Wolf Lake is a natural lake, but many areas were dredged in years past. It is separated into five different sections by dikes left following the dredging project. The maximum depth is about 20 feet.
Wolf Lake straddles the Illinois and Indiana State line between 120th and 134th streets. The park road on the east side runs parallel to the Indiana line. It is not known how the area originally became known as Wolf Lake. Some local residents claimed Wolf was an early settler or an Indian chief; others said that years ago wolves were abundant around the lake and that the lake itself was in the shape of a wolf. The Chicago Historical Society was unable to verify any of these possibilities.
In 1965, the Legislature approved changing the name of the state recreation area to honor the memory of William W. Powers, a former state legislator, who was well-known for his deep interest in the promotion of recreation for the residents of his district. Representative Powers' generosity also included providing annual Christmas parties for children, baskets of food, and fuel for less fortunate ones during the depression years.
The main picnic area is located south of the main entrance and parallels Avenue O. An ample quantity of tables and stoves are provided in shady spots beneath the many willow and cottonwood trees. Four shelters are available and may be reserved by using Reserve America.
Wolf Lake contains largemouth bass, northern pike, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie, bullhead, carp, walleye, hybrid muskie, and yellow perch. About six miles of shoreline is available to bank fisherman.
Motors of any size are allowed (motors larger than 10 H.P. must operate at no-wake, idle speed).
Ice fishing is permitted when conditions allow the ice to become thick enough. Please contact the park office for the most current information.
The area is used for waterfowl hunting during the fall of the year. Hunting must be done from authorized blinds, which are allocated at a public drawing during the month of July. Unoccupied blinds are available on a daily basis. Consult the park ranger for information concerning hunting regulations and blind site locations. Review the Hunter Fact Sheet for more information.
Keep William W. Powers SRA Beautiful
This area is for all to enjoy so help keep it clean. Put all litter in the nearest available trash container. Camping or swimming is not permitted. No plants or parts of any tree may be removed or damaged. Park hours are 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Memorial Day through the last day of September; 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, October 1st through Memorial Day (early entry to waterfowl hunters during hunting season).
William W. Powers State Recreation Area is on Chicago's far southeast side, off highways 94, 90, and 41. The main park entrance is at 12949 South Avenue O.
• While groups of 25 or more are welcome and encouraged to use the park's facilities, they are required to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling conflicts.
• At least one responsible adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.
• Pets must be kept on leashes at all times and clean up after them.
• Actions by nature can result in closed roads and other facilities. Please call ahead to the park office before you make your trip.
• We hope you enjoy your stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.