16 Wisconsin Lakes That You Will Fall In Love With (2023)
The State of Wisconsin is blessed with near or above 1000 miles of beautiful shoreline. No, don’t confuse it with Pacific and Atlantic Shoreline as Wisconsin’s diversity and the shoreline are blessed with one thing in abundance, and that are the ‘Lakes’. While the State of Wisconsin is bordered by two of the five great lakes, namely Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, the total number goes to 15,000 named lakes. Undoubtedly, Wisconsin is a paradise for any lake lover.
On the one hand, some Wisconsin lakes are known for their grandness, whereas others are popular for their beauty. Also, water sports and activities in the State knows no end. While lakes in Northwood offer more natural beauty and tranquillity, lakes around Madison ensure water fun. All in all, you may have any personality or choice; there are always good enough lake options for you to choose from.
16 Wisconsin Lakes That You Will Fall In Love With
To keep above quality over quantity, we have shortlisted some choicest picks for you.
1. Geneva Lake
Wisconsin’s cleanest and most pristine lake, Geneva Lake, is a delight to the eyes. It is located in the south-eastern part of the State and is known for the resorts and cottages at the lakefront. Geneva Lake has six public beaches, and mind it; they are some of the best beaches in Wisconsin. This 5000- acres of lake spread offers options for boating, swimming, kayaking, and fishing. Or one can even take a sunset boat cruise and make the best out of their day. From relaxation to rejuvenation, Geneva Lake offers opportunities for all demands.
2. Lake Pepin
Lake Pepin is the most naturally occurring lake in the State, located in western Wisconsin. It sits on the Mississippi river at the borders of Wisconsin and Minnesota. It is also the birthplace of Water-skiing, and the first of it was performed here in the year 1922. Since then, the lake has become a hub for water activities, with skiing topping them all. Fishing and birdwatching both are equally popular at Pepin. Another highlight of Lake Pepin includes the only working lighthouse in the entire Mississippi River. However, to access that, one has to reach Minnesota first.
3. Lake Chippewa
Known for its natural scenery, Lake Chippewa is one of those Wisconsin lakes that you will fall in love with. It is commonly known as Chippewa Flowage and is one of the man-made wonders in the State. Covering 6,191 hectares, it is also the third-largest lake in Wisconsin. Amongst visitors, it is popular for its canoeing and fishing opportunities. Here you can experience the finest walleye fishing. Further the nature and woodland around the lakes add to hiking, camping and more such opportunities.
4. Lac Courte Oreilles
Northern Wisconsin’s largest lake, the Lac Courte Oreilles, is one gorgeous public lake. It is one of the largest natural/ freshwater lakes in the State, covering over 2,000 hectares. Its shoreline is full of beautiful cabins, cottages, resorts and holiday homes, that draws huge crowd. Not only amongst Cheeseheads (nickname for people of Wisconsin) but Chicagoans too mark it as one of their favourite go-to spots. Lac Courte Oreilles is full of fishes making angling one popular recreational activity here. For anyone seeking a quick weekend getaway in Wisconsin, this lake is totally recommended.
5. Lake Mendota
Lake Mendota is a hot spot for water recreation in Wisconsin. This 10000-acre lake is home to 7 public beaches, of which three have lifeguards throughout the season. During summers, windsurfing, wakeboarding, fishing, kayaking, and sailing takes popularity here. Whereas cross-country skiing, ice boating, ice fishing, and ice hockey become the hot news during winters. Being in the state capital Madison, Lake Mendota is always lively with visitors and is also one of the most-visited lakes in the State.
6. Elkhart Lake
Wisconsin’s one of the oldest resort lakes; the Elkhart Lake is definitely a must-visit in the State. Since 1860, it has served as a popular summer destination drawing visitors from Wisconsin and Chicago. Back in the 19th century, the resorts around Elkhart were popular for gambling. Not all but a few of them are restored, renovated and still serving the guests. Because the water here is quite clean, the lake is popular for swimming and fishing. Also, on every Sunday, one can be a part of the popular local sailing races, one prime draw of Elkhart Lake.
7. Lake Monona
Known for its beauty, Lake Monona offers plenty of leisure and recreational opportunities. Also, being the centrepiece of Madison, it is one of the most-visited lakes in Wisconsin. One can fish, boat, swim, windsurf, canoe and kayak or get into the endless mode of water recreation in summers. Followed in winters, ice fishing, ice-skating, and snow kiting takes the front seat here. If not water sports, one can simply sit and enjoy the stunning backdrop of the capital city. Or relax at the park benches nearby and follow the setting sun in one of its beautiful forms.
