the deadliest of the Great Lakes due to its strong shoreline currents and waves.
  • More than ½ of the Great Lakes’ drownings happen on Lake Michigan.
  • Of all Lake Michigan drownings, ½ occur at the southern tip of the lake (Milwaukee to Chicago to Northwest Indiana to South-west Michigan).

Lifeguards Save Lives!

The best way to stay safe at the beach is only to swim when a lifeguard is on duty. Lifeguards are the gold standard for beach safety. They are right there, trained, and ready to respond when minutes count.

Be Smart!

Only swim at a beach with a lifeguard on duty. Rosewood Beach, located at 883 Sheridan Road, is our designated swimming beach and lifeguards are on duty every day from 10am-7pm from Memorial Day weekend thru Labor Day weekend.  For more information on Rosewood Beach, click here.

For more information on the dangers of Lake Michigan, signs of drowning and beach safety tips, click here

NEW This Year!!!!   Rosewood Beach Pass and Lakefront Parking Decals 

This summer beach season, a new Rosewood Beach Swimming Pass is required for each individual to access the swimming and recreation beach coves during the swimming hours (10am-7pm daily) and a new lakefront parking decal is required for all vehicles at all lakefront parking lots. Residents are required to purchase a decal.  

Rosewood swim passes and parking decals are available at:  

    Recreation Center of Highland Park, 1207 Park Ave W.
                Mon – Th   6am-7pm
                Fri               6am-2pm
    Rosewood Beach, 883 Sheridan Rd.
                Daily           10am-6pm


Rosewood Beach Pass

This summer beach season, a new Rosewood Beach Swimming Season Pass is required for each individual to access the swimming and recreation beach coves during the swimming hours (10am-6pm daily).

Fees

Resident Season Pass – FREE (with proof of residency, see below for details) Includes 10 FREE guest passes automatically loaded to your household account. 

Additional guest passes are available to Highland Park resident households only. Residents must have a current Rosewood Beach swimming pass. Guest passes are redeemed at Rosewood Beach by using your Park District scan card during posted swimming hours. Unused punches are non-refundable and expire on September 30, 2021.  For guest passes, click here

Non-resident Season Pass –  $100 (head of household) $25 (each additional household member)  
Non-resident Daily Pass – $10 per person 

Resident Rosewood Beach Swimming Season Pass Proof of Residency Requirements

To protect the interests of Highland Park residents, the following proof of residency is required for the Rosewood Swimming Beach Season Pass. Residents must provide ONE of the following forms for proof of residency:

Adults (Ages 16 & Up) – 

  1. Current driver’s license with a Highland Park address.
  2. State of Illinois identification card with a Highland Park address.
  3. Real estate tax bill (prior year) with the owner’s name and a Highland Park address. Applicant must also present a corresponding photo ID.
  4. Current automobile registration with name and Highland Park address. Applicant must also present a corresponding photo ID.
  5. Copy of a real estate contract with a Highland Park address stating a closing date. Applicant must also present a corresponding photo ID.
  6. A current utility bill with resident’s name. Applicant must also present a corresponding photo ID.
  7. Current rental lease with name and Highland Park address. Applicant must also present corresponding photo ID.

Children (Ages 4-15) –
Parent/guardian may need to provide a birth certificate or other proper document(s) to show proof of parental relationship or guardianship between the child(ren) and the adult(s) applying for the swimming beach pass.

For Frequently Asked Questions, click here


Lakefront Parking Decal

This year, a new lakefront parking decal is required for all vehicles at all lakefront parking lots. Residents are required to purchase a decal.

Lakefront Season Parking Decal Fees

Resident Season Parking Decal: $30 (with proof of residency, see below for details)
Provides parking access every day including holidays through December 31, 2021 at the following beach lots: Lower Rosewood, Upper Rosewood, Park Avenue –  North Lot, Central Park – Upper Lot, Millard, and Moraine. Valid dawn to dusk every day.

Non-resident Season Parking Decal: $285   
Provides parking access every day, excluding holidays, through December 31, 2021 to the following beach lots: Upper Rosewood, Park Avenue –  North Lot, Central Park –  Upper Lot, Millard, and Moraine. Valid dawn to dusk every day, excluding holidays.

Non-resident Daily Parking Fee (Upper Rosewood Lot only): $40/4 hours or $15/hour
Pay at upper lot auto-attendant. Not valid on holidays (July 4, Memorial Day, and Labor Day). No Non-resident daily parking allowed at Moraine, Central, Millard, Park Avenue North Lot, Rosewood Lower Lot.

For Park Ave Boating Facility Season Parking Decal, click here

*Resident Lakefront Parking Decal Proof of Residency Requirements 

To protect the interests of Highland Park residents, one of the following proof of residency is required to purchase a Resident Lakefront Parking Decal:

  1. Current driver’s license with a Highland Park address.
  2. State of Illinois identification card with a Highland Park address.
  3. Real estate tax bill (prior year) with the owner’s name and a Highland Park address. Applicant must also present a corresponding photo ID.
  4. Current automobile registration with name and Highland Park address. Applicant must also present a corresponding photo ID.
  5. Copy of a real estate contract with a Highland Park address stating a closing date. Applicant must also present a corresponding photo ID.
  6. A current utility bill with resident’s name. Applicant must also present a corresponding photo ID.
  7. Current rental lease with name and Highland Park address. Applicant must also present a corresponding photo ID.

If you are purchasing more than one parking decal per adult residing in the household, in addition to proof of residency, you must also provide proof of vehicle ownership (vehicle registration or lease documents, names/addresses must match above proof of residency documentation) for each vehicles you are requesting a decal.

