"Lake Le-agua-na" Lena by Cherie_J

Lena Travel Guide: 2 reviews and 2 photos

Lake Le-Aqua-Na’s name is the result of a contest sponsored by the Stephenson County Sportmans Club, one of the park’s many sponsors. The name is a combination of the town of Lena and the Latin word for water, aqua.

Oak, hickory, walnut and other hardwood trees are in abundance, along with large tracts of pine plantation. A good variety of woodland wildflowers, including Dutchmans breeches, bloodroot and bluebells, cover the ground in the spring and early summer.

Observant visitors might also catch a glimpse of a badger. For many years, Lake Le-Aqua-Na was the only State Recreation Area where badgers could be seen. They have recently begun to populate other State Recreation Areas, however, and are becoming less rare.

Three engagements of the Black Hawk War took place within a few miles of the park, and a minor skirmish occurred very near the park in the mid-1800s. A year after the war ended, the first permanent settler in Stephenson County, William Waddams, built a home just west of the current park site, along a trail that was to become the principal east-west route across northern Illinois for stagecoach and early automobile traffic. A small community was established and extended east into the park site.

  • Intro Written Mar 11, 2002
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