8. Crystal Lake
Known for its clear blue water, Crystal Lake is any day, a top-rated lake destination in Wisconsin. As there goes nearly 22 lakes with the same name in the State, the one we are highlighting is in Sheboygan County. Crystal Lake features 3 miles of developed shoreline. One can launch their motorboats during the entire week, whereas Sundays are dedicatedly reserved for canoers and kayakers. During winters, one can indulge in snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. And fishing at Crystal lake, of course, stays highlighted throughout the year, with clear waters, providing the best of opportunities.
9. Green Lake
Also known as the Big Green Lake, it is the deepest inland lake in Wisconsin. The maximum depth here is 239 feet. Being spring-fed, to no surprise, the water at Green Lake is exceptionally clean. And all thanks to that, fishing and swimming here are undoubtedly some of the finest experiences anywhere in Wisconsin. Anglers and swimmers from State and around visit Green Lake throughout the year. Further, there are seven boat launches, one canoe launch and three public beaches here. Not just that, to extend the fun, six parks covering 27 miles of shoreline await your way.
10. Devil’s Lake
If your criteria for choosing a lake go by appearance, then Devil’s Lake will surely top your charts. With the most dramatic appearance, Devil’s Lake offers extreme beautiful looks in Wisconsin. While standing at the 500-foot-high bluffs besides, the views underneath will simply blow your mind. And believe it that to what the eyes see, pictures can never do them justice. The lake has two beaches, both on its North and Southside. Apart from the regular water activities, Devil’s lake is also highly popular for sightseeing among the visitors.
11. Lake Winnebago
The largest inland lake, Lake Winnebago, is a must-visit for every enthusiast in Wisconsin. Featuring 132,000-acres, it is the largest after great lakes and is undoubtedly giving them tough competition. The lake is only an hour drive from top Wisconsin cities and thus stays populous all year round. One of the biggest draws here is fishing, and to fish for sturgeon, it is indeed the best place in entire North America. Apart from that, one can spend time at Lake Winnebago beaches, picnic areas, gazebos, nearby amusement parks, and many public parks.
12. Wazee Lake
The deepest human-made lake in Wisconsin, Wazee lake, goes approximately 355 feet deep. Today it is well popular for its scuba diving scenes, drawing enthusiasts from all over the Midwestern region. Not only the depth but the water clarity here too makes it the favourite lake amongst divers. Those who are professionals can also aim to explore the mining remnants below the water. If not that, Wazee’s clear water also makes an ideal location for fishing and swimming. If none of these water sports excites you, access the numerous picnic areas, campgrounds, and natural scenery.
13. Shawano Lake
Located in north-eastern Wisconsin, Shawano Lake offers a beautiful spread of 6,178-acre. It features an average depth of 9 feet, making it safe and easy for swimming and fishing. Throughout the year, the lake hosts several fishing tournaments drawing anglers from the State and around. It is also a wonderful spot for kayaking, canoeing and bird watching. While the lake water will give you various glimpses of waterfowl, going a little far to Schumacher Island, you can even observe birds nesting in shallow marshes. Weekends here experience crowd though weekdays are more on the peaceful side.
14. Lake Winneconne
Lake Winneconne is a huge 4553-acre lake popular for its fishing and boating fun. The lake is full of fishes, and by full, it literally means abundance. The chances of getting prey here are quite higher than most of the other lakes in the State. From largemouth to smallmouth bass, catfish, walleye, and northern pike, choices are over a handful here. Lake Winneconne makes for an angler’s paradise, whether it is free-flowing summer water or fishing through ice holes in winter.
15. Lake Ripley
Spread over 420 acres, nearly the entire Lake Ripley has sandy bottoms. And with that, the views here are definitely different from other lakes and a little close to the ocean shoreline. The water here is mainly clear with 44 feet maximum depth making it popular for fishing and swimming. Most of its accessible shoreline is densely populated, which keeps Ripley slightly hidden from public eyes. During summers, visitors can access one nice swimming beach or consider going for a round of canoe. Followed by in winters, the scene changes welcoming cross-country skiers. Along with that, there are also a few picnic areas to access nearby.
16. Delavan Lake
Located in Walworth County, Delavan Lake is savanna region’s one of the most popular lakes. It has been a popular summer resort since the beginning of the 19th century, and the craze hasn’t yet ended. Although its surroundings are heavily developed, Delavan has still maintained its popularity. During summers, fishing is one famous activity here, followed by sailing and boating. The water here is excellent, especially for large & smallmouth bass, bluegill, muskellunge, walleye, yellow perch and northern pike. The lake also organizes an ice fishing competition every year during the winter season. When here one can also visit two boathouses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.