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Indiana State Parks

USA Parks
Eastern Region
Chain O''Lakes State Park
Chain O'Lakes State Park © Tosha Marie Harris
2355 E 75 S
Albion, Indiana   46701-9507
(lat:41.3335 lon:-85.3813)

Phone: (260) 636-2654
Toll Free: 800-457-8283
Reservations: 260-636-2654
This is lake country and a small boater's paradise. Eight connecting lakes will be the center of your adventures at Chain O'Lakes State Park in Noble County. Paddle through the chain, hike the trails, or attend a nature program in the park's 'old schoolhouse' nature center. At nearby Rome City, you can visit the Gene Stratton-Porter Home, State Historic Site.
Nature of the Area
The land making up Chain O Lakes State Park is chiefly fresh waterbog over deep peat deposits. The river bluff areas and gently sloping morainal hills rise to 200 feet, and were deposited by Illinois' last glacier.

Chain O' Lakes has a mixture of oak and hickory hardwood timber. The park also contains cherry, elm, birch, sumac and spruce with rich colors that attract numerous visitors each fall, plus some scattered pine plantings.

Nature lovers will find a rich assortment of wildflowers in the spring, summer and fall.

Grass Lake once was almost entirely covered with American Lotus each summer, and attracted great crowds including tour boats, annually. The lake still contains some areas of lotus.

Two hundred acres of restored native prairie provide nesting habitat for grassland bird species.

Some of the wildlife you are likely to encounter within the park are white-tailed deer, rabbits, ground squirrels, chipmunks, mink, opossum, skunks, raccoons, gophers, fox, badgers, beaver, coyotes, and groundhogs. A check-list of the nearly 200 birds that have been identified in the park is available at the park office.
History of the Area
The Chain O Lakes area was inhabited by central Algonquian Tribes when Europeans first arrived in the Mid-1600's. The predominant tribes in the region at that time were the Miami, Mascouten and Potawatomi. These Native American groups led a semi-mobile lifestyle and grew corn, hunted, fished and gathered wild plant foods.

Joliet and Marquette passed through what today is Chain O Lakes State Park in 1673, as they traveled the Fox River during their Illinois explorations. French trappers and traders were the first Europeans to explore the area. The first European settlement was at Fort Hill, near Mundelein, a large mound rising out of the prairie, formerly a lookout point for the Indians.

Chain O Lakes became a state park in 1945, when the State of Illinois made an initial purchase of 840 acres. In the 1930's a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp became the Chain O Lakes Conservation Area. This land was incorporated into the state park in 1957. The farm at the park was purchased by the Department of Conservation in 1969. The property was originally owned by the Stevens family, farmers who received the land under a land grant in 1843.
 Hiking Trailyes
 Picnic Sheltersyes
 Swimming Beachyes
 Nature Centeryes
 Nature Programsyes
BoatingBoat Rentalyes
 Boating Limits-1
 Launch Ramps, #1
CampingPrimitive, #82
 Electric Sites, #331
 Flush Toiletsyes
 Camp Commissaryyes
 Camper Cabinsyes
 Group Campyes
 Youth Group Campyes
WinterCross-Country Skiingyes
 Ice Fishingyes
Enjoy a family cabin with your loved ones in an Indiana State Park this year. The cabins offer privacy and comfort with bedrooms, living areas, kitchens and modern bathroom facilities.
* Electric / 331 sites * Non-Electric / 49 sites * Primitive / 33 sites * Rally Camp / 4 sites * Canoe Camp * Youth Tent Areas * Campground Reservations * Camp Store * Dumping Station
Nearby Accommodations
Quality Inn Suites - Columbia City, IN
We provide easy access to area attractions and businesses. Only minutes from the Fort Wayne International Airport, Chain O' Lakes State Park and the Wagon Wheel Theatre. Children of all ages will enjoy having fun at nearby Paige's Crossing family entertainment park. Free wireless high-speed Internet.
13 miles from park*
There is no charge to launch boats at the park, nor is there any horsepower limitations on boats using any of the Chain O' Lakes. Electric trolling motors only are allowed on boats on Turner Lake, a 44 acre lake in the park. A user fee is required for all boats using the Chain O Lakes charged by the Fox Waterway Agency. Stickers are available at the park concession stand/boat launch.

The park features seven picnic areas with tables, water fountains, grills and toilets. Oak Grove, Maple Grove and Oak Point have playground equipment. Oak Pont, Deer path, Oak Grove and Catfish Cove have picnic shelters. Reservations and a $25 fee are required for shelters. Groups of 25 or more must secure advanced written permission for picnics from the Park Office.
Chain O Lakes has four trail systems. The Nature's Way hiking trail starts at Oak Grove Picnic Area and is 2 ? miles in length. The Pike Marsh North Picnic Area has a trail especially designed for disabled users that is ? mile long. The park also contains an equestrian trail with three loops and a total length of 8 miles. Visitors can bring in their own horses for enjoyment on the trail. A parking lot for horse trailers with access to the equestrian trails is located near the park entrance. A biking/hiking trail, 6 miles in length can be accessed at any picnic area between the concession stand and the park office. In the winter all trails can be used by cross-country skiers with the park office doubling as a warming house on weekends with 3" of snow; hours are 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Area Attractions
At nearby Rome City, you can visit the Gene Stratton-Porter Home, state historic site.

* Boat Launch Ramp * Boating / Elect. motor only * Nature Center/Interpretive Naturalist Services (Seasonal) * Shelters (Shelter Reservations) * Rental-Canoe, Paddleboat, Kayak and Rowboat. Canoe rental on weekends & holiday by the hour only. * Cross-County Skiing / No Ski Rental * Fishing / Ice Fishing * Hiking Trails * Swimming / Beach

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 8 This is one of our favorite parks by CATHI Boyer
We love coming here they trails are kept clean and clear. The only major complaint is the restroom and showers. Even after they have cleaned them they are still dirty. The walls are or would be easy to clean if they ran a large scrub brush over walls. But only use power washer on walls that are on one side. So any dirt, bugs, spiders, or other things are left. This is the worst part and I am staying during the week and it is slow.
August 18
Can something be done about the beaver dam on the inlet off of Long Lake. The dam is preventing water to go into the waterway. You have to drag your boat halfway through the canal.
September 18 One of our favorites by Marilyn
We enjoy the boating/kayaking from lake to lake, enjoy birding, and the campfire on the lake. This weekend was our first time kayaking in the dark. It was really great.

Area Campgrounds
Indian Lakes Campground
6460 S 75 W
Wolcottville, IN
Blue Lake Campground
5453 Blue Lake Road
Churubusco, IN
Indian Springs Campground
0981 CR 64
Garrett, IN


Indiana State Parks