Griswold Lake, Illinois, USA

Also known as:  Griswald Lake, Fox Chain O'Lakes

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

If you’re considering Griswold Lake vacation rentals, we’ve made it super easy to explore accommodations and nearby hotels using the interactive map below. Simply click on a listing to compare similar properties, best rates and availability for your dates. Or keep scrolling to read our Griswold Lake guide!

Griswold Lake visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - Midwest - Illinois - Chicagoland -

Griswold Lake is located in the Chicagoland Region of Illinois near Holiday Hills. The northern shore of Griswold Lake was first developed in the 1930s and featured rustic cabins that residents of Chicago used for their summer vacations. Then in the 1940s, the hustle and bustle of Chicago led people to desire a full time retreat. As more and more people decided to make Griswold Lake home, the community was incorporated, and now many residents live in the serene environment surrounding Griswold Lake year round.

The 141 acres of Griswold Lake are home to bluegill, largemouth bass, yellow perch, yellow bass and white crappie. Anglers will find lake waters calm due to the fact that all watercraft must have less than a 10 horsepower motor.

A short channel connects Griswold Lake to the Fox River and the Fox River Chain of Lakes, nicknamed the “Key West of the Midwest”. However, a small spillway dam at the Griswold Lake outlet prevents boaters from accessing the Fox River directly from the channel. Boat launch ramps to the Fox Waterway are located nearby at Burton’s Bridge marinas. The Fox River Chain of Lakes includes 15 lakes, 7,100 acres of water, 45 miles of river, and two state parks (Moraine Hills State Park and Chain of Lakes State Park). Visitors enjoy every type of water sport on the Fox Waterway – boating, tubing, waterskiing, fishing, and swimming.

For those who like a retreat from city life will find real estate and vacation rentals around Griswold Lake. When visitors are in the mood for some sight seeing, Chicago is less than an hour’s drive from the lake. Chicago offers stunning architecture, a zoo, fascinating museums, and an abundance of fine restaurants offering a wide variety of cuisine.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find Moraine Hills State Park a required stop on their itinerary. Located north of Griswold Lake, Moraine Hills State Park offers a profusion of open-air fun. Fishing and boating are permitted on Lake Defiance and Fox River which are located in the park. Hunting is allowed with a permit. Nature observers may spot red fox, white-tailed deer, mink and coyote, while bird watchers may catch a glimpse of great blue herons, green herons, mallards, and Canada geese. With 10 miles of trails, Moraine Hill’s visitors will experience nature at its best.

To the south of Griswold Lake is Cotton Creek Marsh Nature Preserve. Although access to the preserve is by permission only, naturalists will enjoy the beautiful marshes unspoiled by development. Cattails, bulrushes, and water knotweed will greet visitors who acquire permission to visit the Preserve.

After a day filled with water sports, fishing, or sightseeing, Griswold Lake residents and visitors can unwind while sitting on their decks watching the sun set over the lake. The carefree life away from the business the city can be a reality at Griswold Lake.

Custom Griswold Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Griswold Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Park
  • Museum

Fish species found at Griswold Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Sunfish
  • White Crappie
  • Yellow Bass
  • Yellow Perch

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Griswold Lake

The Griswold 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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Griswold Lake photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

Griswold Lake statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

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

Surface Area: 141 acres

Shoreline Length: 2 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 733 feet

Maximum Depth: 12 feet

Drainage Area: 8 sq. miles

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