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With some 7,100 acres of water, 15 lakes and 45 miles of river, the Chain – often called the “Key West of the Midwest” – accommodates activities for every water-lover: boating, swimming, tubing, waterskiing, fishing, even hunting. Chicagoland’s playground for more than a century (the Chain is about an hour’s drive from the big city), the Chain boasts two State Parks as well as many great boat-in (or drive-to) restaurants and “hot spots.” Newport Cove’s marina is a stone’s “skip” from several.

On a per-acre basis, the Chain O’Lakes is the busiest inland recreational waterway in the entire United States. But, despite its lively reputation, it has its quiet times, too. In the spring and fall, or on summer mornings and weekdays, fishing boats idle near the shorelines and waterfowl serenely float on tranquil waters. You can spot herons, geese, white pelicans, swans, many species of ducks, and even the bald eagles who nest on the lakeshores. Moreover, if one travels north out of the Chain onto the Fox River, you will find yourself amid pristine nature with no sign of civilization in sight.

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