The Friends of Lake Forest Parks & Recreation Foundation is fundraising to transform Forest Park Beach by creating a new pathway to rebuild a pedestrian connection----Donation_Tracker_SocialMedia.jpg between the bluff and the beach.

As of February 1, 2024, our total stands at nearly 2.6 million! It's exhilarating to be closer to our $2.8 million goal, which includes a generous lead donation of $500,000 and the City of Lake Forest's contribution of $1,336,000.

The upcoming pathway will revive the serene vista and the meandering stroll from the bluff to the beach, a cherished memory for many residents and a delight for generations to come. Donations of any amount are welcome and appreciated.

The Friends of Lake Forest Parks & Recreation Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) Illinois nonprofit organization, and all donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Watch a virtual tour of the ADA-accessible and stroller-friendly boardwalk the Forest Park Beach Pathway Project will make a reality!
Have you seen the story posted on Lake Forest Love? This article perfectly describes the fond memories of the old boardwalk that the community has been missing for the past five years. With your help, the new pathway will bring back the peaceful view and the meandering walk from the bluff to the beach and will be enjoyed for generations to come.

Please join the effort!

Donate Now



  • The wooden boardwalk at the south end of Forest Park Beach opened in 1987.
  • In 2018, the boardwalk was closed due to deterioration and removed. Recreation staff and community stakeholders met at the South Pavilion and shared their thoughts and ideas for replacing the boardwalk.
  • 2019: Due to damage from storms and flooding, the focus shifted to the North Beach Access Road and Bluff Restoration.
  • 2022: Plans and proposed costs submitted for the new pathway design.
  • 2023: Fundraising is underway to rebuild and re-imagine the boardwalk.


  • This project presents a unique opportunity to provide a new pathway that is safe, functional, ADA compliant, and a beautiful asset to Forest Park Beach.
  • With support from private donors and the City of Lake Forest, the community will enjoy this enhancement to the bluff for generations to come.


  • Walking access between Forest Park bluff and the beach.
  • ADA-compliant access for persons with disabilities.
  • Easy access for strollers, wagons, etc.
  • The construction materials are wood and steel.
  • Landscaping will complement and carry the aesthetic of Forest Park Beach.
  • The pathway will start at the upper south parking lot and end at the playground.
  • There will be two overlooks to rest and enjoy the view.
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THE CREST: $100,000 & Above
HIGH TIDE: $50,000 & Above
LAKE EFFECT: $25,000 & Above
MAKING WAVES: $10,000 & Above
BREAKWATER: $5,000 & Above
BEACHCOMBER: $1,000 & Above

Your gift of $1000 or more ensures your family name will be listed permanently on our donor board at the North Pavilion.

Donations of any amount are welcome and appreciated!

Donations of any amount are welcome and appreciated!

MAIL: Mail your donation (payable to The Friends of Lake Forest Parks & Recreation Foundation) to 400 Hastings Rd, Lake Forest, IL 60045.

ONLINE: Donate Now


Fundraising Committee:

  • Rick Amos
  • Kendall Davis
  • Nicole Fabiano-Oertel
  • Pat Hoch
  • PJ O'Neil

Parks & Recreation Staff:

  • Joe Mobile, Interim Director of Lake Forest Parks & Recreation