The Northern Lakeshore Trail Connectivity Plan was completed in September of 2020 and adopted by the Village of Beach Park on November 11, 2020. The Village of Beach Park acted as the lead agency on the regional bicycle and pedestrian project with Zion, Waukegan, North Chicago, and Winthrop Harbor. The effort was funded by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), through its Local Technical Assistance program. Recommendations contained within the plan establish a network of more than 100 miles of improved walking and bicycling infrastructure. The plan envisions a connected network of trails for walking and bicycling that is safe & accessible, healthy, connected, and growing. This will be realized by the Northern Lakeshore communities in a robust network of infrastructure to support walking and bicycling for people of all ages and abilities.
These improvements will further connect the communities and the region’s key partner in open space and natural resource conservation: Illinois Beach State Park managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). As the managing agency for the Coastal Management Program, Recreational Trails Program, and Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, and several other programs, IDNR holds the unique position of supporting improved access to open space, the lakefront, and recreational opportunities while also leading conservation and preservation efforts. Together, IDNR and the Northern Lakeshore communities have established a plan to advance regional trail connectivity goals, track implementation of the plan, and align with the objectives of ON TO 2050, the regional comprehensive plan for the Chicago metropolitan region prepared by CMAP, which funded
The communities that participated are now taking action to adopt the plan. The plan includes the following sections:
1. Overview. Background information.
2. Design guidelines. Selecting the appropriate type of facility for the user and location.
3. Trail network maps. Bike and pedestrian paths for each community to pursue.
4. Programs and Policies. Steps that the towns can take to support biking and walking.
5. Funding and Implementation Strategy. Guidance to prioritize projects to achieve strategic objectives.