Boating Lake County Blog

Explor­ing Chain O’Lakes Part II – The Lakes

Fox Lake

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 Funon​the​Fox​.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.

Get your Lake Coun­ty, Illi­nois Vis­i­tors Guide now!

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