Whether you visit
for an afternoon or stay a few days, you will leave Lake Le-Aqua-Na State
Recreation Area with many happy memories. Located in Stephenson County
just west of Route 73 on Lake Road, the park is 6 miles south of the
Illinois-Wisconsin state line and 3 miles north of Lena.
Highlighted by a 40-acre
lake and all the recreational opportunities there, the park also offers
multi-use trails, picnic areas, and RV, tent, equestrian and youth group
Developed as part
of a statewide plan to provide Illinois citizens with recreational opportunities
close to home, the park was started with a land acquisition program in
1948 and dedicated as a 715-acre state recreation area 10 years later.
name is the result of a contest sponsored by the Stephenson County Sportmans
Club, one of the parks many sponsors. The name is a combination
of the town of Lena and the Latin word for water, aqua.
Oak, hickory, walnut
and other hardwood trees are in abundance, along with large tracts of
pine plantation. A good variety of woodland wildflowers, including Dutchmans
breeches, bloodroot and bluebells, cover the ground in the spring and
early summer. Squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits and other small animals are
often seen in the wooded areas, and deer also are frequently sighted.
might catch a glimpse of a badger. For many years, Lake Le-Aqua-Na
was the only state recreation area where badgers could be seen. They have
begun to populate other state recreation areas and
are becoming less rare.
of the Black Hawk War took place within a few miles of the park, and a
minor skirmish occurred near the park in the mid-1800s. A year after
the war ended, the first permanent settler in Stephenson County, William
Waddams, built a home just west of the current park site, along a trail
that was to become the principal east-west route across northern Illinois
for stagecoach and early automobile traffic. A small community was established
and extended east into the park site.
A typical Midwestern manmade lake,
the water is moderately clear due to good watershed practices and the
use of an axial-flow destratifier that mixes the lake water to keep oxygen
levels high at all depths. Lake Le-Aqua-Na is one of only a few lakes
in Illinois to use this device.
Whether you enjoy
hiking, horseback riding or cross-country skiing, 8.5 miles of marked
trails include something for everyone. Pets are welcome to enjoy the trails
with you, but must be kept on their leashes.
and cross-country skiing are popular attractions at Lake Le-Aqua-Na during
the winter months, but there are no trails or facilities for snowmobiling.
All ice activities should be limited to areas away from the lakes
destratifier unit, where open water and thin ice make these activities
Concessions - Concession stand is currently closed until a new concessionaire can be found.
Everything from canoes
and paddleboats to food is available at a conveniently located concession
stand. The concession is open May 1 through Sept. 15.
Completed in 1956,
the lake provides fishing, boating and a swimming beach.Bring your own boat and enjoy the beauty of the lake's 1.4 miles of wooded shoreline. A launching ramp is located adjacent
to the concession stand. Only electric motors are allowed.
of walleye, northern pike and channel catfish compliment the lakes
self-sustaining largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and bullhead populations. Brush
piles and fish cribs are located throughout the lake and enhance
habitat for the fish population. To keep the supply abundant, however,
regulations governing catch limits and sizes are strictly enforced.
An accessible fishing pier is located near the swimming beach.
A small beach, particularly
suited to children, is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Memorial Day
through Labor Day. No lifeguards in attendance so swimming is at your own risk. Alcohol is strictly prohibited.
Whether you are planning
a picnic for two, have invited the whole family, or even the whole neighborhood,
Lake Le-Aqua-Na has a picnic site to suit your needs. All sites include
tables and grills. For those who like to plan ahead, two picnic shelters
with electricity may be reserved in advance.
Camping | Youth Group Reservation Form
RV, tent, equestrian
and youth group campers are all accommodated in the various campgrounds. Few sites are secluded, with the majority open and spacious
with adequate shade available on most.
number of electric sites with water are conveniently located throughout
the campgrounds. While the RV campground is open year-round, the shower building with flush
toilets and the trailer dump station are operational only from May 1 -
November 1. To make reservations for the camground, go to www.reserveamerica.com
The equestrian campground
has a shelter, vault toilets and a hand pump for water. Access to the
area is on county roads that border the park, not the main park entrance.
Contact the park office prior to your equestrian outing as the campgrounds
and trail may be closed due to wet conditions.
Camping at Lake Le-Aqua-Na
is a very relaxed, family-oriented experience. The following regulations apply:
beverages are not permitted at any time in the campgrounds.
2. Access to the campground is prohibited after 10 p.m., except
for previously registered campers.
3. You must have a camping unit, establish camp and obtain a permit
upon arrival. You may not buy additional permits in advance in an attempt
to save a campsite for friends arriving later.
4. While pets are very important to your camping experience,
it is your responsibility to leash them at all times, pick up their
waste and attend to them at all times. Many campers are not pet owners
and their camping experience is greatly diminished if your pet is noisy.
Please consider kenneling your pet if it may disturb others.
A dove hunt and youth hunt are available. For more information please see the hunter fact sheet
FROM THE CHICAGO
AREA: Take I-90 west to Rte 20 west at Rockford. Travel on Rte 20
west to IL 73 north (Approximately 60 miles). Turn right onto IL 73 and
go north 2 miles into the town of Lena.
Turn left on Lena Street. Proceed .4 mile, turn right onto Lake Road and
go approximately 3 miles to Park entrance.
FROM THE SOUTH: Take I-39 to Rte 20 west of Rockford. Travel on
Rte 20 west to IL 73 north (approximately 58 miles). Turn right onto IL
73 north, go 2 miles into the town of Lena. Turn left onto Lena Street.
Proceed two blocks, turn right onto Lake Road and go approximately 3 miles
to Park entrance.
FROM THE WEST: Travel on Rte 20 east to IL 73 north. Turn left
onto IL 73 north and to 2 miles into the town of Lena. Turn left onto
Lena Street. Proceed .4 mile, turn right onto Lake Road and go approximately
3 miles to Park entrance.
FROM THE NORTH: Take WI 69 south which will turn into IL 26 south
at the Illinois-Wisconsin border. Take this to the town of Orangeville.
Turn right in Orangeville on McConnell Road. Cross IL 73. The road then
turns into Lake Road. Go on Lake Road to Park entrance.
- While groups of 25 or
more are welcome and encouraged to use the park's facilities, they are required
to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling
- At least one responsible
adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.
- Pets must be kept on
leashes at all times.
- Actions by nature can
result in closed roads and other facilities. Please call ahead to the park
office before you make your trip.
- We hope you enjoy your
stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.
- For more information
on tourism in Illinois, call the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community
Affairs' Bureau of Tourism at 1-800-2Connect.
- Telecommunication Device
for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Natural Resources Information (217) 782-9175
for TDD only Relay Number 800-526-0844.