Exploring Chain O’Lakes Part II – The Lakes

Welcome to the second installment of our "Exploring Chain O’Lakes" blog series. We're giving you an in-depth look at the Chain O'Lakes and all the boating, fishing and outdoor aquatic fun waiting for you in the Chain.

In this installment, we’re looking at some of the 15 lakes that make up the intricate system of lakes.

The Chain O'Lakes is composed of ten lakes connected by the Fox River and an additional five lakes connected by small canals and channels:

Three of the ten lakes connected by the Fox River are natural lakes:

  • Grass Lake
  • Lake Marie
  • Nippersink Lake

The other seven lakes connected by the Fox River are:

  • Bluff Lake
  • Fox Lake
  • Pistakee Lake
  • Channel Lake
  • Petite Lake
  • Lake Catherine
  • Redhead Lake

The remaining five Chain lakes:

  • Duck Lake
  • Long Lake
  • Spring Lake
  • Dunns Lake
  • Brandenburg Lake

The Chain waterway system begins at the Illinois/Wisconsin border in northwestern Lake County. The Fox River travels south near the border between McHenry County and Lake County in Illinois as it flows toward first lake in the Chain, Grass Lake.

Grass Lake is the shallowest lake on the Chain with an average depth of three feet. With an approximate area of 1,360 acres, Grass Lake is also the third largest lake on the Chain. 

Pistakee Lake and Fox Lake are the two largest lakes on the Chain, each with an area of 1,700 acres. Grass Lake connects to Fox Lake and both lakes connect to Pistakee Lake through Nippersink Lake.

The Fox River exits the Chain O'Lakes at the southwest corner of Pistakee Lake.

Yes, it can be a bit confusing at first for first-time Chain visitors. That’s why you should check out this interactive map of the lakes found on FunontheFox.com. It’s a must-have for a day boating on the Chain O’Lakes and features marinas, restaurants, gas stations and more that you may need on your next boating adventure.

And if you’re on Twitter or Instagram, include the hashtag #BoatingLakeCounty on your photos so that we can re-share the beauty of Lake County.

Have fun, and remember to boat safe! In the next installment of the Exploring Chain O’Lakes blog series, we’ll cover the “boatload” of places to boat on the Chain.

Next entry | Blog Index | Previous entry