Little Swan Lake, Illinois, USA

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

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Little Swan Lake visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - Midwest - Illinois - Western -

Little Swan Lake is a private community tucked away in the quiet atmosphere of rural Warren County in west central Illinois.

Property owners and their guests can enjoy a number of water-related activities, including fishing, boating, swimming, water skiing, ice fishing, and ice skating on 225-acre Little Swan Lake. Snowmobiling can also be enjoyed in the surrounding countryside.

For members of the lake, various social activities are held throughout the year at a clubhouse located at the east end of the lake.

Little Swan Lake was the dream of Ralph Wilkins, a farmer recuperating from a broken leg who envisioned a lake development surrounding his farm. In July of 1966, construction of a dam began on Little Swan Creek, resulting in miles of meandering shoreline which is now Little Swan Lake.

The dam was completed in 1967 and construction of roads began to create spacious lots around the lake. There are over 150 lakefront homes and numerous boathouses on the lake. Construction of new real estate continues yearly.

Owners waiting for completion of their new residence can monitor the progress from a full-service campground near the lake. RVs, camper trailers and small mobile homes are allowed and give property owners access to the lake while they wait to move into their home. Available lots on the lake can be purchased or leased. Vacation rentals are limited to private homes and houseboats.

Membership to Little Swan Lake has its privileges. Membership fees help keep the lake stocked with largemouth bass, crappie and walleye. Anglers will also find blue gill, sunfish, and catfish.

Because lake access is limited to property owners and their guests, there is plenty of room for boating and fishing on the crystal clear water. The prevailing winds make it a popular lake for sailors too.

Membership fees also go toward maintaining the roads around the lake and for snow removal in the winter. The lake also sponsors several free social gatherings, complete with food. 

Although the appeal of Little Swan Lake is its isolation, the lake is just a few minutes’ drive from all the conveniences of the city. The town of Roseville, northwest of the lake, is the heart of Warren County. This small community has a lot to offer with antique shops, restaurants and a museum. In 1973, a concrete highway connected Little Swan Lake to the village of Avon, directly east of the lake in Fulton County.

Bigger cities include Macomb, the home of Western Illinois University, located just 20 miles south of Little Swan Lake. Shopping, recreation and entertainment opportunities abound in this historic community.

Outdoor enthusiasts will want to visit 1,700-acre Argyle Lake State Park, located just seven miles from Macomb.

The city of Monmouth lies just 25 miles northwest of the lake. Home of Monmouth College, Monmouth also offers numerous shopping, recreation and entertainment opportunities.

The city of Galesburg, home to Knox College is just 30 miles northeast of the lake. Golf courses, shops, restaurants and 600-acre Lake Storey Recreational Area make this an interesting town to visit.

Hidden amongst corn and bean fields in west central Illinois sits beautiful Little Swan Lake. If you’re looking for a private lake community that values peace and tranquility, this is the place. Combine your time on the lake with an afternoon of shopping and recreation in nearby cities and then enjoy a spectacular sunset from your lakeside home or lot.

Custom Little Swan Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Little Swan Lake

  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Ice Skating
  • Snowmobiling
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Antiquing
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Little Swan Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Little Swan Lake

The Little Swan 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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Little Swan Lake photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

Little Swan Lake statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Little Swan Lake Owner’s Association

Surface Area: 225 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 656 feet

Maximum Depth: 36 feet

Completion Year: 1967

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