While Lake County has experienced much in the way of development over the years, it has still worked to preserve its abounding natural beauty. In this area alone are 75 inland lakes, thousands of acres of forest preserves and 37 public golf courses—not to mention the presence of the popular Chain O’Lakes State Park, which stretches over 6,000 acres of outdoor diversions.
Outdoor enthusiasts will also relish in the beauty, education and recreation of the more than 26,800 acres composing the Lake County Forest Preserves system. Award-winning facilities and preserves dot the landscape of the county, offering unlimited opportunities for year-round outdoor recreation. Miles of trails, golfing, fishing, snowmobiling, horseback riding, boating, cross-country skiing and educational classes are just some of the many activities found within the preserves.
The Lake County Forest Preserves system manages the great Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway as well. This area covers more than 3,000 acres of land, featuring an extensive trail system (currently, 31 miles of the trail is open). Spanning virtually the entire length of Lake County, the Des Plaines River Trail links the forest preserves with area parks and the county’s communities.
Winthrop Harbor is home to the largest contained marina in the inland U.S., accommodating vessels up to 120 feet in length. North Point Marina is complete with 1,500 slips along Lake Michigan, along with a restaurant, nature preserves, charter fishing, a boardwalk, beaches and trails for hiking and biking.
In addition to these wonderful outdoor spaces is the establishment of many area park districts, the Northern Lake YMCA and YWCA Lake County, as well as recreational programming offered through local governments.
Gurnee Park District
Lake County Forest Preserves
North Point Marina
Northern Lake YMCA
Waukegan Park District
YWCA Lake County