Heritage Lake, Illinois, USA

Also known as:  Maraldo Lake

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Heritage 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 Heritage 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 Heritage Lake

Originally named Maraldo Lake, Heritage Lake is a private 85-acre, man-made lake located just east of the town of Mackinaw on the border of Illinois’ western and central tourism regions. Development on Heritage Lake began in 1969. Some of the first structures were small weekend and vacation cottages. Within a few years, visitors began viewing the scenic lake as a desirable location for year-round living. Today there are approximately 300 homes on and near the 3/4 mile-long lake.

Heritage Lake offers four miles of shoreline and plenty of open water to be enjoyed by canoe, sailboat, paddleboat, rowboat, or small boats powered by electric motors. A ramp allows boats onto the water to fish or just to enjoy the afternoon breeze. Northern pike, tiger muskie, walleye, channel catfish, several varieties of bass, white crappie, black crappie, green sunfish, and bluegill challenge anglers’ skill.

A community park for Heritage Lake Association (HLA) members and guests is a popular spot for family gatherings, complete with a sandy swimming beach, volleyball, and a friendly game of horseshoes. The beach area is also home to a children’s park and a large covered pavilion. For picnics, there are tables and shady trees to enjoy a waterfront BBQ or a quiet lunch. A 3/4-acre dog park is also available to members and their guests.

For those who would like to set up camp near the lake, HLA members and their guests can pitch a tent at the Heritage Lake Campground. Campers can choose from a primitive style campsite or enjoy the comfort of their own RV. No electricity is available at the campsite. The campground is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. There are also a few vacation rentals and private real estate for sale on the lake. More vacation rental options can be found in the surrounding towns of Tazewell County.

Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the Mackinaw River State Fish and Wildlife Area with its 1,448 acres of timbered hills, open meadows, ponds, and river access. The area is primarily managed for the hunting of whitetail deer, but fishing and canoeing are welcomed. Anglers can try for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, crappie and carp. Note: Although most fish taken from Illinois lakes and streams are safe to eat, refer to the Illinois Fish Advisory (link below) before eating fish caught from any Illinois waterway. In addition to deer, hunters can seek out pheasant, waterfowl, rabbit, and squirrel. There is also a nature preserve and picnic area for woodland hiking and wildlife viewing. The beautiful Mackinaw River runs through most of the area.

For an interesting daytrip of sightseeing, culture, and entertainment, the city of Peoria is located northwest of Heritage Lake. Peoria is the largest city on the Illinois River and the fifth-largest city in Illinois. Downtown Peoria boasts the Peoria Civic Center, the Apollo Theatre, and O’Brien Field, as well as an arts, dining, and entertainment area near the riverfront. Grandview Drive, which Theodore Roosevelt referred to during a 1910 visit as the “world’s most beautiful drive,” stretches through Peoria and nearby Peoria Heights. In addition to Grandview Drive, the Peoria Park District boasts 9,000 acres of parks, including a zoo and several public golf courses.

Southeast of Heritage Lake are the cities Bloomington and Normal. The rapidly growing metropolitan area features an amusement park, an indoor public ice skating facility, and the Bloomington-Normal Constitution Trail, a 24-mile paved trail perfect for jogging, walking, cycling, and rollerblading. Museums, historic sites, the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, and over 1,100 acres of land including 44 park sites, a zoo and several golf courses maintained by Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department make Bloomington/Normal a great place to visit. For some of the best shopping in Central Illinois, there are several malls and more than twenty shopping plazas.

Whether you’re looking for an afternoon of fun in the sun or a relaxing lakefront vacation, the sparkling waters and gorgeous sunsets of Heritage Lake never fail to provide the ultimate getaway.

Things to Do at Heritage Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Biking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Museum
  • Amusement Park
  • Shopping

Fish Species Found at Heritage Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Tiger Muskellunge
  • Walleye
  • White Crappie

Find Places to Stay at Heritage Lake

If you’re considering a Heritage 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 Heritage Lake Vacation

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

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com 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.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com 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.

Heritage Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Heritage Lake Homeowner’s Association

Surface Area: 85 acres

Shoreline Length: 4 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 654 feet

Lake Area-Population: 300

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.

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


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