Activities, Boating & Fishing

Northwoods lakes to explore this summer

Get out on the water in Oneida County this summer! Whether you’re looking for a great place to boat, fish, or paddle—or just want to relax at a scenic beach—you’ll find countless lakes to explore throughout northern Wisconsin. Here’s a look at a few popular spots in Rhinelander, Three Lakes, Minocqua, and Tomahawk.

Boom Lake, Rhinelander
Boom Lake is actually a part of the Wisconsin River—this 365-acre flowage is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and paddling north of downtown Rhinelander. A boat launch is available on the southeast side of the lake at Hodag Park, which is also home to athletic fields, a scenic walking trail, and a swimming beach. Stay for the sunset—the view from Hodag Park is spectacular.

Lake Mohawksin, Tomahawk
Another reservoir of the Wisconsin River can be found a little farther south in Tomahawk. Lake Mohawksin—it takes its name from the Somo, Tomahawk, and Wisconsin rivers—covers nearly 2,000 acres and is a great place for paddling, boating, and fishing. Paddlers will find more than 40 miles of scenic shoreline to explore, and there are portage areas at both ends of the lake. Anglers and boaters can access Lake Mohawksin from six public boat launches, and the lake is home to musky, smallmouth bass, walleye, pike, and even channel catfish. A beautiful trestle bridge also crosses the lake, connecting SARA Park with the Hiawatha Trail, a great place to go for a hike or bike ride.

Tomahawk Lake, Minocqua Area
Tomahawk Lake is a massive, 3,400-acre body of water located in the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest southeast of Rhinelander. It’s part of the famed Minocqua Chain of Lakes, which also includes Mid Lake, Minocqua Lake, and Kawaguesaga Lake to the north and Little Tomahawk Lake and Mud Lake to the south. That means lots of places to get on the water and explore boating, fishing, and paddling options in the Northwoods—Tomahawk Lake itself is home to three boat landings and a beach at Indian Mound Campground.

Big Stone Lake, Three Lakes
Head along Highway 32 east of Three Lakes, and you’ll pass along the southwestern shore of Big Stone Lake, a 600-acre lake that’s home to several resorts and cottages that are popular among summer visitors. The lake also offers great fishing, including healthy populations of musky and walleye; anglers have access to two public boat launches on the lake. In the summer, Big Stone Lake is home to twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays) performances from the Three Lakes Aqua Devils Water Ski Show Team.

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