| Story by Meghan McMahon |
Tucked away on the western edge of Will County, Lake Chaminwood, in Troy Township, is one of the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s newest preserves, with land for the preserve acquired between 2000 and 2011.
The preserve’s name is a tribute to the adjacent towns: “Cha” for Channahon, “min” for Minooka and “wood” for Shorewood. The main attraction at the preserve is the lake, which is actually two lakes — one 35 acres and the other 12 acres.
The lakes are popular for fishing, paddling and simply enjoying the views and nature, and one reason for their popularity is because the water is so clear. Both lakes were originally created and used for quarrying. The smaller lake reaches depths of up to 20 feet, while the larger lake is 25 feet deep at its deepest point.
The water at Lake Chaminwood is so clear for a few reasons. First, lakes in old gravel quarries tend to have more clear blue water, said Erin Ward, an interpretive naturalist for the Forest Preserve District. This is because the land around the lake provides a lot of filtration for the lake water. There are also springs in the lake that supply some of the lake water.
The water is so clear at Lake Chaminwood that you can often see fish and other wildlife swimming from either the shoreline or while in a boat on the water. This is one reason it’s such a popular spot for fishing.
“It’s a great sport fishing lake, in particular for bass, but people catch catfish, crappie and bluegill as well,” Ward said.
The calm, clear water is also what makes it such a big draw for those with kayaks and canoes. That’s one of Ward’s favorite activities there, and she gets to spend a lot of time on the water at Lake Chaminwood as an instructor for paddling programs offered by the Forest Preserve District.