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A musical artist may have made Fire Lake famous, but he didn't know about Fyre Lake! Located in the Western Region of Illinois a few miles south of the Quad Cities, Fyre Lake is a private residential development. It includes three man-made lakes on the rolling Illinois prairie. The largest, Fyre Lake encompasses 135 acres. Along with two smaller lakes -- Lake Renee at 12 acres and Karl Lake at 27 acres -- the community provides over six miles of shoreline. Entirely private, there is no public access to any of the lakes.
In the 1960s, a local farm owner decided to dam a small tributary of Camp Creek to develop a lake on which he would sell building lots. A professional developer soon bought out the project with the hope of expanding it to include 800 homes. His wife thought the outline of the biggest lake looked like flames and they named the lake Fyre Lake, using the Norwegian word for fire. The two smaller lakes were named for their children, Karl and Renee. By 1969, the first homes and lots were ready for sale. The community developed such amenities as parks, swimming beach, tennis courts and picnic areas. Before completion, however, the economic downturn sent the developer searching for greener pastures. In his absence, the covenant community picked up the loose ends and completed development until there were more than 250 homes occupied along the shoreline and lake view lots. The community has been so successful that another developer has recently begun work on a golf course addition. Development along the new Nicklaus Design Championship golf course will add new homes along the western shore of Fyre Lake, a 30-slip marina, and more access docks for residents.
The primarily spring-fed lakes have remained clean and clear due to little run-off from surrounding agricultural operations. Sensible rules for boaters and homeowners have protected the lake waters. Fyre Lake is an all-sports lake, with waterskiing, tubing, pontooning, sailing and wake boarding allowed. The only watercraft prohibited are jet skis, houseboats, airboats, hovercraft, jet boats, racing or high-speed boats. The two smaller lakes prohibit gasoline motors, making them ideal for fishing, canoeing and kayaking. No boats are allowed other than those owned by residents and permits issued by the Fyre Lake Association must be prominently displayed. Guests on the lakes must be accompanied by a member or be in possession of a valid temporary guest pass.
These strict access rules have assured that Fyre Lake's water bodies develop excellent fisheries. A stocking program is maintained by the Fyre Lake Sportsmen's Club under the advice of the State Biologist. The club has added brush piles for fish habitat and raised money for dredging where necessary. Thanks to their efforts, healthy populations of crappie, bluegill, channel catfish, walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, muskie and amur (grass carp) are maintained in all three lakes. The club sponsors a Kids' Fishing Derby each year during the annual Fyre Lake Days festival. As one of the five clubs constituting the Quad City Conservation Alliance, the club takes part in fundraising activities held at the QCCA Expo Center in Rock Island.
The closest town to Fyre Lake is the small village of Sherrard, IL. Founded as a coal mining town in 1894, Sherrard has survived the end of coal mining and settled into a quiet existence as a typical Illinois prairie village. The school district is considered excellent and school sports are a big part of life around Fyre Lake. Sherrard provides the daily amenities necessary to maintain a household, including grocery store, convenience store, hair salons, gas station and repair services. For larger purchases, most residents head to the Quad Cities area less than 20 miles north, where they can find upscale shopping, theatre, the arts, museums and more. Actually consisting of five small cities, including Davenport and Bettendorf, IA, Moline, Rock Island, and East Moline, IL, the Quad Cities area provides most of the nightlife and cultural events of cities much larger in size.
For the nature enthusiast, horseback riding stables are located about five miles from Fyre Lake. Hunting and bird watching locations are plentiful along the Mississippi River a few miles to the west. The sandbars and estuaries are excellent spots to observe migrating waterfowl, bald eagles and water birds. The Snowstar Ski Area is less than 15 miles from Fyre Lake and possesses a full compliment of slopes for downhill skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing. Only ten miles away, gamblers will enjoy one of the largest land-based casinos in the state of Illinois with a full service spa, four restaurants, a nightclub and more.
The quad-cities area is a goldmine of interesting small museums and historical locations. Military fans will enjoy the Rock Island Arsenal Museum and its display of weapons of bygone eras. The Buffalo Bill Museum traces the life and history of one of Le Claire, Iowa's most famous residents just north of the Quad-Cities. The Black Hawk State Historical Site Hauberg Indian Museum is located in Rock Island within the Black Hawk State Historic Site along the Rock River. The site includes miles of hiking trails along the river.
Vacation rentals are rare at Fyre Lake. A lucky searcher may be able to find a month-to-month rental but most vacation lodgings will be found farther afield. Real estate is available, many with lake frontage or lake views. All residents of the Fyre Lake community have water access however. So, bring your family to check out Fyre Lake and you may decide this is the perfect place to take up lakefront living. You couldn't ask for a nicer lake or community.
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