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Openlands Lakeshore Preserve

Located just 25 miles north of Chicago, the preserve presents a rare opportunity to visit one of the last remaining ravine and bluff ecosystems in the metropolitan region.

With a $4 million grant from the Grand Victoria Foundation, environmentally rich areas have been carefully restored, and an innovative interpretive plan enables visitors to experience more than a mile of Lake Michigan shoreline and extraordinary ravine habitat in a completely unique way. In 2013 the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission designated the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve as an Illinois Nature Preserve.


Bartlett Tree Experts is the official arborist of the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve.

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Plan Your Visit

Make a day of it! Stay organized on your trip to the Preserve and make the most of your visit.

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Trails at the Lakeshore Preserve

The Van Horne Ravine Overlook provides visitors with two powerful sights: to the west, a treetop view of Van Horne Ravine (one of three rare lakefront ravines at the Preserve) and to the east, the vast expanse of Lake Michigan.

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Notices and Alerts

Stay in the loop with upcoming events and projects happening at the Preserve.

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Audio Tour

Explore the Preserve through words of the people who know it best.

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Art and Interpretation

Openlands believes art in our open spaces gives voice to landscapes and offers a unique perspective to appreciate nature. The Preserve acts as a natural canvas for a wide array of such art.

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Stewardship of Native Ecosystems

Located just 25 miles north of Chicago, the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve presents a rare opportunity to visit one of the last remaining ravine and bluff ecosystems in the metropolitan region.

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History

Learn about how the Preserve came to be what it is today.

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Permits

Visitors who wish to hold events or fulfill other special requests are required to obtain a permit.