Frequently Asked Questions

Where should I park?

Free parking is available at the south access road to the Park that starts at the end of Erie Street at the river mouth. Turn left at the end of E. Erie St. Follow the road east under the Hoan Bridge and park on the road shoulder nearest the turn-around at the end of the road.

Near the north entrance, there is limited free parking on N. Harbor Dr. near Summerfest’s north gate, and along Clybourn St. leading up to Discovery World. Parking near the north entrance is extremely limited during the business week and may be closed off during Summerfest Grounds events.

Paid parking is available at the O’Donnell Parking Garage at 910 E Michigan St, across from the Milwaukee Art Museum. Limited paid parking is available at Discovery World during their regular business hours only.

Are dogs allowed in the Park?

Dogs are allowed in the Park. For the protection of our wildlife and prairies, all pets must remain on a leash no longer than 8 ft in length and under the owner’s control. Please clean up after your pet and dispose of any waste in the trash receptacles at the north and south entrances to the Park.

Where are the bathrooms located?

Portable toilets are available at the south entrance to the Park, behind Summerfest’s amphitheater, and at the north end of the Park, at the northwest corner of the Summerfest gates. Discovery World has public restrooms that can be accessed during their normal business hours.

Is there potable water available at the Park?

Unfortunately, we do not have water fountains or running water in the Park. Please plan accordingly and bring adequate water/juice/soda, and dispose of empty bottles in the trash receptacles at the north or south end of the Park

Is grilling allowed in the Park?

Grilling and campfires are not allowed in Lakeshore State Park without a permit.

I would like to take a picture standing in the prairie, is this allowed?

To ensure that our prairie plants do not get damaged, we ask that park patrons remain on trails and lawn areas. The prairies take years to establish, and stepping on young growth can damage a plant enough that it does not recover. Feel free to take pictures in front of our prairies, but please respect the amount of time and work it takes to restore areas of native prairies.

Can I ride a motorized skateboard (or similar device) through the Park?

As part of the State Park System, motorized vehicles of any kind are prohibited. This includes Segways, hoverboards, electric skateboards/scooters, and motorcycles, mopeds and electric bikes when the motor is engaged. ADA approved mobility devices are allowed to ensure accessibility to all visitors.

Is alcohol allowed in the Park?

The consumption of alcohol is not allowed in Lakeshore State Park without a permit.

Is there swimming allowed at Lakeshore State Park?

Fishing and recreational boating is allowed, but unfortunately, swimming is not. The Park was not designed with a public swimming area, and we have no licensed lifeguard on staff. There are many public beaches North along Lake Michigan (a bit of a hike to walk, but only about a 5-minute drive).

I would like to host a run/bike race/event at the Park. Do I need a permit?

Yes. The Park hosts over 50 events each year. In order to ensure availability and compliance with Park rules, please call the Park manager at 414-274-4281 to schedule your event and obtain a permit. We want to ensure your event runs as smoothly as possible, and that we have any necessary preparations done on our part. Information on special use permits can be found at

Can I take wedding/graduation/senior photos in the Park?

If you have hired a contracted professional photographer, that photographer needs to have a commercial use permit on file at Lakeshore State Park, along with a yearly $50 use fee to use the Park setting. Commercial use permits can be found at

Can I take seeds, rocks or pick flowers from the Park?

As a state park, the seeds and plants are property of the Park and are not allowed to be taken. The seeds help to establish the high plant density you see in the prairies. The flowers are extremely important for our pollinators and migratory insects. In order to preserve state parks & natural beauty for future visitors to enjoy, it is against Wisconsin law to destroy, molest, deface or remove any natural growth or natural or archaeological feature from the parks without a written permit from the Park manager. This law also includes the moving of rocks from the shore into the lagoon (including ‘skipping’ stones).

Can I fly my drone in the Park?

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, and other flying related activities, including but not limited to, hang gliding, parasailing, hot air ballooning, land sailing, flying model airplanes, or skydiving, is prohibited except where posted for their use, at state parks, state recreation areas, state natural areas, the Kettle Moraine and Point Beach state forests, and the Lower Wisconsin state riverway per Wis. Adm. Code ch. NR 45.04(1)(c) [Exit Friends LSP].

Is the Park closed during Summerfest Ground’s festivals?

The Park is open during these times, but parking may be limited due to high volumes of people travelling to the area.

Is the Park closed during fireworks?

Summerfest and the ethnic festivals use the big lawn area of the Park to ignite their fireworks. For safety concerns, the ‘island’ portion of the Park is closed half an hour before the fireworks start, and up to an hour after they end.

Is a state parks vehicle admission sticker required?

Lakeshore State Park is one of few state properties that does not require a vehicle sticker, and does not charge an admissions fee.

Is camping allowed at Lakeshore State Park?

There is no camping allowed at the Park. However, we do welcome registered transient boaters to reserve a spot at our docks for up to 4 consecutive days. See more information about boating policies and fees on the Marina page.

the bridge
Crab Spider on Purple Prairie Clover
people enjoying the park with the skyline in the back
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Get outside today and enjoy fun family-friendly activities for free!