Here Are 16 Of The Most Beautiful Lakes In Wisconsin, According To Our Readers
Wisconsin is home to countless naturally formed lakes, more than any other American state — except Alaska and Minnesota (though this is certainly debated heavily depending on which statistics you’re looking at). With so many incredible lakes found within our borders, it can be hard to choose a favorite, so we polled our readers on our
Only In Wisconsin Facebook page and our Wisconsin Nature Lovers Facebook group. These 16 lakes all stood out as some of the state’s most beautiful, and we hope you’ll take advantage of the next warm weekend to make a splash in one of the best lakes in Wisconsin. These places are perfect for fishing, boating, swimming, and water recreation of all kinds.
1. Lake Tomah
Lake Tomah, Tomah, WI 54660, USA
With a maximum depth of 19 feet and a size of 245 acres,
, located in Monroe County, boasts four public boat landings. The lake is home to panfish, largemouth bass, and northern pike. While water clarity is low, the sunsets are truly second to none.
2. Pope Lake
Pope Lake, Chain O' Lakes-King, WI 54981, USA
Though small - measuring at just 21 acres in size - the undeveloped
is an absolute treasure. Fishing is one of the most popular activities here, though we think there's little more peaceful than an afternoon spent exploring the lake via kayak.
3. Lake Pepin
Lake Pepin, United States
Lake Pepin Boulevard, Lake Pepin Blvd, Bay City, WI 54723, USA
Nestled on the border between Wisconsin and Minnesota,
is the largest lake on the Mississippi River. It is often considered one of the most scenic areas in North America. It is not only considered the birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Pepin) but where the sport of waterskiing was invented (Lake City). It's also home to Pepie, a world-famous lake monster.
4. Devil's Lake
Devil's Lake State Park, S5975 Park Rd, Baraboo, WI 53913, USA
Devil's Lake State Park
is the state's most popular, and it's easy to see why. This scenic lake is absolutely heavenly - despite its name - and is a popular destination for swimming and hiking with two large, sandy beaches and some truly epic trails sure to fuel your sense of adventure.
5. Lake Redstone
Lake Redstone, Lake Redstone 30, La Valle, WI 53941, USA
This one-of-a-kind man-made lake features little public property as well as lots of development and power boats, but it happens to be one of the area's coolest paddling lakes. Why? The unique red stone bluffs scattered across the lake, but concentrated in the section. You've got to add
to your bucket list.
6. Lake Minocqua
Minocqua Lake, Wisconsin, USA
At more than 1,300 acres
is an absolute treasure. The name Minocqua means "noon day rest," and is translated from the Ojibwe word "Ninocqua." It is indeed an idyllic spot for a mid-day rest, don't you think?
7. Geneva Lake
Geneva Lake, Wisconsin, USA
A popular resort destination in Southeastern Wisconsin, the 5,000-acre
features six public boat landings as well as half a dozen beaches perfect for those who don't have access to a boat!
8. Lake Of The Pines
Lake of the Pines, Winter, WI 54896, USA
This 273-acre lake is a popular fishing spot, with access to musky, panfish, largemouth bass, and walleye. Those who want to spend a weekend at the lake will love staying at the
Lake Of The Pines
Campground, which is typically open from mid-April through mid-December, and features nature trails, ATV trails, a swimming beach, and more.
9. Fish Lake
Fish Lake, Wisconsin 54943, USA
Perhaps one of the most fascinating destinations on this list,
is the casualty of rising waters in northwestern Dane County that destroyed several homes and covered roadways and acres upon acres of property. If you visit, you might just feel as though you're paddling through a ghost town.
10. Lake Joanis
Lake Joanis, Stevens Point, WI 54481, USA
With crystal-clear waters, the 24-acre
protects a variety of aquatic and shoreline habitats. Swimming is not allowed, but the lake is a perfect destination for beginner paddlers and a 1-mile trail loops around the lake and features stunning views.
11. Pike Lake
With a maximum depth of 45 feet and a size of 461 acres,
is perfectly sized for fishing, relaxing, and even ATVing along the shore. Walleye is abundant and you can explore the lake from one of three boat landings and a public beach.
