Images: Icons of Island Lake

Island Lake has a very personal connection for me.

It's the town in which my father once lived, and it's where my uncle - we call him Uncle Great - still resides.

I've been making weekend trips at least once a summer for swimming, fishing and quality family for longer than I can remember.

To me, the village is centered around the lake itself. I've never been able to completely figure out the winding roads off Route 176 that connect the neighborhoods around the lake, but I like to think that's a big part of the town's charm.

There's plenty of lore available to those who want to know about the history of the island, including how it was first settled.

Firmly in the category of myth is the legend my uncle told us when we were children - the one about the Swamp Wombies who lived in the lake. They have a taste for the flesh of young children. You might want to forget that the next time you go for a midsummer dip.

  The water tower/communications hub along Rte. 176 in Island Lake. Aaron Gabriel/
  Water Tower Park, the unofficial center of civic activity in Island Lake. Aaron Gabriel/
  Island Lake is a community friendly to experienced citizens. Aaron Gabriel/
  Hard to miss Island Lake liquors. Aaron Gabriel/
  Sideouts continues to do a brisk business, thanks to a sign that will really bowl you over. Aaron Gabriel/
  Island Lake has horsepower restrictions on motorized boat traffic, and no-wake areas within several of the lagoons and around the island itself. Aaron Gabriel/
  A perfect way to cruise through a Sunday afternoon on Island Lake.
  Safety is a personal responsibility on the beaches of Island Lake. Aaron Gabriel/
  One of the three water towers one can see from a strategically positioned watercraft afloat on Island Lake. Aaron Gabriel/
  The spillway which allows the water of Island Lake to drain away. In late spring, carp teem at the bottom of the spillway. Aaron Gabriel/
  Veteran's Park features a well-grounded reminder of the sacrifices our soldiers have made. Aaron Gabriel/
  Reminders of those who have served, at Veteran's Park in Island Lake. Aaron Gabriel/
  A dedication in marble to all the branches of our military at Veteran's Park in Island Lake. Aaron Gabriel/
  The Hank Andrew Beach House in Island Lake, gathering place for all manner of summery fun. Aaron Gabriel/
  Boat tours of Island Lake allow visitors the opportunity to get a lake-level view of the village. Aaron Gabriel/
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