Wavecrest Island
Wavecrest Island's Information
Type: State Park
Rating: 2 Stars
Location: 761 Lake Shore Drive (Ferry)
Fame: Picnic Area
Atmosphere: Park-y
Owner(s): Illinois Parks and Recreation Department
Manager(s): N/A
Employee(s): N/A
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Description

Welcome to Wavecrest Island State Park, an artificially created landform that covers a few square miles, constructed as both a getaway and wild life refuge. The island rises from Lake Michigan, built from countless tons of dirt and concrete, though becoming purely soil at the top. Trees dot the entire area, thin at first near the entrance but becoming quickly more and more dense as one ventures out. The usual courtesies are placed here at the entrance: a small restroom, park benches and tables set over into the picnic area, a tourist booth and ranger's station. Truly a pristine place, a nice getaway to visit nature away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Picnic Area

This is one of the simple picnic areas, the one here having been set conveniently close to the main entrance of the island. Built on a little grass clearing, it looks out over the water, the dense forest being to its back side. Several concrete benches have been erected, alongside steel barbaeque grills, and there is a small dark path that runs back out into the woods, one that appears heavily used and covered in loose dust. Small wall-less kiosks with wooden tables cement bases stand here and there, little more than roofs on stilts, to allow for picnicing in inclement weather.

Woods

One emerges into a clearing between evergreen trees that tower overhead, their thick branches and trunks circling, overshadowing, and guarding this area. Around the clearing, the forest floor is covered thickly by dense brush, huge ferns, and mosses, occasionally showing the bulge of a rock or stump. A break in the trees shows this clearing to be at the top of a small ridge that overlooks another clearing down below holding the remains of a small homestead - a few broken down and rotting log cabins that sport the occasional deer-skull. A plume of smoke rises from one of the more stable-looking structures.

One end of this clearing is home to a small stream, its waters crystal clear and often ice cold from the spring that feeds it. At the ridge, it falls downwards, the play of water creating a light mist about the short waterfall as it tumbles into a pool below before continuing on behind one of the cabins and into the forest beyond.

Details

Wavecrest Island was first started in the early 1900s along with the temporary creation of Northerly Island (now connected to the mainland and home of the Shedd Aquarium), and was completed in late 1999. Three miles at its widest and seven miles long, the island takes up eight square miles in a rough crescent.

For many years, the Whispering Creek Lukoi pack used Wavecrest as their home base, before pulling up stakes and moving shop in 2005. After that point, there has been a slightly higher frequency of fairy activity. Given its earlier life as a lycanthrope haven, one can easily find game animals that were introduced by the pack (rabbits, deer, et cetera) as well as a few homestead structures.

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