12. Lost Land Lake
Lost Land Lake, Spider Lake, WI 54843, USA
With a 10 mph speed limit, visitors to
Lost Land Lake
and the neighboring Teal Lake will enjoy a quiet oasis perfect for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and swimming. Extend your day on the water to an entire weekend when you stay at the Lost Land Lake Lodge, which is nearly a century old and features five rustic cabins and phenomenal lake views.
13. Spider Chain of Lakes
Chain of Lakes, Freeman, WI 54624, USA
Located 14 miles northeast of Hayward,
Spider Chain of Lakes
is a sprawling beauty. Comprised of five interconnected lakes, there is endless natural beauty to explore here.
14. Lake Van Zile
Van Zile Lake, Wisconsin 54511, USA
Located within both Florence and Forest counties,
Lake Van Zile
is a peaceful gem that measures in at 78 acres. Visitors can enjoy fishing or a picturesque picnic -- or both!
15. Shawano Lake
Shawano Lake, Wisconsin, USA
Measuring in at more than 6,200 acres,
is a hard water drainage lake with multiple inlets and one major outlet - the Wolf River. It is a popular destination for boating, swimming, fishing, water skiing, birdwatching, and other outdoor activities.
16. Marl Lake, Chain o'Lakes
Marl Lake, Chain O' Lakes-King, WI 54981, USA
The teeny-tiny 14-acre
is the perfect destination for a leisurely float. Part of the Waupaca Chain O' Lakes, which includes 22 interconnected lakes, this crystal-clear lake is home to musky, panfish, largemouth bass, northern pike, and walleye.
Fun fact: Did you know that there are more than 100 lakes in Wisconsin with the same name — mud lake. Another popular lake name in Wisconsin is Long Lake, with 59 bodies of water sharing the name. If you enjoy reading about the best lakes in Wisconsin, you’ll love our recent article,
The Most Remote Lake In Wisconsin Is Also The Most Peaceful. Join our Wisconsin Nature Lovers Facebook group to discover more epic photographs like this and share your own.
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More to Explore
Nature in Wisconsin
What are the best campgrounds in Wisconsin?
best campgrounds in Wisconsin are:
New Wood County Park, N4781 State Rd 107, Merrill
Calumet County Park, 6150 Co Rd EE, Hilbert
Adams County Castle Rock Park, 2397 County Rd Z, Friendship
Gordon Dam County Park, 7201 Co Rd Y, Gordon
McMullen Memorial County Park, 1703 Atlantic Rd, Warrens
Lucius Woods County Park, 9231 E Marion Ave, Solon Springs
Menomonee Park, W220 N7884 Town Line Rd, Menomonee Falls
Mooney Dam County Park, Fowler's Cir, Gordon
Pecatonica River Trails Park, 400 Washington St, Darlington
Pier County Park, 17520 State Rd 80, Richland Center
Smith Lake County Park, Omaha Rd, Park Falls
Thompson's West End Park, 8th Ave W, Washburn
What are the best hiking trails in Wisconsin?
best hiking trails in Wisconsin are:
Doughboy's Trail at Copper Falls State Park, a 1.7-mile hike located at 36764 Copper Falls Rd in Mellen.
Devil's Lake State Park Trail, located at S5975 Park Rd in Baraboo
Witches Gulch, a two-mile loop trail in Dell Prairie
Badger State Trail in Monroe
Rib Mountain Trails
Fern Dell Gorge in Reedsburg
Pattison State Park in Superior
Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail, County Rd ZZ in Dousman
Balanced Rock Trail in Devil's Lake State Park
Eagle Trail in Peninsula State Park, 9462 Shore Rd, Fish Creek
Myers Beach Sea Cave Trail on the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Bayfield
What are the best swimming holes in Wisconsin?
best swimming holes in Wisconsin are:
Dells of the Eau Claire Park in Aniwa
Soo Lake in Newbold
Minooka Park in Waukesha
Turtle Creek in Beloit
Amnicon Falls in South Range
Redgranite Quarry in Redgranite
Willow Flowage in Little Rice
Fox Brook Park in Brookfield
Willow River State Park in Hudson
Quarry Beach in Sheboygan