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Your guide to Lake Wisconsin
All About Lake Wisconsin
Nestled just south of where the neighboring states of Minnesota and Michigan meet Canada, Lake Wisconsin is a large reservoir on the Wisconsin River that’s a popular spot for fishing and boating throughout the year. There are also many state parks and nature reserves within easy reach where you can hike and cycle in the warmer months and cross-country ski, ride snowmobiles, and snowshoe through pristine forests in the winter.
A handful of small towns dot this popular lake. Baraboo is home to the 10,000-acre Devil’s Lake State Park, one of the visited state parks in Wisconsin. In Lodi, one of the largest towns along the lake, you’ll find a winery, distillery, and the scenic Lower Wisconsin State Riverway. If you want to cross the lake without having to drive all the way around, the town of Merrimac offers a vehicle ferry crossing.
With its central location close to both Madison (45 minutes away) and Milwaukee (a 1.5 hour drive away), Lake Wisconsin is an ideal spot to stop on a road trip through this section of the Midwest.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Lake Wisconsin?
Lake Wisconsin experiences drastic weather changes from season to season. The summer months are warm and sunny, making this the perfect time for hiking, fishing, and boating. The early fall (an ideal time for viewing the area’s brightly colored leaves) and late spring have milder weather and cooler evenings, so you’ll likely need light layers. While the winter months can be frigid, this is a wonderful time to go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing and see the lake and nearby forests covered in snow.
What are the top things to do in Lake Wisconsin?
Lake Wisconsin offers ample opportunities for amateur and experienced anglers to try their luck. The waters are rich with walleye and white bass and it is possible to fish throughout the year. Popular fishing spots include Devil’s Lake, Walleye Lane Wayside Park, Summer Oaks Boat Landing, Richard A. Grant Park, and Parfrey’s Glen Creek. Boat and equipment rentals are available around the area.
Devil’s Lake State Park
Located in Baraboo, the Devil’s Lake State Park features two sandy beaches and nearly 30 miles of trails. Rock climbers will be happy to know there are plenty of routes for climbing and bouldering. During your visit, you can rent kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes to explore more of the lake. In the winter, it is also possible to have a guide take you cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.
Merrimac is a small town on the lake that’s well-known for the iconic Merrimac Ferry that has been whisking visitors across the lake free of charge since 1848. One of the more popular lake outposts, you’ll be able to find shops, cafes, and restaurants here, as well as an amazing ice cream stand right near the south entrance of the ferry.