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Lake in the Hills, Illinois facts for kids

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Village of Lake in the Hills
Official seal of Village of Lake in the Hills
Country  United States
State Illinois
County McHenry
Township Grafton, Algonquin
Incorporated 1952
 • Total 10.61 sq mi (27.5 km2)
 • Land 10.38 sq mi (26.9 km2)
 • Water 0.23 sq mi (0.6 km2)  2.17%
 • Total 28,965
 • Density 2,730.0/sq mi (1,054.0/km2)
  up 496.01% from 1990
Standard of living
 • Per capita income $26,239 (median: $73,313)
 • Home value $177,691 (median: $166,400)
ZIP code(s)
Area code(s) 847 & 224
Geocode 41183
Demographics (2000)
White Black Hispanic Asian
91.59% 1.50% 6.31% 3.33%
Islander Native Other
0.02% 0.14% 1.86%

Lake in the Hills (often abbreviated L.I.T.H. or LITH) is a village in McHenry County, Illinois, United States. The population was 23,152 at the 2000 census. A 2006 special census put the village's population at 29,175. As of the 2010 census, the population declined from the 2006 figure to 28,165.

The village is most known for its rampant residential growth which occurred most heavily in the 1990s. Once a sleepy lakeside village of cottages and small ranches, its population skyrocketed as developers flocked to the area in the 1990s. Its population increased by 17,000 people (a nearly 400% increase) over this period, making it one of the most rapidly growing suburbs of Chicago and in the United States at that time. At the height of its building boom, the village issued over 1,000 residential building permits in 1995.

In the late 1990s, the village faced the challenge of providing adequate services and infrastructure as well as establishing an identity and community unity, since many community services (libraries, schools, fire districts) were pre-delegated to neighboring communities such as Huntley, Algonquin and Crystal Lake. However, the village continues to expand its resources and community offerings and is also endeavoring to diversify its tax base and provide more commercial and industrial businesses.


Lake in the Hills is located at 42°11′12″N 88°20′51″W / 42.18667°N 88.34750°W / 42.18667; -88.34750 (42.186729, -88.347429).

According to the 2010 census, Lake in the Hills has a total area of 10.614 square miles (27.49 km2), of which 10.38 square miles (26.88 km2) (or 97.8%) is land and 0.234 square miles (0.61 km2) (or 2.2%) is water.


Lake in the Hills was started in 1923 by Federal Judge Walter J. La Buy around Woods Creek Lake, which is the main lake in Lake in the Hills. By the year 1926, La Buy bought 472 acres (1.91 km2) of land which is currently Indian Trail. On this land, he built five stucco homes; only one stands in its original state, which is currently owned by the Village of Lake in the Hills. The other four original stucco homes have been altered in some way, but all still stand in the original spot by Woods Creek Lake.

The early days of Lake in the Hills saw vacationers from the Chicago area, who wanted to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city. By 1950, some of the vacationers became year round residents of Lake in the Hills. On November 29, 1952, the Village of Lake in the Hills was formed and the original mayor was Bosethus Platt.

The village of Lake in the Hills remained a small, close-knit lakeside residential community for much of the 20th Century, relying on nearby towns like Algonquin and Crystal Lake for services. In 1987, the Village's first shopping center was constructed; it was built at the intersection of Algonquin Road and Oakleaf Road±. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Village made a series of large annexations extending west of Randall Road, all the way west to Illinois Route 47. Numerous subdivisions were constructed in this area throughout the 1990s and 2000s (decade) and retail development blossomed along Randall Road during this time period as well. By the mid 2000s (decade), development had slowed down and as the Village became landlocked by other municipalities, it worked to appropriately develop its remaining parcels.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 246
1970 3,240 1,217.1%
1980 5,651 74.4%
1990 5,866 3.8%
2000 23,152 294.7%
2010 28,965 25.1%
Est. 2015 29,024 0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 23,152 people, 7,652 households, and 6,297 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,461.9 people per square mile (951.0/km²). There were 7,866 housing units at an average density of 836.5 per square mile (323.1/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 91.59% White, 1.50% African American, 0.14% Native American, 3.33% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.86% from other races, and 1.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.31% of the population.

There were 7,652 households out of which 51.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.4% were married couples living together, 6.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.7% were non-families. 13.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 1.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03 and the average family size was 3.35.

In the village, the population was spread out with 33.4% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 44.5% from 25 to 44, 13.4% from 45 to 64, and 3.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 100.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.8 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $80,992, and the median income for a family was $84,761 as of 2007 estimate. Males had a median income of $51,598 versus $34,449 for females. The per capita income for the village was $26,239. About 1.6% of families and 2.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.3% of those under age 18 and 0.9% of those age 65 or over.


