Openlands Lakeshore Preserve
Fort Sheridan, Ill. (312) 863-6250
Hours: 6:30 a.m.-sunset
Located just 25 miles north of Chicago, the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve presents one of the last remaining ravine and bluff ecosystems in the metropolitan region. The preserve consists of two continuous miles of shoreline unspoiled by development. Be aware before heading out though--this is a nonswimming beach and there are no public restrooms. There's no parking at the preserve, so park on the streets nearby. To find the park from North Sheridan Road, park on either Lyster or Westover roads and proceed east by foot to reach the top of Bartlett Ravine, the main entry to the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve. Or take Metra to the Highwood stop. The walk from the train station is short and there are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat or take a bathroom break before getting to the park.