- Camping- The park has Class A-Premium areas (Honey Suckle Hollow and Fox Den) with a total of 151 sites for $20 each per night; three Class B-Premium camp areas (Turner Lake South, Prairie View and Mud Lake East) with a combined total of 87 sites for $12 each per night; and we have one youth group camp area (Mud Lake West) for 150 youths, fee $2 per person minimum $20 per night. Maximum stay for campsites is 14 nights in a 30 day period. A responsible adult (18 years of age or older) acquiring a permit must have a camp shelter and set up at the time of registration. All campers must have a permit and also bring their own firewood, no one is allowed to pick up wood in the park. Alcohol is prohibited in the campgrounds. Limited campsites are available for reserving.
Rent A Cabin- Three cabins consisting of two bunk beds and a double bed, can be rented for $45 per night (which inlcudes a $5 non-refundable reservation fee). Equipment provided: electric, table & six chairs, picnic table, cooking/fire grill,dust pan, broom and fire extinguisher. No restroom facilities are provided in cabin. Dogs and other pets are not allowed at cabin site. Reservations are recommended.
Rent A Tent- If you're a novice camper, Chain O' Lakes has one Rent-A-Camp unit available. The camp site comes with a tent, cots, fire extinguisher, light, broom, dust pan, charcoal grill, fire ring and picnic table. No dogs or other pets are allowed at tent site. A maximum of eight people may rent the tent, the cost for tent rental is $32. A $5 non-refundable reservation fee is required.
Reservations- A fee of $5 plus the first night's camping fee is required to reserve a campsite. Rent A Tent/Cabin, requires a $5 fee plus first night's rental. Youth groups require $5 fee, camping fee is collected at time of arrival. Picnic shelter reservations are $25. Reservations are accepted by mail beginning on the first working day in January each year. February 1, you may apply by mail, in person, or by telephone (with a credit card Master Card or Visa). Phone reservations are taken Monday through Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. only. All reservations must be received by the park office at least 7 days prior to your camp date.
Natural Features-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.
Turner Lake Nature Preserve- About 80 acres within the park have been set aside as a nature preserve to protect a segment of the park's bog environment and the unique plants associated with the area.
Boating- 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.
Concession/Boat Rental- The park's concession stand is open April through mid-October and offers food, ice, firewood, soft drinks, ice cream, fishing equipment and baits, and camper supplies. Boat and canoe rental also is available. The required safety equipment must be provided by the user or rented from the concessionaire. Additional information call (847)587-7165.
Fishing- Among the popular fish available to anglers in the Chain O' Lakes are bluegill, largemouth bass, walleye, crappie, muskie, northern pike, bullhead, catfish, yellow and white bass. Due to the marshy nature of much of the park's shoreline, most fishing takes place from boats or fishing piers.
Hunting- Dove, waterfowl, archery deer and permit pheasant hunting are available at the park. Hunting fact sheets, containing all hunting regulations are available at the park office. All hunting is by registration only.
Winter Sports- Ice skating and ice fishing are popular activities when the temperature drops and the ice thickens. During winter months, the horse trail, bicycle trail and Nature's Way trail can be used by cross-country skiers. During the winter months the park office doubles as a warming house. Sledding is another popular winter activity. Snowmobiling is not permitted in the park, but access to the frozen lake water is provided for snowmobile enthusiasts.
8916 Wilmot Road Spring Grove, IL 60081
Directions from nearest highway: Exit Illinois 173 West from Interstate 94.
Distance from O'Hare Airport: 46 miles
Distance from Midway Airport: 64 miles
Distance from Mitchell Airport: 47 miles