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Three Oaks Recreation Area, Crystal Lake

(75+ reviews on the web)
Wildlife Area
The plan some 20 years in the making converted the long-abandoned Vulcan Lakes quarry, which was first mined by the Vulcan Lakes Materials Company in the 1950s, opened to the Community in October 2010. The city entered into an agreement with the company in 1990, allowing use of Three Oaks Road in exchange for ownership of the property once mining was depleted. In 2007, the property was deeded to the city, and the Vulcan Lakes Advisory Committee and city staff began creating the vision for a recreation area.

The City of Crystal Lake reclaimed the quarry and turned it into an amazing passive community recreation experience. Pristine waters, natural habitat, and incredible fishing. Rent rowboats, canoes, kayaks, sailboats, paddleboats, or enjoy a grassy picnic, various overlooks with breathtaking views of the water and lake islands. Enjoy the swimming beach, hiking trails, a small-child playground/spray park and a Culver's Restaurant with outdoor lakeside dining patio.


Highway Route 14 entrance (between Harris Bank & Cooper Tire) to enter the park from the north

or ..

The Main Street entrance brings you into the park from the west and is located by Mairfair Furniture & Carpet.
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  • Very Clean and well-maintained park. No trash seen around the area, and they are always adding to the area with a new park, walking path, etc.  more »
  • This is a beautiful 330 acre lake with great bass fishing. No live bait allowed and it is a catch and release only Lake. I like to use football jigs , rattle traps,husky jerks and Yamamoto Senkos. I l...  more »
  • My kids and I love this place. An old quarry filled with water, with beaches and a great place for kayaking and paddle boarding. Get some R and R nearby!  more »
  • The CLEAREST PERFECT water you could find anywhere else. Pay for the parking which is not much for the perfect sport fishing access ahead. Just stay off the waters on the windy days as your trolling motor is not any good . The clarity of the water allows you to change lures in accordance to the fish running below. The beach area is small but an ideal beach. A lot of life guards make the place safer for the ones who do not know swimming too
  • This is really a great way to spend a day with the family or if your an adventure seeker try the zip line wake board then grab a beer!!! There is an on site Culver's which most people really enjoy. Maybe rent a boat if it suits you or go for a swim!!!! The kids are sure to love the spray and play. There is a fee for non residents but it's well worth it!!! This place will become a staple of our summer activities.
  • Nicely made trails that follow the edge of the lake. Restored prairie land full of flowers and interesting plants. It was late in the season, but seems like a great place to go swimming as well.
  • This is a very nice beach for the local community. It is also great that you can buy lunch and have a family picnic right there. The only thing that would make it better would be if they had real beach sand.
  • VERY expensive and NOT worth it! Beach is clean but VERY small! Staff is unfriendly too. I called ahead to ask about pricing and parking, woman on the phone was super rude and treated my questions as stupid. Every interaction with staff I got short snippy answer as though I dare waste their time! It's cheaper to drive and pay to go Lake Geneva beach....and Lake Geneva's beach is FREE after 5pm!! I'd say save your money and check out other local beaches like Lake in the hills. Cheaper and more relaxing in an area just as beautiful . Oh and not only do you have to pay to get in you have to pay to park!! The paddle board rentals are crazy expensive too!! I didn’t look into anything else. I'm only giving 2 stars because I didn’t hate it and beach and water are clean. If your looking for an over priced swimming hole this is your place.