Reported June 5, 2003:
Chain O' Lakes is a must for anyone who enjoys canoeing! Eight lakes that are connected by channels give you plenty of interesting areas to explore via canoe.
Within its 2,718 acres you will find 212 surface acres of water. There are a total of 11 lakes in the park. The lakes are known as "kettle lakes" and were formed by glaciers 10,000 years ago. The lakes were huge blocks of ice and when the glaciers melted rivers of water carved out the channels that now connect the eight lakes.
The campgrounds are beautiful, very wooded and shady. They have a Primitive Circle which is very serene and distant from the rest of the campground.
There is a Nature Center that was once a one room school house. The beach is very nice. They have boat and canoe rentals, $5.00 an hour or $20.00 a day (and a $20.00 deposit or your Indiana State Drivers License). You might want to rent for the day because once you get out on those lakes it could be hours and hours before you want to return to shore.
They don't have bicycle trails but don't leave your bikes at home. There is still alot of bicycling you can do on the park roads. If you like to roar down hills check out the hill just before the nature center. We would fly down the hill and then throw the bikes in the van and take them back up for another trip back down.
All in all I give COL State Park a 9.5 out of a possible 10. The park is beautifully maintained and there's plenty to do to keep you busy a few days. They lose a half a point for not having mountaining bike trails. If they had bicycle trails I would give this park a 10 because I fell in love with the lakes, the woods, and the campground itself (especially the primitive circle).
Hope you enjoyed my report,
State Park Enthusiast
the beach at Chain O'Lakes State Park
our campsites (414 and 415) at Chain O'Lakes State Park