CHAIN O''LAKES STATE PARK
This is lake country and a small boater's paradise. Eight connecting lakes will be the center of your adventures at Chain O'Lakes State Park in Noble County. Paddle through the chain, hike the trails, or attend a nature program in the park's 'old schoolhouse' nature center. At nearby Rome City, you can visit the Gene Stratton-Porter Home, State Historic Site.
The land making up Chain O Lakes State Park is chiefly fresh waterbog over deep peat deposits. The river bluff areas and gently sloping morainal hills rise to 200 feet, and were deposited by Illinois' last glacier.
Chain O' Lakes has a mixture of oak and hickory hardwood timber. The park also contains cherry, elm, birch, sumac and spruce with rich colors that attract numerous visitors each fall, plus some scattered pine plantings.
Nature lovers will find a rich assortment of wildflowers in the spring, summer and fall.
Grass Lake once was almost entirely covered with American Lotus each summer, and attracted great crowds including tour boats, annually. The lake still contains some areas of lotus.
Two hundred acres of restored native prairie provide nesting habitat for grassland bird species.
Some of the wildlife you are likely to encounter within the park are white-tailed deer, rabbits, ground squirrels, chipmunks, mink, opossum, skunks, raccoons, gophers, fox, badgers, beaver, coyotes, and groundhogs. A check-list of the nearly 200 birds that have been identified in the park is available at the park office.
The Chain O Lakes area was inhabited by central Algonquian Tribes when Europeans first arrived in the Mid-1600's. The predominant tribes in the region at that time were the Miami, Mascouten and Potawatomi. These Native American groups led a semi-mobile lifestyle and grew corn, hunted, fished and gathered wild plant foods.
Joliet and Marquette passed through what today is Chain O Lakes State Park in 1673, as they traveled the Fox River during their Illinois explorations. French trappers and traders were the first Europeans to explore the area. The first European settlement was at Fort Hill, near Mundelein, a large mound rising out of the prairie, formerly a lookout point for the Indians.
Chain O Lakes became a state park in 1945, when the State of Illinois made an initial purchase of 840 acres. In the 1930's a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp became the Chain O Lakes Conservation Area. This land was incorporated into the state park in 1957. The farm at the park was purchased by the Department of Conservation in 1969. The property was originally owned by the Stevens family, farmers who received the land under a land grant in 1843.
Launch Ramps, #1
Electric Sites, #331
Youth Group Campyes
* Electric / 331 sites * Non-Electric / 49 sites * Primitive / 33 sites * Rally Camp / 4 sites * Canoe Camp * Youth Tent Areas * Campground Reservations * Camp Store * Dumping Station
Enjoy a family cabin with your loved ones in an Indiana State Park this year. The cabins offer privacy and comfort with bedrooms, living areas, kitchens and modern bathroom facilities.
There is no charge to launch boats at the park, nor is there any horsepower limitations on boats using any of the Chain O' Lakes. Electric trolling motors only are allowed on boats on Turner Lake, a 44 acre lake in the park. A user fee is required for all boats using the Chain O Lakes charged by the Fox Waterway Agency. Stickers are available at the park concession stand/boat launch.