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In 1836, an old trail -- first traveled by Indian tribes -- wound its way from Fort Dearborn in Chicago all the way to Wisconsin.  A portion of it went through the  settlement that was first known as Crystal Ville and platted in 1840 as The Village of Crystal Lake.  A spur line of the Chicago, St. Paul and Fond du Lac railroad was constructed in 1856 and used to bring Chicagoans the ice cut from the lake; it also brought visitors to Crystal Lake from the city.

Located in what is now southeastern McHenry County, the city is situated to the north and east of the 230-acre lake of the same name that was said in 1835 to have waters "as clear as crystal".  With its railroad connection, the town quickly grew and prospered.  Today, the town of roughly 41,000 residents is a thriving community with a strong school system, great city park system and revitalized downtown area.  A pleasant, friendly, small-town atmosphere greets residents and visitors alike... and with ample shopping, dining and recreational activities, Crystal Lake is a great destination!
 

 

McHenry Country Prairie Trail

Exner Marsh

Prairieview Education Center

 

Population:
~ 41,000

(2007 est.)
Elevation: 892 feet
Land area: 17 sq mi
Zip codes: 60012, 60014, 60039

County: McHenry
Crystal Lake Size: 230 acres

 

 

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