A 160-acre tract was
acquired by the state in 1947 and became known as the Wolf Lake State
Recreation Area. Other acquisitions have now increased the area to 580
acres, of which 419 acres are water.
Wolf Lake is a natural lake, but many areas
were dredged in years past. It is separated into five different sections
by dikes left following the dredging project. The maximum depth is about
Wolf Lake straddles the Illinois and Indiana
State line between 120th and 134th streets. The park road on the east
side runs parallel to the Indiana line. It is not known how the area originally
became known as Wolf Lake. Some local residents claimed Wolf was an early
settler or an Indian chief; others said that years ago wolves were abundant
around the lake and that the lake itself was in the shape of a wolf. The
Chicago Historical Society was unable to verify any of these possibilities.
In 1965, the Legislature approved changing
the name of the state recreation area to honor the memory of William W.
Powers, a former state legislator, who was well-known for his deep interest
in the promotion of recreation for the residents of his district. Representative
Powers' generosity also included providing annual Christmas parties for
children, baskets of food, and fuel for less fortunate ones during the
The main picnic area is located south of
the main entrance and parallels Avenue O. An ample quantity of tables
and stoves are provided in shady spots beneath the many willow and cottonwood
trees. Four shelters are availalbe and may be reserved at: Reserveamerica.com
Wolf Lake contains largemouth bass, northern
pike, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie, bullhead, carp, walleye, hybrid
muskie, and yellow perch. About six miles of shoreline is available to
Motors of any size are allowed (motors larger than 10 H.P. must operate at no-wake, idle speed).
Ice fishing is permitted when conditions
allow the ice to become thick enough. Please contact the park office for
the most current information.
The area is used for waterfowl hunting during
the fall of the year. Hunting must be done from authorized blinds, which
are allocated at a public drawing during the month of July. Unoccupied
blinds are available on a daily basis. Consult the park ranger for information
concerning hunting regulations and blind site locations. Hunter
This area is for all to enjoy so help keep
it clean. Put all litter in the nearest available trash container. Camping
or swimming is not permitted. No plants or parts of any tree may be removed
or damaged. Park hours are 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Memorial Day through the last day of September; 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, October 1st through Memorial Day (early entry to waterfowl hunters during hunting season).
William W. Powers
State Recreation Area is on Chicago's far southeast side, off highways
94, 90, and 41. The main park entrance is at 12949 South Avenue O.
- 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 and clean up after them.
- 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.