*The same proof of residency applies to Park District tax paying residents not living within the city of Highland Park including residents of Fort Sheridan (60037); portions of the Town of Fort Sheridan that lie within Park District boundaries (60035); and Park District of Highland Park taxpayers who reside on the following Kings Cove (Deerfield) streets: Carriage Way, Bent Creek Ridge, Fox Hunt Trail, Millstone Road, Shag Bark Lane, Smoke Tree Road and Tanglewood Court.

For Frequently Asked Questions, click here.


Lakefront Parking Chart

 Lakefront Parks/Beaches
(Moraine, Central, Millard,
Park Ave - North Lot,
Rosewood - Upper Lot)
Rosewood - Lower Lot Park Avenue Boating Facility
(South Lot)
Residents
Resident Lakefront Parking DecalResident Lakefront Parking Decal
*Park Ave Season Decal
Non-residents
Non-resident Lakefront Parking Decal
or
Daily Parking Fee

Note: Daily Fee and Non-resident Decal
are not valid on holidays (Memorial Day,
July 4th, Labor Day)
No Non-resident Parking Allowed*Park Ave Season Parking Decal

*Park Avenue Boating Facility Season Parking Decal –  For purchase details, click here


General Parking Information 

Parking is allowed during posted times. Gates will close promptly at the time indicated. The Park District will not be responsible for vehicles in lots after posted gate closure time. Vehicles will be available for retrieval the following day. The Park District of Highland Park enforced parking fine is $75 per occurrence for not having proper Park District of Highland Park season decals or daily parking passes. No exceptions.

We All Know There are No Sharks in Lake Michigan.

This summer, shark signs are posted at our non-swimming beaches as a reminder that a lifeguard is not present, and swimming is prohibited. Because swimming off a Lake Michigan beach without a lifeguard on duty can be as dangerous as swimming in shark-infested waters.

The Dangers of the Lake

According to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP), Lake Michigan ranks as the deadliest Great Lake where dangerous shoreline currents and strong waves are common. Lake Michigan is 307 miles long and 118 miles at its widest point. When northerly winds travel the length of Lake Michigan, it has a lot of “fetch” to create dangerous currents and high waves. In its simplest term, lake fetch is the maximum length of open water wind can travel. Waves form by the wind. The longer wind blows over a long expanse of water, the more energy builds up, creating bigger, high-energy waves, and those waves create dangerous currents.

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project tracks all drownings that happen on the Great Lakes. Since 2010, the GLSRP has tracked over 950 Great Lakes drownings. More than ½ of those drownings happened on Lake Michigan, and ½ of those drownings occurred at this southern tip of the lake (Milwaukee to Chicago to Northwest Indiana to Southwest Michigan).

Lifeguards Save Lives!

Be Smart!

Only swim at a beach with a lifeguard on duty. Rosewood Beach, located at 883 Sheridan Road, is our designated swimming beach and lifeguards are on duty every day from 10am-7pm from Memorial Day weekend thru Labor Day.  For more information on Rosewood Beach, click here.

Signs of Drowning

Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death in the U.S. and the world. According to the Center for Disease Control, drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death in children 1-4, and #2 in children under 15. Most people who drown are good swimmers. Unlike in movies, drowning happens quickly and often quietly. Drowning victims are often silently trying to stay above water, facing the shore and making motions as if they are climbing a ladder. Their body will be in a vertical position in the water, head back, and mouth at water level.

The Timeline of Drowning Survivability:

  • >1 Minute – If a person is actively drowning, they will likely submerge in less than 60 seconds.
  • 2 Minutes – A submerged drowning victim has a 94% survival rate if recovered, and CPR and artificial respiration is performed correctly.
  • 3 Minutes – The heart may stop.
  • 4 Minutes – Irreversible brain damage begins.
  • 10 Minutes – Around ten minutes of submersion, a drowning victim only has a 14% survival rate if recovered, and CPR and artificial respiration is performed correctly. (These survivors will usually have moderate to severe brain injury.)

Here are Other Critical Life-Saving Tips from the Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium:

Life Jackets are Cool – Drowning? Not so much. Navy Seals are the best swimmers in the world, and they wear them. You don’t put your seat belt or bike helmet on as you’re crashing. Don’t just bring it, wear it!

Break the Grip of the Rip – Rip currents, the most well-known type of current, can occur at any beach when there is wave action. Rip currents have always been in the Great Lakes, and they can be even more dangerous than those in the ocean because the escape time between waves is often less. People caught in these currents find themselves being pulled out into deeper water, even while actively swimming against the current. These channels and currents can form and change location very quickly when there is high wave action. If you get caught in a rip current, don’t fight the current, but swim parallel to the shore until you leave the channel and can swim back to the beach.`

Flip, Float, and Follow – If you get caught in a strong current or other drowning situation, you should flip, float and follow. First, flip onto your back and float, keeping your head above water. Floating can help calm you down and helps to conserve your energy. Finally, follow the current until you no longer feel the pull, and it is safe to try and swim back to shore. Never try to fight a current. Also, if you are close to the shore, call out for help.

Steer Clear of the Pier – Structural currents occur where a structure, like a pier, changes the flow of the water as waves bounce off the beach. They may occur at fixed locations such as groins, jetties, piers, or other man-made structures where water can be funneled out to open water in a narrow channel. In areas with structures, structural currents may result when longshore currents running parallel to the shore are deflected offshore by the structure. Even in calm weather, these currents can exist, unseen below the surface of the water.

Stay Dry When the Waves Are High – Waves can not only create dangerous currents, but they also can crash over structures like piers, knocking people off of them. It doesn’t take much water to knock an adult off their feet and into the water, where they may injure themselves on rocks alongside the pier or end up in the water at risk for drowning. It is best to stay away from the water when the waves are high.