Thursday, August 11, 2016

Illinois' Chain of Lakes-- Part 7: Result of the Melting of the Wisconsin Glacier

The Chain of Lakes is the result of the melting of the Wisconsin Glacier, which left a unique landscape in northern Illinois.  The Fox River winds its way southward from Wisconsin, through Antioch, Illinois, and then it connects a series of lakes, 15 in all.  (The river eventually runs into the Illinois River and on to the Mississippi.)

These lakes, collectively known as the Chain of Lakes, or Chain O' Lakes, cover more than 7,000 acres of water and includes 500 miles of total shoreline (50 miles of river shoreline from where it enters Illinois down to Algonquin where a dam with no locks impedes boat traffic beyond it.  There is a dam south of McHenry, Illinois, which has locks.

The Chain of Lakes Waterway Agency oversees its use and maintenance.  This is a big job as the area has more boat usage per acre than any other inland waterway system in the United States.  I have even heard that it is the second busiest only to the Intercoastal Waterway.


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