There is a lot to find and do at Lake Carroll just north of Lanark.
In addition to a clubhouse and golf course open to the public, there are many amenities exclusive for the residents.
A ski hill and lodge, multi-purpose trails and a campground.
There’s also a fish hatchery to feed the private lake, which serves as the center of this community.
Resident Betty Carrubba said, “My love is the lake, as my shirt says.”
To truly experience Lake Carroll, Betty Carrubba said it starts on a boat.
Betty said, “First drive into Lake Carroll, you don’t see a lake. We were driving around saying where’s the lake, where’s the lake.”
The 640-acre man-made lake…
Resident Tom Stangle said, “By the way is the largest private lake in the state of Illinois.”
It is the centerpiece of life in this private residential community for Betty and the neighbors.
Betty said, “We have a home right on the lake, so we can enjoy all the water sports. We have a boat, jet ski.”
Resident Sam Haldiman said it’s especially a hit for the grandkids.
Sam Haldiman said, “The little ones that are four, seven and 10, we go out on the boat and they want to anchor and the first thing is they open the side door on the pontoon and they’re jumping into the lake. The four-year-old screaming and jumping. They swim around the boat, climb up the ladder, run through the boat and climb up again, and again, and again. They just have a ball.”
While taking in these views, life here also has a slower pace far from a concrete jungle.
Sam said, “There’s no traffic jam. There’s no gridlock. There are no traffic lights.”
There are 950 homes that span the 5,000 acres.
“We have residents that have been here from the very beginning,” said Lake Carroll General Manager Dick Schwalbenberg. “The general feeling is the community is growing, the community is growing but I think in general, everybody feels that the community is moving in a positive direction.”
Some use this place as a retirement home. Other owners come here for a weekend getaway or to raise a family.
Resident Abby Sturtevant said, “My husband and I grew up out here and lived in Chicago for about a decade and made the big move back out this way.”
It’s been about a year since Abby Sturtevant and her family packed the moving truck, providing a yard and freedom for her kids to play.
But when it comes to life at Lake Carroll, they might come for the lake but stay because of the people.
Abby said, “The neighbors are wonderful. All of our kids play together on our block so it’s a great sense of community.”
Betty said, “They don’t even hesitate to come out and help when the weather’s bad or your dock gets dislodged.”
With plenty to do, it’s easy to get to know one’s neighbors.
Betty said, “We’re a community. We’re not individuals who own homes on a lake.”