About Lake Le-Aqua-Na SRA

Natural Features

A Lake Le-Aqua-Na SRA, oak, hickory, walnut and other hardwood trees are in abundance, along with large tracts of pine plantation. A good variety of woodland wildflowers, including Dutchmans breeches, bloodroot and bluebells, cover the ground in the spring and early summer. Squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits and other small animals are often seen in the wooded areas, and deer also are frequently sighted.

Observant visitors might catch a glimpse of a badger. For many years, Lake Le-Aqua-Na was the only state recreation area where badgers could be seen. They have begun to populate other state recreation areas and are becoming less rare.


Three engagements of the Black Hawk War took place within a few miles of Lake Le-Aqua-Na SRA, and a minor skirmish occurred near the park in the mid-1800s. A year after the war ended, the first permanent settler in Stephenson County, William Waddams, built a home just west of the current park site, along a trail that was to become the principal east-west route across northern Illinois for stagecoach and early automobile traffic. A small community was established and extended east into the park site.

The Lake

A typical Midwestern manmade lake, the water is moderately clear due to good watershed practices and the use of an axial-flow destratifier that mixes the lake water to keep oxygen levels high at all depths. Lake Le-Aqua-Na is one of only a few lakes in Illinois to use this device.