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.

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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Nature in Wisconsin

What are the best campgrounds in Wisconsin?

The 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?

The 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?

The 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

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