Southern Forest Preserve Maple Lake -- Boats, Canoes, Fishing -- and it's haunted, don't you know.

Maple Lake in southern Cook County Forest Preserves has been a favorite recreation destination for Chicago area residents for decades.

It has fancied itself up over the years by adding a nice new boathouse and concession stand and adding nicer boats and canoes.  I remember using the rowboats years ago and wondering how long the piece of tin would keep the water on the outside.

Maple Lake has a long history as a lover’s lane, where you could park in the small north lot overlooking the water and… fish.

Oh, and what would a rural lake be without a haunting?  Maple Lake has that too, with strange orbs of light that appear in the darkness.  I do admit that there were times when I was younger that cheap Annie Greenspring’s wine and an errant headlight may have conjured that up for me.

Maple Lake in the winter has its own beauty.  An overlook on the south shore had a shelter.  Not sure who used it.  Maybe I was seeing a haunting, without the cheap wine this time?

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