Parks Rules & Information

The Wildwood Park District is responsible for 11 beautiful parks, including four swimming beaches, seven playgrounds, two boat ramps, nine fishing locations, three picnic pavilions, two ponds, and much more! The Park District also manages 13-acre Valley Lake and sections of 143-acre Gages Lake, in conjunction with the Gages Lake Conservation Committee and Illinois Depart of Natural Resources.

Rules & Regulations

  • Beaches are open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
  • Beaches are licensed and monitored (on a weekly basis) by the Lake County Health Department in-season.
  • There are NO LIFEGUARDS on duty. Swim at your own risk. Swimming is allowed in designated areas only. See signage for age requirement.
  • Be cautious of currents, potentially submerged objects, rocks, and uneven grounds.
  • Alcohol, bikes, diving, fireworks, fishing, food/drinks, glass containers, motor vehicles, open fires, and pets are prohibited on the beaches.
  • Do not dig deep holes or remove sand from beaches. Please fill all holes before leaving.
  • Help keep our beaches clean. Please dispose of trash in provided receptacles and take all belongings with you when leaving.
  • Bi-weekly water quality testing done by Lake County Health Department Memorial Day-Labor Day & as needed to ensure water safety.
  • Beaches will close per the Lake County Health Department for poor water quality.
  • Do not dive from piers or swim around piers.
  • To report suspicious activity, call the Lake County Sheriff at 847.549.5200. For emergencies, dial 911.

  • The beach water is not suitable for drinking. Avoid swallowing beach water.
  • Admission to the beach may be refused to all persons having any contagious disease, infectious conditions such as colds, fever, ringworm, foot infections, skin lesions, carbuncles, boils, diarrhea, vomiting, inflamed eyes, ear discharges, or any other condition which has the appearance of being infectious. Persons with excessive sunburn, abrasions which have not healed, corn plasters, bunion pads, adhesive tape, rubber bandages, or other bandages of any kind may also be refused admittance. A person under the influence of alcohol or exhibiting erratic behavior shall not be permitted in the beach area.
  • Littering is prohibited. In addition, no food, drink, gum or tobacco is allowed in the water. Glass containers are prohibited throughout the beach area.
  • All children who are not toilet-trained shall wear tight fitting rubber or plastic pants.
  • No one should swim alone.
  • Persons under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a responsible person 16 years of age or older.
  • Personal conduct within the beach must be such that safety is not jeopardized.
  • Diving is not permitted.
  • Swimming is prohibited after sunset or before sunrise, or when lightning is present, including a 15-minute period after the last lightning is observed.
  • No pets are permitted in the beach area.
  • Feeding of wildlife or other actions that encourage their presence is prohibited.
  • Patrons are encouraged to protect themselves from sun exposure.

Boating Rules

  • Travel the lake in a counter-clockwise rotation and observe “no wake” zones.
  • Boats must not enter buoyed swimming areas. Be cautious of possible swimmers outside the swimming areas, near anchored boats, or exercising/training.
  • Vessels towing persons on water skis or other devices must display a skier-towing flag from the highest point around the vessel’s helm so that it is visible from all directions at all times while a person is in the water preparing to be towed. The flag, which must be bright orange and must be at least 12” X 12” in size, may not be used for any other purpose.
  • Power boats must yield right of way to sail boats.
  • Gages Lake is a multi-sport resource. Please be respectful of other boaters, kayakers, paddle boards/boats, and swimmers.

Boat Ramp Rules

  • All launched watercrafts must have a valid Wildwood Park District watercraft decal adhered to the port side of the watercraft midway between the bow and stern.
  • Boat ramp keys are for Wildwood Park District residents only. Keys may not be copied, sold, or loaned out.
  • Lock the ramp before leaving the area. Take your key out of the lock. Lost keys are subject to regular purchase fees to replace.
  • All vehicles parked at boat launches must have a current Wildwood Park District Resident Parking Sticker, or Wildwood Park District Non-Resident Parking Day Pass ($10 per vehicle).
  • Overnight parking at Wildwood Park District piers is not allowed.
  • Boat trailers and vehicles may not be parked in the Church parking lot near Pebble Beach, and are subject to ticketing and/or towing.

  • Friendly dogs are welcome in Wildwood Park District parks, and must be leashed at all times in accordance with county laws. This is for the safety and comfort of everyone using the parks.
  • Pets are not allowed in beach swim areas under any circumstances.
  • Owners must pick up and properly dispose of pet waste.  Mutt Mitt dog waste dispensers are available in most parks.

  • All parks are open from sunrise to dusk, with the exception of Rule Park, which is open from sunrise to 10pm. No trespassing in parks after they close.
  • Wildwood Park District Resident Vehicle Sticker is required for resident parking at the parks; available at Park District office or from Park Safety during regular hours.
  • Visitors are welcome. Non-Resident Parking Day Pass is required for parking at the parks; available for $10 per vehicle at Park District office during regular hours.
  • Wildwood Park District Resident Boat Ramp Key is required for boat launches; available for $100 at Park District office during regular hours.
  • Permit required for all groups using the parks. Commercial activities prohibited unless with special permit.
  • Pets must be leashed and under control at all times. Please clean up after your pet.
  • Pavilion rentals are available to Wildwood Park District residents only.
  • Alcohol, glass containers, hunting, firearms, fireworks, motorized vehicles, and open fires are prohibited in the parks.
  • Help keep our parks clean. Please dispose of trash properly and take all items with you when leaving.
  • To report suspicious activity, call the Lake County Sheriff at 847.549.5200. For emergencies, dial 911.


Full Park Ordinance Book

The Wildwood Park District makes available a parks ordinance booklet which lists standards of conduct and behavior in the parks.

View Park Ordinance Book

If You See Something, Say Something

The Wildwood Park District appreciates your help in reporting any problems you may find in our parks. If while enjoying the parks you encounter a safety issue or something that requires attention, please contact the Wildwood Park District office at your earliest convenience, or fill out a maintenance request below.

If you see any illegal or suspicious activity occurring in one of the parks, please first contact the Lake County Sheriff’s office non-emergency number at 847-549-5200 or 911 immediately to report the occurrence.  Park District Park Safety should also be contacted secondarily at 847.309.1478 (call or text) or This will help us better control vandalism at the parks. Park Safety staff are in season between May-mid September.