Fawn Lake is a great hike through a beautiful forest to a remote backcountry lake with long sandy beaches

Fawn Lake
1.5 miles (3 miles round trip)
Jessup River Wild Forest
Lake Pleasant, Hamilton County
Hiking, Snowshoeing
Level of Difficulty: Easy


Hike Fawn Lake

The 1.5-mile trail to Fawn Lake is a smooth, wide, and relatively flat hike, leading to a beautiful wild lake with a long sandy beach in the Town of Lake Pleasant in Hamilton County. The trail is located in the Jessup River Wild Forest on the public Forest Preserve. This trail offers both a high level of accessibility and a beautiful destination.

The trail begins at a trailhead off of Fawn Lake Road, accessed from Route 8, just west of the Hamilton County government center, by turning onto Fish Mountain Road. The Fawn Lake trailhead parking lot is well marked.


The trail is well worn and easy to follow. The surrounding forest varies from coniferous to mixed northern hardwoods throughout the hike. The trail is often carpeted in pine needles. Besides one small valley with a bridge over the muddy area at the lowest point, the trail changes little in elevation. There is one junction between the primary trail and a secondary trail which departs to the left, the northwest, to a campsite on the lake. Bear right for the primary Fawn Lake destination to the large sandy beach.


Beautiful Fawn Lake

The trail arrives at a long, narrow beach that runs the length of the eastern end of Fawn Lake. There are several fire pits, and the lake bottom is sandy. Most hikers stop somewhere along this stretch, though the trail continues along the north shore. There are lots of places for picnicking and swimming.


Overall, this is a short, easy, well maintained hike that leads to a beautiful destination. This hike would be a good choice for families with young children. The hike out is the same as the hike in.

Click here for a map and directions to Fawn Lake.

When You Hike Make Sure to Practice “Leave No Trace” to be Prepared and to Protect the Forest Preserve

Please follow “carry in, carry out” rules for all trash and follow other Leave No Trace principles when hiking in the public Forest Preserve and other wild areas. The seven Leave No Trace principles are: 1) Plan ahead and prepare; 2) Stay on hiking trails and camp at designated areas; 3) Dispose of human waste and trash properly; 4) Leave what you find; 5) Minimize campfires; 6) Respect wildlife; 7) Respect other hikers.

Educated hikers do not damage the environment. Prepared hikers do not need search and rescue unless injured.

Winter Use: Fawn Lake is popular for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter. A major snowmobile trail also passes near the lake.

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