Did you know that Wisconsin has more than 15,000 lakes throughout the state?
Lake lovers will like Wisconsin. Swim on Lake Geneva’s crystal-clear waters or fish for elusive musky in the Northwoods while seeing eagles soaring above while exploring the vast universe of Wisconsin lakes.
In Door County, Wisconsin, you may go kayaking on Lake Michigan or take a boat ride on Lake Superior in the summer. There are so many lakes to choose from in Wisconsin.
Inland lakes may be as large as the Great Lakes or as little as a few acres, with depths ranging from hundreds to just a few feet. Keep on reading for our full breakdown of the most beautiful lakes in Wisconsin.
The Crowned Jewel of Wisconsin Lakes: Lake Winnebago
Lake Winnebago, the state’s biggest inland lake, is well-known for its sturgeon fishing. Walleye, northern pike, and perch are all abundant in the area.
The lake is popular for more than just fishing. Picnic tables, gazebos, boat launch ramps, and an amusement park are all located on the lake’s 55,700 acres. Located on Lake Winnebago’s northeastern side, High Cliff State Park provides camping and hiking opportunities. A public beach may be found there, as well.
Fishing Lakes in Wisconsin: Elkhart Lake
An hour from Milwaukee and two hours from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine State Forest has been a favorite summer vacation spot since 1860.
Sailing, swimming, and gambling were all popular activities at the lakeside resorts. At the time, there were 446 hotel rooms, many of which remain in use today. Vacation residences mostly occupy the seashore.
Since the sailing club is quite busy, motorized boats aren’t allowed on Sundays while sailing events occur. Swimming and fishing are both excellent year-round in this crystal-clear lake. Hiking and cross-country skiing are common activities in the region surrounding the lake.
Wisconsin and Minnesota share Lake Pepin, the Mississippi’s biggest body of fresh water. It is here that resident Ralph Samuelson, who created water skiing in 1922, established the lake’s renown as the cradle of the sport.
At Lake Pepin, you’ll also find the only Mississippi River lighthouse that’s still in operation. There is a lighthouse located near Lake City Marina on the Minnesota side of the lake.
The lake is a famous spot for fishing as well as water skiing. Anglers often catch walleye, yellow perch, largemouth bass, and sauger.
The Petenwell Lake
Petenwell Lake is Wisconsin’s second-largest lake with a surface area of 9,300 hectares. In 1948, a hydraulic dam was erected, although it is now utilized for recreational purposes as well.
Water sports including sailing, skiing, and fishing are also popular here. It’s a fantastic area to see bald eagles, too.
Petenwell Lake’s coastline is mostly undeveloped forest, hence there is little development in the area. On the west coast of the lake, there is a campsite where visitors may sleep overnight.
Located on the lake’s southern bank, Madison’s waterfront is lined with high-end condos and single-family houses. Still, the lake’s five beaches, three of which have lifeguards, are one of its most notable characteristics.
One of the lake’s public boat landings provides easy access for guests.
The lake’s northwest side is home to Governor Nelson State Park. Picnic spaces, a playground, and a network of paths totaling over 13 miles are available to visitors.
Wisconsin Vacation Must-See: Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes, must be included while discussing Wisconsin’s wonderful lakes. 18 Wisconsin communities may be found on its shores, making this a huge lake.
Sailing, kayaking, kitesurfing, and scuba diving are all popular activities on the shores of Lake Michigan. Also, it’s an excellent fishing spot.
These include North Beach, Schoolhouse Beach, and Point Beach State Forest Beaches, which are all located along the lake’s shoreline. Whitefish Dunes State Park and Kohler-Andrae State Park are both located on the shoreline of Lake Superior.
The 550-hectare Minocqua Lake is located in northern Wisconsin’s ‘Lakeland’ region. Summer and winter visitors both flock to the lake.
Swimming, waterskiing, and boating are all popular activities at Minocqua Lake. To capture panfish, musky, bass, smallmouth bass, and walleye anglers come from all over the world.
It’s possible to go ice fishing and snowmobiling on the lake in the winter. Along the beachfront, vacationers may choose from a variety of lodges and cabin rentals. And, if you’re looking for the best winter vacation spots, you should check out this guide.
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a component of Wisconsin’s Lake Superior, which is one of the five Great Lakes. A multitude of towns and cities may be found along the coast.
There are 21 islands in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. There are lighthouses, woodlands, sandstone caverns, and a wide variety of species in the 28,074-acre region.
Almost all of the islands provide camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities including fishing and caving. Numerous historic landmarks may be found here, including the lighthouses on Sand Island, Michigan Island, and Devils Island.
Castle Rock Lake
When the dam was erected, Castle Rock Lake and Petenwell Lake were created as well. To put it another way, it is a man-made reservoir with an area of 6,730 hectares.
It’s an excellent area to fish since the lake’s coastline is mostly untouched by development. There is plenty of white bass, white walleyes, and crappies, as well as northern pike, panfish, and white bass.
Castle Rock Lake is a popular spot for water sports including water skiing and resting on one of the lake’s many beaches. There is also a state park named Buckhorn on the lake.
Lake Getaway Guide: The Best Lakes in Wisconsin Edition
There’s something almost majestic about watching the water ripple on a lake, and what better lakes can you find than the ones in Wisconsin?
You should check out our additional explainers and guides in the travel section. This way you can integrate other activities into your itinerary.