Lake Marie, Illinois, USA

Also known as:  Fox Chain O' Lakes

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

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Lake Marie 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 Lake Marie

Fresh water bog, river bluff and gently sloping hills characterize the land around Lake Marie. Cherry elm, birch, sumac and spruce are beautiful in the fall and wildflowers bloom in warmer seasons. Part of the Fox Chain O’ Lakes, Lake Marie is in the Chicagoland region of northeastern Illinois. The area, about 55 miles north of Chicago, offers plenty of historical attractions and amusements.

Part of the Lake County landscape, dotted with innumerable lakes, Lake Marie is one of nine stunning lakes connected by the Fox River. Lake Bluff, Grass, Nippersink, Fox, Pistakee, Channel, Petite, and Catherine are Lake Marie’s neighbors. 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.

The Fox Chain O’Lakes attracts thousands of visitors every week. Vacation rentals, camping sites, resorts, restaurants and other various attractions line the chain’s nearly 500-mile shoreline. Real estate on the chain is a blooming industry as homeowners take pride in owning a little piece of such a highly-valued recreational destination.

Lake Marie is one of the three natural lakes in the Chain O’ Lakes State Park. About 15 miles west of Lake Michigan, Chain O’ Lakes State Park offers plenty of water recreation. The park has boat launches, picnic areas, water fountains, grills, toilets and camping sites. It has four trail systems for biking, hiking, horse riding and cross-country skiing. Hunting is permitted for dove, waterfowl, deer, and pheasant.

Anglers will be thrilled with Lake Marie’s 480 surface acres of fishery. A variety of species abound. You can find channel catfish, yellow bass, carp, yellow perch, bluegill, largemouth bass, crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish, walleye, orange spot sunfish, northern pike, and the much sought-after muskellunge. Winter’s arrival only brings new festivity. Ice skating and ice fishing are popular and cross-country skiers take to the trails used for hiking in the summer. Sledding is another exciting snow activity and snowmobiling is also permitted but only on frozen lake water, not in the park.

A 200-acre area of native prairie is habitat for grassland bird species. Eighty acres is committed to a Nature Preserve aimed to protect a portion of the park’s bog and unique plants. Within the park, white-tailed deer, rabbits, ground squirrels, chipmunks, mink, opossum, skunks, raccoons, gophers, fox, badgers, beaver, coyotes and groundhogs are some of the animals you might come across. And almost 200 species of birds, some of which live on Lake Marie, will intrigue any bird watcher.

The Chicagoland region puts you in touch with a wonderland of attractions and things to do. In the vicinity of Lake County, you can appreciate Illinois beauty at Lake Michigan’s sandy shores, go hiking through lush forest, or visit the Chicago Botanic Garden with its world renown plant collections. Amusements range from the popular Six Flags amusement park to the world’s largest corn maze. And entertainment runs the gamut from music festivals and intriguing museums to art galleries and Broadway shows. Take advantage of the splendid beauty of Lake Marie the Fox Chain O’ Lakes and the Chain O’ Lakes State Park. Walk the bog and appreciate nature’s fascinating diversity. Have a thrilling adventure on your jet ski, or let it all go with the wind as you float along in your sailboat. However you choose to spend your time at Lake Marie, your experiences will refresh your senses and rejuvenate your mind.

Things to Do at Lake Marie

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Jet Skiing
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Amusement Park

Fish Species Found at Lake Marie

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Bass
  • Yellow Perch

Find Places to Stay at Lake Marie

If you’re considering a Lake Marie 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 Lake Marie Vacation

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

Lake Marie Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

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

Surface Area: 480 acres

Average Depth: 14 feet

Maximum Depth: 35 feet

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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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