About William W. Powers SRA

The Lake

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.


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.

Additional Information

  • 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.