If you’re new to paddling, you’ve come to the right place. Vilas County has more than 1,300 lakes and 73 rivers and streams. You’ll find quiet waters perfect for practicing your paddling skills. If you’d like a gentle start to your adventure, practice paddling in shallow waters. When you’re getting comfortable on the water, it can be reassuring to see that the bottom is close. You can get some great beginning paddling advice from Vilas County outfitters – and they’ll also rent you a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard that’s well-suited to our lakes and rivers. You can use the Vilas County Silent Sports Trail Map, which will point you to some paddling routes perfect for a canoeing or kayaking adventure. A good place for a first paddle is Merrill Lake, located just west of Land O’ Lakes. It’s a small but picturesque lake that’s just 24 acres. Another place to experience paddling on a smaller scale is Upper Ninemile Lake east of Eagle River. This 108-acre lake has a maximum depth of just 5 feet. It’s located off Butternut Lake Road in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.