Week on the Water: Chain O' Lakes

August 18, 2011 10:14:34 AM PDT
Take yourself away, less than two hours from the city, and you will find a treasure "up north."

Welcome to Chain o' Lakes State Park. Formed more than 10,000 years ago by the Wisconsin glacier, sit ten interconnected lakes and 6,000 acres that make up the nature's paradise

Designated a state park in 1946, Chain O' Lakes attracts the young, the younger and the youngest who are looking to spend time in the great outdoors.

"Naturally in the summertime, boating is a large activity we have, and fishing. We have a camp ground which is very popular and then we also have concessions at the park. The boat rental at the boat dock they rent canoes, paddle boats, row boats to go fishing," said Kurt Zacharias, Chain O' Lakes State Park.

And while the lakes bring lots of fun, Officer Richard Riedel stressed that safety is priority number one on the busiest inland waterways in the nation, especially on the weekends.

"We have some of the best fishing in the Midwest. We have some nice areas where people can dock their boats and swim. So we have just a tremendous amount of recreational opportunity right here in the Chicagoland area," Riedel said.

But it is the solitude of the weekdays that draws many boaters and bikers to the chain.

"The trails are very nice, very seldom see people during the week on them. It's like your own big playground," said John Collins, Cary.

And that playground includes the fishing. Yvonne and Sabrina Williams angled for a big catch.

"I've encountered crappie, walleyes, carps, perch -- about this big, and perch is very good," said Sabrina Williams, Chicago.

For some it is home. Eric and Laura Taubery moved there two years ago, and the serene scenes allow for perfect family strolls. And for them, the beautiful landscapes of the chain have introduced them to a legendary shining star

"One thing great to see in the summertime are the Lotus Fields. Those are historic for this area for the past hundred years. They're a great draw, and they're coming back in large number, and just a beautiful bloom and fragrant flower," said Eric Taubery.

No matter what peaks your outdoor interests, there really is a quiet oasis in northern Illinois, and the chain keeps it together.

Chain O' Lakes State Park
8916 Wilmot Road
Spring Grove, IL
847-587-5512


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