Lane Beach spans more than three picturesque acres in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. The surrounding park has gorgeous florals, a pergola, and a large playground for children. There’s even a book recycle box so parents can read while little ones play. The beach and playground are both accessible, and swimming is permitted during lifeguarded hours. If you enjoy paddle sports and boating, there is access to the Lake Michigan Water Trail from Lane Beach.
Lane Beach History
Known for many years as Thorndale Avenue Beach Park due to its geographical location, the park was renamed in 1975 after George A. Lane. Lane was a community resident who was always active in church/civic affairs, politics, and philanthropy for more than 30 years. He was a lawyer in Chicago for 50 years, serving as chief council to the Metropolitan Sanitary District and was Democratic committeeman for the 49th ward in the 1950s and ’60s.
Lane Beach Park is one of the 18 street-end beaches that the Chicago Park District acquired from the City of Chicago in 1959. Unlike the city’s large municipal beaches, this park had no changing rooms or facilities, but was always staffed by lifeguards. The Lincoln Park board once considered expanding Lincoln Park north to Devon Avenue, but it never occurred, leaving Edgewater residents without easy access to Lincoln Park’s spacious beaches. Lane Beach provided a key recreational outlet to these residents.
Lane Beach Details
Lane Beach Park includes spacious green spaces with flowering gardens and a large covered pergola. There is also an accessible playground for children atop a rubberized surface. Beach access is also accessible, and residents are able to swim daily from 11am to 7pm during lifeguarded hours.
There’s no distance swimming, but the beach provides access to the Lake Michigan Water Trail for paddle and board sports like kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding. Launch is available near the street-end access of Ardmore or Thorndale.
There are no bathrooms or changing rooms, but residents love this picturesque escape along the sandy shoreline. With more than three acres, Lane Beach is a great place to get active or spend the afternoon having a picnic in the grassy areas near the playground.
There is limited street parking, or you can reach the park via public transit at the Thorndale CTA Red Line Station or an array of CTA bus routes.
Lane Beach Events
This family-friendly beach hosts many events throughout the summer. The Cultural Program Art Cart at the Park visits lane beach for creative activities for kids ages 4 to 10. The fun can include dance, theatre, woodcraft, music and art. Other live music and craft pop-ups like Paper Scissors Rock and Roll stop at Lane Beach Park for children throughout the season.