When you visit Montrose, don’t be afraid to get involved to help make it a better place. Montrose is popular with fisherman, joggers, picnickers, photographers, and many others. As such, it gets more than its fair share of garbage, especially during the warmer months of the year. Disposing even a little of this waste goes a long way towards keeping Montrose beautiful. The Chicago Park District maintains garbage and recycling bins near the beach house for easy use. Another thing you can do is remove smaller tree branches from the walking paths in the sanctuary. These branches pose a tripping hazard to pedestrians and make negotiating the paths difficult for folks using wheelchairs and walkers. You don’t even have to bend over to remove them – just nudge them off the path with your foot. Remember, Montrose is ours. It belongs to us. Treat it like you would your own home.
It’s mid winter and shelf ice has formed along the shoreline of Montrose Beach. This is typical. What you need to know is that walking on shelf ice is dangerous. The ice could collapse under your feet, taking you into the frigid water of Lake Michigan, where you’d have a hard time getting out. The two people in the photo walked onto the shelf ice at Montrose Beach on February 6, 2023. They were obviously unaware of the danger they were in.
If you visit Montrose this winter, stay off the shelf ice.
Getting around Montrose Point in winter can be tricky, even treacherous because of ice and snow covered streets, paths, and sidewalks. If you visit this winter, please be mindful of these conditions and exercise caution while walking and driving. Be especially careful on the fishing pier at the east end of the beach. Ice forms on the pier when it gets cold enough; if you slip and fall into Lake Michigan you’ll be in trouble. The pier has no ladders to climb out of the water. Note that a life preserver is available at the far south end of the pier. If you’re discreet you won’t need it.
The portable toilet at the north end of the harbor has been removed, and the public restrooms in the beach house are closed for the season. The only bathroom option at this time are the four portable toilets at the south end of the harbor near the turnaround. Plan your visit accordingly. The Montrose Map page shows the location of the harbor, as well as the locations of other landmarks at Montrose Point.
Thirty-eight species of shorebirds have been recorded at Montrose and of this 38 about 28 are regular and occur each year. We don’t get huge numbers however, usually no more than a few dozen individuals during the height of shorebird migration in May and August. What we lack in volume we more than make up for with great, close-up views. Look at the photo of the American Golden-Plover with this post. It’s from Montrose Beach and you can see how close the bird came to the photographer. It illustrates how tame and approachable these shorebirds can be. It’s also one reason why Montrose Beach is so popular with bird photographers. To see more Montrose shorebird pics on this blog, try a keyword search for “shorebirds”.
Big parking changes at Montrose Point are here. Repaving of West Montrose Avenue is almost finished and lines have been painted for perpendicular parking. More cars will now be able to park along the street, which means even more people will be able to use Montrose. This also means a narrower road to drive on, which could reduce speeding but create more traffic and congestion. These changes only apply to West Montrose Avenue – nothing has changed on West Montrose Harbor Drive. This Google Map shows the road system in and around Montrose Point.