Wolf Lake is a natural lake straddling the Illinois and Indiana state line, located in the Calumet region of Illinois. The origin of this lake’s name is unknown, but local residents have offered a few theories. Some state that “Wolf” was an early settler or Native American chief. Others believe that years ago the surrounding area was teeming with wolves and the lake itself was formed similarly to the outline of a wolf. Neither of these claims has been verified, but they still offer an interesting look into the history of Wolf Lake.
The Calumet region is a unique, bi-state ecosystem in the Lake Michigan basin composed of over 15,000 acres of river systems, parks, trails, rare dune and swale, and savanna. Since the 1970s, Openlands has focused on empowering community groups and local governments to care for the region’s natural resources, while promoting a regional culture of conservation by developing an interconnected network of protected and productive green ways, water trails and open spaces. Openlands has connected the people of the Calumet region to nature by increasing public access to open space, such as the Wolf Lake trail system.
Today, a variety of trails surround the lake, offering public access and recreational opportunities. The interactive map below illustrates the Wolf Lake trail system: