Tower Road Beach "Lake Glass"

by Sheila Kane
(Illinois, USA)

Taylor Street Beach, Winnetka IL on Lake Michigan  ~  photo by Carrie Harvey

Taylor Street Beach, Winnetka IL on Lake Michigan ~ photo by Carrie Harvey

~ beach glass report for Tower Road Beach submitted by Sheila Kane in Illinois, USA

Name of  Beach and Comments:

Tower Road Beach - it is actually on Lake Michigan in Winnetka Illinois.

There is amazing glass on this beach and all the beaches located in the towns surrounding!!

Do you call it lake glass then?

~ beach glass report for Tower Road Beach submitted by Sheila Kane in Illinois, USA



Thanks for adding this, Sheila!

Naturally-tumbled glass found on fresh water shores is generally called beach glass. However, sea glass can be beach glass, so it is not that specific.

"Lake glass" sounds even more specific (as compared perhaps to beach glass found on large rivers), and I think the term is easily understood, so I think it should be used so specify "beach glass found on lake shores."  

NOTE of caution - added June 2012 - read the comments below so you have an idea of what you might expect.

David (editor)

Comments for Tower Road Beach "Lake Glass"

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Apr 25, 2016
Lake Michigan, tower beach
by: Anonymous

Have found some decent glass on tower beach, just depends on the weather. Storms can bring glass to the shore or wash it away. Depends on the wind direction, and waves. There is no tide here as it is a lake, but storms and seiches do a good job of moving glass around. Happy hunting!

Mar 26, 2016
First visit to Tower Road Beach
by: Sue

So, I was going down to Chicago today, and had to stop by this beach.

Two to three hours later I was beat, but satisfied.

We found dozens of pieces of glass; most of which were fabulously cooked (far different from most of the glass found on Bayview Park Beach, Milwaukee).

It was well worth the trip, the day was sunny, but windy. The waves were very active!

I wish this beach was closer to home, but alas, I probably will not be going back anytime soon.

Bottom line: from my experience I wouldn't expect to find large pieces (most I found were about a dime or a touch larger), but they will be very well cooked.

I would rate this beach better than Bayview, WI beach, where I normally scrounge around!


Jul 17, 2015
Just incredible
by: Sheri

Rip tides and waves just crazy the last two days.

My 11 year old and 5 year old decided to try our hand in beach glass hunting.

We couldn't swim because it was closed but we got our money worth.

We went in thinking if we find a few we would be happy.

We went down to the waters edge and looked down and spotted one, then another, then another.

In the three hours we were there we found hundreds between the three of us. Great find.

Thanks for the location!!

Jun 06, 2015
Success at Tower Beach depends on the Weather
by: Anonymous

Tower Beach in Winnetka, IL is loaded with beach glass.

When the wind is from the North, NNE, NE, E or SE the waves will do the work for you and you can just pluck it off the sand or rocks.

If it's a land breeze or calm day, you may have to sit down and sift through some rocks.

Don't park on the pier unless you have a permit or you WILL get a $25 ticket (may be $30 by now)

Jul 26, 2014
Best Lake Michigan Hikes only $0.99!
by: David

Jul 25, 2014
by: Anonymous

Where do you park

Jun 02, 2012
Tower Road Beach
by: E K and E

We went to this beach last night to hunt sea glass.

First of, the beach has a sign that says it's closed, but proceeded anyways.

Parked down by the actual beach and got started.

We stayed two hours and found a piece per minute.

White, amber and green are dominant, cobalt and others were rarely seen.

I'd highly recommend this beach, the tide is strong here and brings in a lot of glass.

Happy hunting.

Jun 25, 2011
Rocks only!
by: Jessica

6/25/11 went and tried this beach this am, kept our hopes up for 3/4 of a mile before we hit private property... We only found teeny tiny prices none bigger than index finger nail, quite disappointed.

We paid then $20.00 the charge just to use the beach and then the young punk that was working there gladly took our money but failed to mention you have to have a CITY sticker, so aside from the $20.00 we paid, we got a $25.00 parking ticket.

This beach may have had good glass in the past, but there wasn't any for us. I would not recommend. Sorry :(

Jul 24, 2010
Evanston Beach Glass
by: Suzy

There are a few beaches in Evanston where I've found quite a bit of seaglass - it's not a lot per trip, but I always find at least 5 pieces within an hour unless there's been a big storm lately.

Unless you're already an Evanston resident and have a beach token, go hunting right after the end of the season when it's still warm but they're not charging for beach access anymore.

I think this is after August first, but check the Evanston park department's webpage first.

I usually went to Clark St beach, Lee St beach and the South Blvd Beach.

I went to the beach in Wilmette once and thought it was horrible for beach glass, but wonderful for everything else.

Jul 18, 2010
Thumbs up to Tower Beach!!
by: Marcie

We moved here 8 months ago and live in Winnetka. I've strolled all the local beaches seeking glass. I always have great luck at Tower as long as the tide is low.

I find 8-15 quality pieces an hour....which is usually how long it takes me to walk the beach and throw balls to the dog.

The dog seems to drop the ball in spots where there's lots of glass, so he's a good helper and stirs the sand a little, so I find more pieces the when we do our return walk on the beach.

There are definitely hot spots on the beach which have more glass than others. Took my daughter there yesterday and found 12 pieces just playing on the shoreline with her.

Long time locals have told me glass has cut back a lot since we are becoming a greener society. I have been finding more amber/brown colors and a few navy blues lately.

I wish I could walk the beach 3 times a day....I'm addicted!!!! (I also think Tower is the longest beach to walk in the area, so probably why I find more there vs the other beaches)

Mar 15, 2010
Lake Glass?
by: Anonymous

Can sea glass be found on lakes? specifically Lake Michigan. if so what would the name be if its not found on a beach shore?

Nov 09, 2009
Sea glass Tower Road Beach "Lake Glass"
by: Anonymous

I am surprised about Tower Beach! We have a huge bottle of sea glass that we collected over about 5 visits this summer.

However, we did go one time this past summer and because of the wind we found absolutely nothing. Other than that, it was great. What beach did you find your sea glass?

Nov 08, 2009
Worst Beach Ever
by: Anonymous

8 NOV 2009---this was the WORST beach ever for lake glass.

We drove for 3 hours to get there - from north of Rockford - we found 3 little pieces in the hour we walked - we have been on a beaches where you can pickup three pieces before you make it to the beach.

It was a beautiful day though for the stroll - with 65 degrees and all. We said the heck with it and ended up going to a different spot on the lake and couldn't keep up with all that was coming in with the tide.

We will not be going back to Tower Road Beach again.

Oct 26, 2009
Tower Road Beach, Winnetka, IL

Sheila - we have been looking for sea glass for a long time. We decided to Google sea glass and saw that Tower Road Beach (we live in Barrington) has good sea glass. We've been there about 6 times this summer and have found some great stuff.

We noticed that you said all surrounding beaches have sea glass, but we didn't find any when we visited Glencoe Beach. Do you know why there is so much on Tower Road Beach and not other beaches?

Also, I live near Foster Beach in Chicago. I haven't looked yet, but do you know if any has been spotted there? Doesn't it have to be a rocky beach?

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Beach Glass - naturally wave-tumbled and frosted glass found on fresh-water or salt-water beaches.

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