Lake Marie, Illinois, USA
Also known as: Fox Chain O' Lakes
Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Lake Marie.
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Lake Marie visitor and community guide
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.
Custom Lake Marie house decor
Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.
Things to do at Lake Marie
- Vacation Rentals
- Ice Fishing
- Jet Skiing
- Ice Skating
- Cross-Country Skiing
- Horseback Riding
- Wildlife Viewing
- State Park
- Amusement Park
Fish species found at Lake Marie
- Black Bass
- Channel Catfish
- Largemouth Bass
- Northern Pike
- Yellow Bass
- Yellow Perch
Best hotels and vacation rentals at Lake Marie
The Lake Marie 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.
Lake Marie photo gallery
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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
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