Brandenburg Lake, Illinois, USA

Also known as:  Lake of the Hollow, Fox Chain O'Lakes

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Brandenburg Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Brandenburg Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Brandenburg Lake

Brandenburg Lake, also known as Lake of the Hollow, is a private, freshwater lake connected to Illinois’ Fox Chain of Lakes. This glacial succession includes nine major bodies of water, all connected to each other through a number of smaller lakes, canals, and the Fox River. Water level control on the entire Fox River Chain O’Lakes is controlled by a series of dams on the Fox River. The dams, under the control of the Illinois Division of Water Resources, maintain recreational water levels and control flooding. An impressive 6,500 acres of water and 488 total miles of shoreline make up the chain, which attracts a weekend average of 60,000 visitors.

Brandenburg Lake has a surface area of 75 acres, and an island consisting of 23 acres of moist woodlands and grassy meadows. It is situated between the Pistakee Bog Nature Preserve, to the south, and three lakes to the north – Redhead Lake, Myers Bay, and Pistakee Lake. Because it is privately owned, residents enjoy exclusive access to Lake of the Hollow. Only non-gasoline, electric engines with strict horsepower limits are allowed on the lake, keeping the water immaculate for geese, swans, waterfowl and other animals that call the area home.

Brandenburg Lake is a part of the Volo Bog State Natural Area, which encompasses the Pistakee Bog, Brandenburg Bog, and Volo Bog water basins. Owned by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Volo Bog is made up of 900 acres of wetlands, forests, bogs and prairies. Nearly 84,000 visitors tour these lands each year for hiking, stargazing and wildlife watching. A great number of animal species populate the lake and its surrounding shores, including great blue herons, whitetail deer, mink, raccoon, muskrat, red fox and sandhill cranes. Just south of Lake of the Hollow lies the Pistakee Bog Nature Preserve. This protected area is home to at least 11 species of plant that are endangered in the state. It is composed of 399 acres, most of which are controlled by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Brandenburg Lake was dedicated a nature preserve in 1970 and a National Natural Landmark in 1973. It has been home to the Lake County Astronomical Society since 2001. Facilities include a shop, offices, restrooms, picnic areas and library with exhibits relevant to the park.

Hiking around Brandenburg Lake is ideal for relatively short explorations. The Volo Bog Interpretive Trail is a half-mile loop over boardwalks, docks, and woodlands. The Tamarack View Trail is just under three miles long, and passes through wetlands, forests, fields and prairies. The trail – named after the endangered tamarack trees in the area – is ideal for cross country skiing during the winter (a six-inch minimum snow base is required).

Only a handful of real estate properties are available on Brandenburg Lake, making it a peaceful, isolated and exclusive place to live. Stringent environmental laws take precedence over land development, maintaining a pristine habitat for hundreds of bird, animal and insect species.

Things to Do at Brandenburg Lake

  • Boating
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Wildlife Viewing

Find Places to Stay at Brandenburg Lake

If you’re considering a Brandenburg Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Brandenburg Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Brandenburg Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Brandenburg Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Illinois Dept. of Transportation-Division of Water Resources

Surface Area: 75 acres

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

Shop Brandenburg Lake Gifts

Custom Lake Tumblers

Captain / First Mate Custom 20 oz Tumbler

Custom Lake T Shirt

Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

Custom Lake Coffee Mug - On Lake Time

On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


Advertise Your Brandenburg Lake Business or Vacation Rental

LakeLubbers will soon offer businesses the opportunity to advertise and homeowners and property managers the ability to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily. If you would like additional details, please contact our advertising team.


Looking for the Brandenburg Lake Forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here. We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Brandenburg Lake Photo Gallery

New photos coming soon!

Spread the word! Share our Brandenburg Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!