Highland Park, IL  has over 40 parks within its 12 square miles, ranging from large areas designed for play, sports and picnics like the renown Sunset Park, to the charming and secluded Millard Park,  to even a few undeveloped parks. Here are some highlights:

Got Tots? Check out the Rory David Deutsch Memorial Tot Lot on Hilary Lane,  Brown Park at Burton and Highland Place,  or Cloverdale Park, between Cloverdale and Eastwood in Sherwood Forest.

Rory David Deutsch Tot Lot-PDHP.ORG

Looking for a bit of history? Try Founder’s Park, the historical gateway to the city, on Lake Cook Road at St. John’s.  Also check out Laurel Park at St. John’s and Laurel, outside the Highland Park Library.  This park features several different gardens as well as the Francis Stupey log cabin, which was built in 1847 and is Highland Park’s oldest standing structure. Memorial Park honors Highland Park’s World War I heroes. With the construction of the Bob Robinson bandstand in 1980, this grassy triangle has become a popular summer gathering place.

Francis Stupey Log Cabin - PDHP.ORG

To take in some amazing views of Lake Michigan, head to Central Park. Located at the very end of Central Ave., this park offers  picnic space on a bluff overlooking the lake and boat launch. A new play area for children 2-12 is planned for later this year.

Want to see Highland Park’s largest burr oak tree? Head over to Carroll F. Snyder Park, a half block north of Roger Williams on Pleasant Ave.

Bicentennial Oak Tree - PDHP.ORG


Like to bird watch? Check out Foley’s Pond on McDaniel’s just south of Bob-O-Link.  This incredible natural area is part of the important Lake Michigan Flyway and is an excellent rest stop for migratory birds as it provides shelter, water, seeds and berries.  You might even spot some rare species there.  The pond was formed in 1897 when the Foley family, mining for clay to make bricks, hit an underground spring which quickly filled up to create a pond.  Who knew?

Foley's Pond - PDHP.ORG

Looking for a nice, quiet place to picnic?  Chicago Magazine named Millard Park, at the end of Ravine Drive,  “Best Secluded Picnic Spot.”  This park also has beach access, perennial gardens, and allows fishing.

Millard Park - PDHP.ORG

My two Alaskan Malamutes LOVE to swim, so we head to Moraine Park on Sheridan Rd. at Moraine Rd. This park offers an off-leash exercise beach area for your canine buddy from  April 1 through October 31.

The  Park Ave. Boating/Fishing Beach, located where Park Ave. meets the lake, is just what it says it is! The Park Avenue beach features a concrete ramp and sand launching ramp, two parking lots and two boat storage areas. The Park Avenue facility is home to the North Shore Yacht Club and is available for rentals from May 1-October 31. Swimming is not permitted at the Park Avenue Beach.

Park Avenue Beach at sunset - PDHP.ORG

When the weather (finally) heats up, and you’re ready for a swim, Rosewood Beach and Park is the place to go. Rosewood Park has trails for hiking, parking lots, beach access, playgrounds, and picnic areas. Upper Rosewood has a Jens Jensen reflecting pond.

…And that’s just a few of the many parks Highland Park has to offer!  This summer, I’m going to grab my kids and our picnic basket, and check out some of the parks we’ve never been to (or even heard of!) before.

For more info on Highland Park parks, check out the Park District of Highland Park’s website by clicking here.

This post is categorized under Highland Park Happenings, which shares important, worthwhile and fun things going on around Highland Park.