Dunns Lake, Illinois, USA

Also known as:  Fox Chain O'Lakes

If a vacation on the Fox River Chain of Lakes appeals to you, Dunns Lake in the Chicagoland Region is just the ticket. This small lake, reached via a short channel from Nippersink Lake, is just far enough from the main lakes to be reasonably quiet but close enough to that you won’t miss a thing. Compared to many of the lakes in the chain, Dunns Lake is small in – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Dunns Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Dunns Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Dunns Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Dunns Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Dunns Lake

Lake Locations: USA - Midwest - Illinois - Chicagoland -

If a vacation on the Fox River Chain of Lakes appeals to you, Dunns Lake in the Chicagoland Region is just the ticket. This small lake, reached via a short channel from Nippersink Lake, is just far enough from the main lakes to be reasonably quiet but close enough to that you won’t miss a thing. Compared to many of the lakes in the chain, Dunns Lake is small in area but big in accommodations: newer condos around the lake are often available as vacation rentals, making this a perfect spot to schedule a summer getaway.

The Fox River Chain of Lakes is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the Chicago area. The large lakes in the chain — Fox, Grass, Pistakee, Petite, Bluff, Marie, Channel, Catherine, Redhead, Nippersink and Spring Lakes — and several smaller lakes such as Dunns Lake, together with a 45-mile stretch of the Fox River, make up a recreational paradise only 45 miles from Chicago. Water level control on the entire Fox River Chain O’Lakes is controlled by a series of dams on the Fox River. The dams, under the control of the Illinois Division of Water Resources, maintain recreational water levels and control flooding.

Settlement began in the area soon after the region was opened up for homesteading in 1836. Farming was scattered and transportation difficult due to the many square miles of bogs and swamps. Early residents soon took advantage of the waters’ bounty, including waterfowl hunting, freshwater clamshell harvesting and arranging hunting and fishing parties for visitors from Chicago and Milwaukee. By the 1880s, many resort hotels catered both to genteel visitors and a rougher crowd of the less-than-lawful. The larger lakes around the Village of Fox Lake soon sported a variety of illegal gambling establishments, taverns and hotels. Although illegal, gambling profits from the casinos once provided so much revenue that local farmers weren’t required to pay taxes.

Periodic corruption clean-ups by Lake County officials resulted in several round-ups of slot machines and gaming equipment but were unsuccessful in stamping out the money-making enterprise. The advent of Prohibition hardly slowed down business at the many drinking establishments along the chain of lakes. Gangster Al Capone often visited the Mineola Hotel in Fox Lake, which still displays his hat in a glass case. Capone’s rival, George “Bugs” Moran, supplied booze to Lake County, according to news accounts from that time. In 1930, a year after the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago, five people were shot and three killed in a mob-related hit at the Manning Hotel in Fox Lake. The Fox Lake Massacre was the worst incident of Prohibition-era gang violence in Lake County. The crime was never solved.

A real estate development adjacent to Dunns Lake takes its name from another famous attraction on nearby Grass Lake. Lotus Woods is named for the vast field of American Lotus that nearly covered the shallow lake at one time. Enterprising Tour boat operators printed up thousands of picture postcards of the wide patches of “Egyptian Lotus” that had been “miraculously transported to Illinois by birds” to entice visitors to come and visit.

Modern visitors to Dunns Lake are a much more honest crowd. The chain of lakes gets thousands of visitors each year to water ski, sail, wakeboard, jet ski and pontoon. Dunns Lake doesn’t get the massive amount of boat traffic the larger lakes get, making it an ideal spot for swimming, sun-bathing, tubing, canoeing and kayaking. It’s the perfect home base from which to engage in the power-boating sports on the bigger lakes with an easy retreat in case of bad weather.

Fishing is a favorite activity both winter and summer on Dunns Lake and the other lakes in the chain. While small Dunns Lake is a good spot for panfish, other areas in the chain offer up yellow perch, walleye, northern pike, muskellunge, largemouth bass, bluegill, white and black crappie, white and yellow bass and channel catfish. The chain of of lakes is a favorite among waterfowl hunters who must follow Fox Waterway Agency rules for permitting of blinds. Dove, waterfowl, archery deer and permit pheasant hunting are available at Chain O’Lakes State Park nearby.

Off the water, many local venues provide unique opportunities for birding, wildlife watching and the observation of wetland plants near Dunns Lake. At Chain O Lakes State Park, two hundred acres of restored native prairie provide nesting habitat for grassland bird species. White-tailed deer, rabbits, ground squirrels, chipmunks, mink, opossum, skunks, raccoons, gophers, fox, badgers, beaver, coyotes, and groundhogs roam the park. A check-list of the nearly 200 birds that have been identified in the park is available at the park office. The trails are available for hiking, cross-country skiing and horseback riding. Eighty-acre Turner Lake Nature Preserve supports a variety of plants in a unique bog environment; the remaining beds of American Lotus on Grass Lake are breathtaking when in bloom.

Dunns Lake visitors with an interest in wetland ecology will enjoy the two bog preservation areas southeast of Lake Pistakee. The Pistakee Bog Nature Preserve and adjacent Volo Bog State Nature Area provide excellent opportunities to observe bog plants such as the rose pogonia and grass pink. These native orchids grow only in bog areas under ideal conditions. The Volo Bog contains Illinois’ only quaking bog with an open-water center. Interpretive trails and exhibits acquaint visitors with the delicate ecology of the wetland bog.

The villages of Fox Lake and Ingleside provide visitors with groceries, ice, charcoal and beverages. The larger lakes offer marinas and water craft rentals. In Fox Lake, one can take in a movie on a rainy afternoon or indulge in dinner in a hundred-year-old resort hotel with ambiance of a 1920s speakeasy. Numerous nightlife establishments located around the larger lakes can be accessed by boat. Chicago is only 45 miles away by Metro rail. Milwaukee is 60 miles by highway.

Finding vacation lodgings at Dunns Lake is as easy as renting a condo, private residence or hotel room. Vacation rentals are commonly found among the summer cottages either on the lakefront or with lake views. Many provide watercraft along with the rental or you can bring your own. And real estate available in the immediate area means you can claim a permanent spot on Dunns Lake. Come and spend a weekend or an entire vacation enjoying the water sports around the Chain of Lakes. You may decide to make it your forever home.

Things to Do at Dunns Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Tubing
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Casino Gambling

Fish Species Found at Dunns Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Bass
  • Yellow Perch

All About Dunns Lake

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Dunns Lake

The Dunns Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Dunns Lake Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Dunns Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Dunns Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Dunns Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Dunns Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Illinois Dept. of Transportation-Division of Water Resources

Surface Area: 68 acres

Shoreline Length: 3 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 737 feet

Average Depth: 6 feet

Maximum Depth: 20 feet

Water Volume: 342 acre-feet

Trophic State: Hypereutrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

More Dunns Lake news from LakeLubbers.com

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
  • The Dunns Lake forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
  • New Dunns Lake photos coming soon!
  • You’re invited to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!
  • Share this Dunns Lake article with your fellow LakeLubbers:

Do you have a vacation rental property at Dunns Lake? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

Please get in touch with our advertising team HERE and we’ll provide you more details on this upcoming advertising opportunity.

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Looking for the Dunns Lake forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Click here to advertise your Dunns Lake vacation rental or local business.

The former Dunns Lake forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Dunns Lake photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Dunns Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Dunns Lake vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

Looking for the old Dunns Lake forum group? Click Here

New Dunns Lake photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi