Candlewick Lake, Illinois, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Candlewick Lake.

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Candlewick Lake visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - Midwest - Illinois - Northern -

Tucked away in the northern region of Illinois, 60 miles west of Chicago, Candlewick Lake offers respite at the end of a long day or recreation during a brief stay. With over 210 acres of water for fishing boating and waterskiing, there is more than enough room for families on vacation, commuters and permanent residents.

Candlewick Lake is a manmade lake surrounded by a private gated community. The lakefront community is located in Boone County. Named for Daniel Boone, the county was established in 1837 in the Rock River Valley Region of north central Illinois. Boone County was created from part of Winnebago County. The community of Candlewick Lake, part of the town of Poplar Grove in Boone County, offers 24-hour security. A nine-hole golf course and club house are just two of the community’s amenities. Golf homes surround the course with backyards that touch the manicured greens. A YMCA, community center with a fitness center and cafe, and a community pool round out the amenities. Because the facilities are only open to homeowners and their guests, they are rarely crowded.

Perhaps the biggest draw, however, is the lake itself. Candlewick Lake and its dam are owned and managed by the Candlewick Lake Association, a property owners association. A beach on the southern shore of the lake offers a place to swim and sunbathe. Both row boats and paddle boats are available to rent, and power boats are allowed on the lake. Facilities include docks and a gated marina. Candlewick Lake is full of fish, and anglers can find abundant populations of muskie, northern pike, catfish, crappie, bluegill, perch and bass. There are also walleye and, when the lake freezes, ice fishing is popular; it is not uncommon to see Candlewick Lake dotted with ice huts in the winter.

Candlewick Lake is surrounded by private residences, several of which are available as vacation rentals. It is a manageable commute to Chicago, and it also convenient to Madison, Wisconsin. There is real estate for sale including buildable lots for anyone wishing to extend their stay at the lake. Poplar Grove offers restaurants, shops and various accommodations. It is an easy drive from Candlewick Lake to any amenity a visitor or resident might need.

Rock Cut State Park is in Winnebago County, just a short drive from Candlewick Lake. The park encompasses 3,092 acres and includes two lakes. Pierce Lake offers 162 acres of water for boating and fishing. Oslon Lake is 50 acres of water primarily reserved for swimming. There are miles of trails crossing the park for hiking, biking and horseback riding. In the winter, several miles of trails are groomed for cross-country skiing. Portions of the park are open to hunting in season for deer and turkey, and the wildlife is abundant year-round. The park gets its name from a rocky outcrop that was blasted during construction of the railroad in the mid 1800’s.

With its beautiful water, great fishing, and abundant ammenities, Candlewick Lake has something to offer everyone. Add in its proximity to Madison and Chicago and almost everything is just a short drive from the lake. Whether it is for a short stay or a permanent move, Candlewick Lake is a fantastic northern Illinois destination.

Custom Candlewick Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Candlewick Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park

Fish species found at Candlewick Lake

  • Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Candlewick Lake

The Candlewick Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

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Candlewick Lake photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

Candlewick Lake statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Candlewick Lake POA

Surface Area: 210 acres

Maximum Depth: 22 feet

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