Bordered by Lake Superior to the north and Lake Michigan to the east, Wisconsin is geographically diverse. It is located in the Midwest and Great Lakes region and has forests, hills, farmland and cities.
The state is known as “America’s Dairy Farm” because it is one of the largest producers of dairy products in the United States. Still, it is its lakes that attract tourists. Water recreation is also a focus for residents of the state, which would not be possible without so many beautiful lakes. Here is a list of the best lakes in Wisconsin:
1. Lake Winnebago, Fundurac County
Lake Winnebago, the state’s largest inland lake, is known as one of the best places to fish for sturgeon in North America. It also has large populations of walleye, northern pike and bass.
Fishing isn’t the only reason to visit the lake. The 55,700-hectare lake also features picnic tables, gazebos, boat launch ramps and a small amusement park.
High Bluffs State Park is located on the northeastern shore of Lake Winnebago and offers camping, hiking and picnic areas. It even has a public beach!
2. Lake Pepin, Goodhue and Wabasha Counties
Lake Pepin is the largest lake on the Mississippi River, located on the border between Wisconsin and neighboring Minnesota. The lake is known as the birthplace of waterskiing, where local man Ralph Samuelson invented the sport in 1922.
Another interesting thing about Lake Pepin is that it is home to the only working lighthouse in the entire state of Mississippi. The lighthouse is located on the Lake City Pier on the Minnesota side.
In addition to water skiing, the lake is also popular for fishing. Walleye, yellow, largemouth, and sage are the fish most likely to be caught by anger.
3. Pettenwell Lakes, Adams, Juneau and Wood Counties
At 9,300 hectares, Petenwell Lake is the second largest lake in Wisconsin. It was built in 1948 when a dam was built, but today it is also used for recreational activities.
Sailing, water skiing and fishing are popular activities on the lake. This is also a great place to spot bald eagles.
There isn’t much development around Lake Pettenwell, and much of its shoreline is undeveloped forest. There are recreational parks on both sides of the lake and campsites on the west bank.
4. Lake Mendota, Dane County
Madison is located at the southernmost tip of Lake Mendota, and the city’s coastline is dotted with expensive condos and homes. Nonetheless, one of the lake’s main features is its five beaches, three of which have lifeguards.
Visitors to the lake can easily enter from one of the public boat landings. Because of this, fishing is popular and musk, largemouth bass, panfish and northern pike are abundant.
Governor Nelson State Park is located on the northwest shoreline of the lake. Here, visitors will find picnic areas, playgrounds and nearly 13 kilometers of trails.
5. Lake Michigan, Brown County
One of the Great Lakes, when it comes to the dream lakes in Wisconsin, it is impossible not to mention Lake Michigan. It’s a huge lake with 18 Wisconsin cities along its shores.
Lake Michigan is a major tourist attraction, offering sailing, kayaking, kitesurfing and diving. It is also a good place for fishing.
There are also many spectacular beaches along the lakeshore, including North Beach, Schoolhouse Beach, and the beaches at Point Beach State Forest. Also along the coast are the magnificent Kohler Andray State Park and Whitefish Dunes State Park.
6. Lake Minokwa, Oneida County
The 550-hectare Lake Minocqua is located in the “Lakeland” region of northern Wisconsin. This lake is a popular destination in summer and winter.
Lake Minokwa is known for its excellent water skiing, boating and swimming. Anglers flock to catch catfish, muskfish, largemouth, smallmouth and walleye.
In winter, the lake is a great spot for snowmobiling and ice fishing. There are cottage rentals and resorts along the coastline and are popular places to stay.
7. Castle Rock Lake, Adams and Juneau Counties
Castle Rock Lake is connected to Lake Petenwell, which was also built when the dam was built. It is an artificial lake with a total area of 6,730 hectares.
Much of the lake’s shoreline is completely undeveloped, making it a great place to enjoy fishing. White bass, walleye and crappie are abundant, but there are also northern pike, panfish and bass.
Water skiing is also popular at Castle Rock Lake, as is relaxing on one of the beaches. The lake is also home to Buckhorn State Park.
