Tampier Lake

Part of John J. Duffy Preserve

Cast a line or rent a boat on this 140-acre recreational lake.

Tampier Lake is a popular spot for boating and fishing in southwest Cook County. At roughly 140 acres, with three miles of shoreline and three different access areas, there are plenty of spots to set up a picnic and fish from the shore. Open areas around the lake allow children to run around, and large trees provide shade. In winter it is a peaceful place to ice fish or just to walk the shore.


Enjoying Tampier Lake

 Tampier Lake Boating Center is the center of activity at Tampier Lake. Located off 131st Street just west of Wolf Road, the Boating Center has a public boat ramp and canoe and rowboat rentals. Acceptable boats to take on the lake include non-gasoline powered boats, rowboats, canoes, kayaks and approved inflatable boats. The Boating Center, open from early April to October (depending on conditions), is equipped with indoor bathrooms, a snack shop, vending machines and fishing supplies available for purchase.


Farther west on 131st, on the north side of the street, the Tampier Lake North parking lot provides access to Tampier Slough, a quieter fishing experience. Watercraft are not permitted on this part of the lake and fishing is restricted to the area between 131st and the power lines. Fishing is also allowed on the rocky shore along 131st Street.

The entrance to Tampier Lake West is on Will-Cook Road, the first left turn off 131st when traveling west. Tampier Lake West has a shelter with picnic tables and hilly green space for running, playing soccer or flying a kite. Fishing is allowed along the shoreline, where fishing regulations and guidelines are posted, as well as containers to recycle used fishing line.


For outdoor adventurers and active adults, the Sag Valley Equestrian Parking Lot, just west of Will-Cook Road on the south side of 131st, offers access to the unpaved Sag Valley red and brown trails, where hiking, biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing are welcome. The network of paths takes visitors to grasslands and wooded areas in the John J. Duffy Preserve, eventually leading to McGinty Slough, roughly two miles northwest. Be sure to consult the FPCC Sag Valley trail map before your adventure.


During the off-season, there are portable toilets at the Boating Center and Tampier Lake West.


Nature at Tampier Lake

The recent nesting of large birds in the Tampier Lake area have inspired new generations of bird watchers. Osprey have nested in the area in the past several years and a nesting pair of bald eagles was spotted at Tampier Lake North (also known as Tampier Slough) in spring 2012. From a distance of at least 500 yards, avid bird watchers with binoculars enjoyed watching the eagle parents hunt in the lake and feed their eaglets. Other known bird species in the area include dickcissels, bobolinks, grasshopper and savannah sparrows and white-eyed and Bell’s vireos.


While the most common keeper fish are walleye and bass, northern pike, bluegill, sunfish, bullhead, channel catfish, carp, perch and crappie also live in the lake.

  • Location

  • Lemont, Illinois

    SW Cook County

    140 acres

    Best for

    Boat RampFishingPicnic GroveBird Watching

    Top Three Tips

    1. Boat rentals are available 6 am to 7:30 pm, April through late October. The rates are $15 per hour or $35 for 8 hours. Arrive early to guarantee boat availability. Call (708) 361-0460 for more information.
    2. Tampier Lake Boating Center and West are family-friendly areas. If you’re looking for a quieter afternoon, test the waters at Tampier Slough, off the North parking lot.
    3. Although the primary activities at Tampier Lake are fishing and boating, the Sag Valley unpaved red and brown trails lead into the John J. Duffy preserve and are accessible from the Sag Valley Equestrian Parking Lot.


    From I-55, take exit 279A for LaGrange Road South and continue south for 9 miles. Turn right/west at 131st Street and drive 2.2 miles. Past Wolf Road, a large sign announcing “Tampier Lake Boating Center” will be visible. The Tampier North entrance is farther west on 131st Street, on the north side of 131st. For access to Tampier West, continue west on 131st Street to Will Cook Road and turn left/south. The parking lot will be on the left/east.

    Volunteer in the Forest Preserves

Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County