Located in the heart of Illinois' largest concentration of natural lakes, Chain O Lakes State Park is a water oriented recreation area with outstanding opportunities for boaters, anglers and skiers. The park borders three natural lakes - Grass, Marie and Nippersink - and the Fox River that connects the other seven lakes (Bluff, Fox, Pistakee, Channel, Petite, Catherine and Redhead) that make up the Chain. In addition, the park contains a 44-acre lake within its boundaries. The 2,793 acre state park and adjoining 3,230 acre conservation area are located in the northeastern corner of Illinois in both McHenry and Lake counties. The park is 60 miles northwest of Chicago, 20 miles west of Lake Michigan and only 4 miles south of the Illinois/Wisconsin border. With nearly 6,500 acres of water and 488 miles of shoreline on the chain, Chain O Lakes State Park is the heart of water wonderland.

These instructions and perspective are from on foot. The trail is shared with horses. I encountered a fair share of horse droppings.

I started the trail going right. The trail is great for beginners or if you're out for a quick relaxing hike. There is only one small elevation gain and everything else is extremely gradual. There are not a lot of views of lakes or fields you will mostly be in forested area. Along the trail I saw 3 wild turkey, 2 white tailed deer, hawk feathers and a couple chipmunks.

RE Hike to trailhead:

The trailhead the gps takes you to from All Trails is a "Do not enter" with a u-turn cul-de-sac. If you're following those GPS coordinates from All Trails, I recommend stopping at the parking lot right before you reach the destination. From there, there is a .2-.3 mile hike to the "trailhead".

When you reach the end of the road on your way to the trailhead, there will be a gate. Walk around the gate on the gravel road to your left. The trail head is there shortly after (.1 mile).

Other notes RE trail:

About 2 miles in, when the trail is reaching the end, it appears as if you are going the correct way if you head right. You will find this takes you far from where you started. I recommend when reaching the "PARK .5 mile | OFFICE ⬆️" you follow the gravel road to your left back to that gate on the approach. As you can see on my recording of the trail, it starts going the way of the originally recorded post but then does not appear to have any plans of looping back. I might continue next time to see where it ends up but the goal today was a short 2 mile hike back to my car.

Hopefully this helps anyone trying to have that short hike they planned for or have an idea of what to expect otherwise.

walking
3 months ago

Nice long walk with kids and dogs! Very beautiful ❤️

Good family trail. Well maintained and easy for all ages.

hiking
Thursday, August 18, 2016

hiking
Saturday, July 09, 2016

hiking
Wednesday, June 08, 2016

hiking
Monday, June 06, 2016

hiking
Sunday, May 22, 2016

live by this park since I was born so it's not exciting to me as much as other people, we launch our boat there, pretty clean trail, nice boat ramps also really funny to sit and watch people pull their boat in and out. all in all nice.

hiking
Saturday, November 07, 2015