8. Lake Superior, Ashland County
Another of the five Great Lakes, part of the Lake Superior section within Wisconsin is the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. There are also many cities on its coastline.
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is made up of 21 distinct islands. The 28,074-hectare area is home to lighthouses, forests, sandstone caves and plenty of wildlife.
Camping and hiking are available on almost all islands, as are fishing and caving. There are also historic sites, including Sand Island Lighthouse, Michigan Island Lighthouse, and Devil’s Island Lighthouse.
9. Allequash Lake, Vilas County
Lake Allequash is located in the North American Highland Regiment State Forest. The 168.4-hectare lake is about 7 meters deep and is a popular fishing lake.
Panfish and muskfish are abundant, while largemouth, northern pike, and walleye are also common. Those who don’t like fishing can go hiking in the forest.
There are campsites in the forest, perfect for anyone who wants to sleep under the stars. Visit in winter and enjoy snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.
10. Lake Wingera, Dane County
Lake Wingera is a small but beautiful lake located within the city of Madison. The UW-Madison Arboretum is located on the south and west sides of the lake shoreline.
Lake Ungla is an important fishery, especially known for its large muskellunge. There is also plenty of panfish, northern pike and largemouth bass.
Vilas Park Beach is on the north side of the lake, as are Henry Vilas Zoo and Wengra Park. All in all, a great place to spend an afternoon.
11. Chippewa Lake, Sawyer County
Also known as Chippewa River Lake, this 6,191-hectare lake is highly regarded for its spectacular natural beauty. Chippewa Lake is an artificial lake that was first filled in 1924.
Lake Chippewa is the third largest lake in the state. Its coastline is dotted with undeveloped islands that help create the breathtaking views it is known for.
The lake is also known for its fantastic fishing, offering some of the best walleye fishing in the state! It’s also a great place for bird watching, hiking, camping, canoeing, and cross-country skiing.
12. Lake Monona, Dane County
Lake Monona, also located in Madison, is the second largest lake along the Yahara River. The lake covers over 1,300 hectares and has seven beaches.
There are five boat ramps along the lake shore, as well as some ski jumps for ski shows. Those who like to fish will be able to go fishing for sturgeon, sturgeon, largemouth bass and northern pike.
An interesting fact about the lake is that Otis Redding died here in 1967 when his plane crashed into the lake. The only survivor of the crash was trumpeter Ben Cauley.
13. Turtle-Flambeau Flowage, Iron County
The 5,237-hectare Turtle-Flambeau Flowage is a major summer tourist destination. The lake has four boat stops, as well as 60 campgrounds and some lakeside resorts.
Canoeing, kayaking, sailing and swimming are some of the things visitors do on the lake. It is also a popular spot for fishing and hunting.
Visit Turtle-Flambeau Flowage in winter to experience snowmobiling, or enjoy snowshoeing or cross-country skiing along one of the trails. The trails are also popular during the warmer months for hiking, mountain biking and wildlife viewing.
14. Lac Courte Oreilles, Sawyer County
This large lake is located in northwestern Wisconsin, part of which is located within the Lac Courte Oreilles Indian Reservation. The lake covers more than 2,000 hectares and has many bays and peninsulas.
Lac Courte Oreilles is a freshwater lake rich in northern pike, walleye, musk and bass. Because of this, fishing is popular among tourists and locals alike.
The lake’s shoreline is home to many resorts and cottages owned by Minneapolis-St. residents. Paul and Milwaukee, and nearby Chicago.
15. Lake Waze, Jackson County
Built on a former iron quarry, Wazee Lake is the deepest lake in the state. The man-made lake is home to the Wazee Lake Recreation Area, a major scuba diving destination.
Fishing is also popular, and the lake is home to trout, bluegill, catfish, largeeye and smallmouth bass. There is a boat dock that can be used for fishing or just paddling around the lake to enjoy the view.
There is a beach along Lake Wazee, as well as 12 campgrounds, picnic areas and many scenic views. There are more than 14 kilometers of hiking trails and nearly 5 kilometers of biking trails around the lake.
Where to Stay: The Best Hotels in Wisconsin (WI)
Lowest price guaranteed.