The heart and soul of Lake in the Hills is considered by many to be the collection of older neighborhoods colloquially dubbed the "Old Section". For many L.I.T.H. natives, the Old Section is considered the "true" Lake in the Hills, as it contains the lake and the hills from which the town derives its name. The Old Section is unique for its eclectic appearance, as opposed to the newer neighborhoods more homogeneous tract style. Within the Old Section there are four main neighborhoods. These four neighborhoods are as follows: the Original section, the Indian section, the Tree section, and the Presidents section. All, besides the Original section, derive their names from the street names of the area. So the Presidents section contains streets named after presidents, the Indian section of Indian tribes, and the Tree section of different species of trees. The Original section is dubbed so because it is where most of the early settlement took place. Aside from the village's older section, the village has developed several neighborhoods, especially due to the rise of subdivisions in the village over the past 15 years.

  • Princeton Crossing, located along Ackman and Lakewood Road, is the area's most pristine townhome community. This neighborhood consists of 67 townhomes and plush landscaping.
  • Prairie Point, located along Cunat Court is a neighborhood on the village's eastern side, just west of Pyott Road. It included 3-story condominium buildings and a neighborhood recreational center and pool.
  • Boulder Ridge is a gated community in the central section of town, north of Algonquin Road, south of Miller Road and east of Frank Road. It features homes worth between $400,000 and $1,000,000. It also includes the village's only 18 hole golf course, and an immaculate country club which is a popular spot for banquets. On the west side of Frank Road, is the child development "The Lakes of Boulder Ridge", which offers a 9-hole golf course, scenic setting, and expensive duplex homes.
  • Big Sky and Harvest Gate are neighborhoods just west of Randall Road and south of Miller Road, just east of Boulder Ridge. They are some of the village's first subdivisions and were built by the same developer, Town and Country Homes. Woods Creek divides them. Big Sky Park, the new Lake in the Hills Village Hall, and Lincoln Prairie Elementary School are all located within these neighborhoods.
  • Spring Lake Farm (north) is a subdivision south of Miller Road, west of Frank Road. It was also among the village's first subdivisions, built c. early 1990s, by Sundance Homes and Americana Homes. It includes both single-family and multi-family homes.
  • Spring Lake Farm (south) is a single-family home subdivision built by Sundance Homes on Algonquin Road, west of Lakewood and immediately east of Tom's Farm Market in Huntley. It was the village's first subdivision west of Lakewood Road. Homes in this neighborhood are valued generally in the $200K range.
  • Bellchase is a neighborhood built by Sundance Homes on the village's only parcel south of Algonquin Road. This neighborhood features Bellchase Commons, LeRoy Guy Park, and a full range of homes, from 2- and 3-bedroom duplexes and smaller 2-story "freedom" homes to large 4- and 5-bedroom homes. Duplexes in this neighborhood are valued from the high $100s, single-family homes are priced from the mid $200s to the mid $300s.
  • Sumner Glen and Provence are neighborhoods built by Town and Country Homes. They are located along the western side of Lakewood Road from Algonquin Road to Miller Road. Normandy Park and Exner Marsh Nature Preserve along Reed Road serve as this area's centerpiece. Provence features slightly smaller homes, including both ranches and two-stories, valued generally in the $200K range. Sumner Glen features more expensive homes, some with 5-6 bedrooms, valued generally in the $300K range.
  • Heron Bay is a small neighborhood featuring slightly upscale homes starting in the low $300s. It backs up to the Exner Marsh and features a very large pond with multiple fountains.
  • Meadowbrook is the village's most expansive neighborhood. Located in the northwest part of the village, along Miller, Lakewood, and Haligus Roads, it is anchored by Sunset Park and features several smaller neighborhoods within. Impressions is a duplex-style home community, Summit Ridge is a small neighborhood of exclusive homes, Sunrise and Drake Park are moderately priced neighborhoods featuring one and two story homes, and Regatta is a neighborhood featuring smaller one-story and two-story homes. Concord Hills, however, was the first community and is located just east of Lakewood Road, north of Miller Road.
  • At the southeast corner of Lakewood and Ackman Roads is the Cheswick Place subdivision,Built by Orleans Homes. The neighborhood consists of over 100 single family homes, with retail and small office buildings, a small market and a gas station to the northeast. This neighborhood is interesting in that it has a small, operating cornfield fronting its main entrance on Ackman Road. This neighborhood is bordered by Ackman Road to the north, Lakewood Road to the west, The Impressions neighborhood and a wetland to the south, and Swanson road and a future village-owned fitness center to the east. It has 2 village-owned parks and a small non-village gazebo park with a small, paved bike path. This neighborhood also has a Halloween tradition unique to itself, in which neighbors drop off baskets of candy which must be refilled and passed on anonymously to another neighbor. This takes place in the weeks before Halloween, and often continues until Halloween night.
  • Fox Ridge Farm, a planned subdivision of potentially 200-300 homes located on the village's western fringe along Illinois Route 47, is currently under development review. Once constructed, it will likely be the last major subdivision developed in the village, as Lake in the Hills has become landlocked by other municipalities.
  • The old neighborhoods are primarily in the original section of the town. This consists of all homes residing in the original development of the town. This is usually considered, by locals, to include all homes built within an area of close to the actual lake. It is widely recognized that if a home is within a short walking distance of the lake, the police station, or the fire department, that said home is one of the original homes in the town.


