What to do in William W. Powers State Recreation Area

This information was provided by Department of Natural Resources

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.The Lake

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 20 feet.History

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 depression years.

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 available by reservation only.

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 bank fisherman.

Ten horsepower motors or less are allowed. There are three boat launching ramps north of the main entrance.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 Fact SheetPlease

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 6:00 a.m. to sunset.

The LakeWolf 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 20 feet.

Recreation

FishingWolf 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 bank fisherman.

BoatingTen horsepower motors or less are allowed. There are three boat launching ramps north of the main entrance.

Winter SportsIce fishing is permitted when conditions allow the ice to become thick enough. Please contact the park office for the most current information.

HuntingThe 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 Fact Sheet

Location
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.

Climate
Illinois experiences four distinct seasons with varying weather throughout the year. Winter can be very cold. The highest humidity of the year occurs during this season averaging 70 to 75 percent. Average low temperatures in January dip to 20 degrees F with highs near 35 degrees F. Spring temperatures are mild with humidity below 70 percent. Temperatures during this season average between 32 and 50 degrees F. Summer is usually hot and humid in this Midwest state. Low temperatures remain in the low sixties with high temperatures near 90 degrees F. The highest rainfall of the year occurs during the summer months. Fall is an excellent time to visit the state with low humidity and rainfall and moderate temperatures.

Address
12949 Avenue O
Chicago, IL 60633

Phone: 773.646.3270

  • William W. Powers State Recreation Area Travel Q&A

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