Park Ave
Boating Facility
Park Avenue Barge & ramp scheduled to open Summer 2023. Learn more.

Park Avenue Breakwater and Boat Ramp Replacement Project Update

Tuesday, May 23

Construction continues to progress at the Park Avenue Boating Facility. With the summer boating season underway, we will send regular project updates until completion to inform facility users. Our goal is to provide all users with a safe, welcoming, and extraordinary experience.  

The concrete surface of the new breakwater is complete, providing critical protection and safe access to Lake Michigan from the south beach. While our project goal was to complete all construction by the Memorial Day holiday weekend, challenging lake conditions have extended the completion of the concrete boat launch and ancillary items on the breakwater.

As a result, these amenities will remain closed until construction is completed.  While we are hopeful construction will be completed in the next few weeks, Power Boats and PWCs will not be permitted to launch at Park Avenue until the concrete ramp is safely accessible. While we are excited to open the south beach and sand ramp to all non-motorized boaters over the Memorial Day Weekend, our Power Boat and PWC Season Launch Pass Holders with a Highland Park Launch Sticker will be provided free launch access at Winnetka’s Lloyd Beach, 799 Sheridan Rd., until construction at Park Avenue has been finalized. 

The south beach and sand ramp at Park Ave will be available beginning Memorial Day Weekend for launching sailboats, kayaks, and standup paddle boards.  PWCs will not be permitted to launch from the sand ramp.  

Due to ongoing construction, vehicles will only be allowed in and out access to the boating facility from the west side of the water plant. Limited parking will be available at the south and north lots only.   Park District staff will be on hand daily for Park Ave launch sticker holders from 9 am – 11 pm to open the west side gate and ensure safe traffic flow.   

We will continue to keep you updated on the project’s progress.  In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us, Debbie Pierce, 847.579.4047 or, Kari Acevedo, 847.579.4051

About Park Ave Boating Facility

Park Avenue Boating Facility provides value to its users, including sailors, paddleboarders, fishermen, powerboaters, and leisure visitors.

Portions of Park Avenue are owned by both the Park District and the City of Highland Park.  The Park District owns the northernmost property, including the boat storage and beach.  Like all the parks and natural areas managed by the Park District, this property is subsidized through taxation because it protects and conserves open space and promotes physical and mental well-being of our residents.  Visiting Park Avenue by bike or by foot, or even taking advantage of the small parking area to the north, are benefits offered to all Highland Park residents.  

The property to the south is owned by the City of Highland Park, which includes the road, parking spaces, and land where the south storage pad, yacht club building, and concrete boat launch are located.  The site is also home to the Highland Park Water Treatment Plant, which provides safe drinking water to Highland Park and surrounding communities.   The barge, owned by the Park District, is located adjacent to the south property.  

The Park Avenue Boating Facility features a concrete ramp, sand launching ramp, two parking lots, three boat storage areas, and is home to the North Shore Yacht Club. The facility’s north storage area accommodates boats up to 25’, power boats, sailboats, and personal water crafts. The south storage area accommodates sailboats up to 18′. Additional space is available for sail/mast storage as well as rack/cable storage for kayaks and sunfish.

Boaters must have a season pass for entry and follow strict guidelines. Parking at the Park Avenue Boating Facility is restricted only to boaters and patrons who have purchased a parking decal (see below). Please contact Debbie Pierce at with questions on purchasing storage and launch passes.

Swimming is not permitted at any beach at Park Avenue. Lakefront swimming is allowed at Rosewood Beach.

Vehicular Traffic

Two-way Traffic at Park Avenue Boating Facility

Parking and Traffic Assistance

Vessel Safety Checks

The Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla is providing free safety checks for Park Avenue boaters starting at 9am on Saturday, May 27.  Safety checks are by appointment only and will be on the following dates:

There are new important federal regulations relating to safety equipment that will be reviewed online and/or when setting up your appointment so that you will be prepared to pass your vessel safety check. Please contact Donna Feldman at 847.597.8125 to schedule your vessel safety check.   

Boaters towing their vessels may also schedule safety checks in Deerfield.  Contact Donna Feldman at 847.597.8125. Please slowly and clearly leave your name and phone number.  Please allow one to two days for a response.

If you have any questions about the Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla vessel examination program, please feel free to contact Donna.

All USCG Vessel Safety Checklists must be PASSED prior to launching motorized vessels.

Lessons at the NSYC

North Shore Yacht Club

NS Yacht Club

The North Shore Yacht Club (NSYC) is an affordable membership organization for sailors, kayakers, power boaters, stand up paddlers and fun social events. As a volunteer organization, we are open to residents of all communities.  NSYC offers Learn to Sail, Kayak, and Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) lessons. Sailing lessons run June-July. Kayak and SUP classes run throughout the summer season

Rentals & Parties

The clubhouse is located on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, is open to the general public for rentals and is the ideal venue for your celebration, birthday party, rehearsal dinner, graduation party or your corporate outing.