Even though Huntley Park District serves the village's western parts, Lake in the Hills maintains its own park and recreation department within village limits and provides immense programs and diverse types of parks and recreational areas. Significant recreational areas include:

  • Sunset Park, one of the village's largest parks located on Miller Road on the western side of the village. The park features several baseball and softball fields, soccer fields, playground equipment, picnic shelters, tennis courts, a basketball court, a gazebo, a splash pad and a skate park. This is also the site of one of the village's famous summer activities, the Summer Sunset Fest held over Labor Day weekend.
  • Leroy Guy Park, located in the Bellchase neighborhood on the village's southwest side on Lakewood Road, features several ballfields, playground equipment, tennis and basketball courts, and a picnic shelter.
  • Big Sky Park is a park located between two neighborhoods, just west of Randall Road.
  • Woods Creek Lake is the village's lake located in the eastern part of town. It includes several beaches, boat launches, and adjacent recreational areas. The village's oldest homes, several of them cottages, are grouped around this lake.
  • The Woods Creek is the creek which flows into the Lake in the Hills. It flows through areas just west of Randall Road and its valley and adjacent shrubbery provides scenic views of the village's neighborhoods, even from a distance.
  • Lynn Dillow Is part of the sub-division Spring Lake Farms and is the home to 2 jungle gyms, a gazebo, basketball court, and a bike obstacle course.
  • Ken Carpenter Park
  • Ryder Park - Home of A,B, and C baseball fields largely used for the LITH little league baseball organization.
  • Morningside Park
  • Barbara Key Park

Community activities and traditions


In January 2011, a Chicago Tribune story reported that 89 percent of the driveways in Lake in the Hills were coated with coal tar sealants. Driveway dust study in the town was contaminated with very high levels of benzo(a)pyrene, a highly toxic chemical found in coal tar, and the "amount was 5,300 times higher than the level that triggers an EPA Superfund cleanup at polluted industrial sites." Coal tar sealants are permitted to be sold since the coal tar industry pressured the Environmental Protection Agency to remove coal tar-based pavement sealants from environmental laws.


  • The village of Lake in the Hills owns and operates Lake in the Hills Airport, a general aviation airport serving the greater McHenry County area. It is located on Pyott Road in the far northern reaches of the village.
  • Randall Road, a major four-lane county highway, is the primary north-south highway in the Village. It is known as the major divider separating the old part (or "East Side" of Lake in the Hills) from the newer part (or "West Side") of the Village. Randall Road contains the bulk of the village's retail and restaurants and traffic on the corridor averages 50,000 vehicles per day.
  • Algonquin Road is the primary east-west artery in the Village. It is also the dividing line separating Lake in the Hills from nearby Algonquin. Like Randall Road, this county highway is also four lanes for the entire length of the village. Both residential areas and retail areas can be found along the road.
  • Lakewood Road is a north-south county-highway on the Village's western side. It is two lanes with left and right turn lanes. Several of the village's subdivisions can be found along the road, in addition to the Exner Marsh conservation area.
  • Miller Road is an east-west village road. The entire stretch of road is lined with subdivisions. Sunset Park can also be found on the road, which winds through the Meadowbrook subdivision in the western part of the Village. The road is slated to be expanded westward to Illinois Route 47 in the near future.
  • Pyott Road is a county highway which runs north-south through the eastern part of the Village. Lake in the Hills Airport, the Lake in the Hills Fen, residential areas, and industrial businesses can all be found along the road.
  • Illinois Route 31 is a state highway which runs north-south along the village's eastern limits. Much of the village's parcels along this highway are industrial areas.
  • Other important roads in the village include Crystal Lake Road, Hilltop Road, Oak Street, Frank Road, Reed Road, Albrecht Road, Annandale Drive, Ackman Road, and Haligus Road.
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