Lakes & Waterways


Relax Lakeside

Vilas County is home to some of the most pristine swimming lakes in the Midwest. There’s nothing like a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear water of a glacial lake. Whether you’re hoping to go wading, take a quick dip or would like to go for a longer swim along the shore, you’ll find plenty of great swimming options. Vilas County lakes also offer some great calm and shallow waters that are perfect for young children.

Back on shore, relax on the soft sand of a Vilas County beach. Soak up the sun while enjoying the tranquility of northern Wisconsin. On some mornings, your only company at the lake may be a jumping fish or a wading bird. Enjoy a summer read, visit with some friends or family or just reflect on how perfect life is when you’re on the beach in Vilas County.

Here are some public beaches worth exploring:

Boulder Junction | 715.385.2400 |

Nichols Beach Park & BeachNichols Beach is a great family-friendly swimming area just 2.5 miles from downtown Boulder Junction. Its shallow water and gentle entry make it a good bet for kids. To find the beach, follow Highway K west, turn left on Highway H and left onto Nichols Lake Lane. At the end of Nichols Lane you’ll find a parking area for the beach. Dog friendly.

North Trout Lake Park & BeachLocated just south of Boulder Junction, North Trout Lake is another great place for a summer swim. Trout Lake is the largest lake around Boulder Junction and it has some very scenic spots along the shoreline. The beach is one of those spots – you’ll find it about 3 miles south of Boulder Junction off County M, near the boat landing. Dog friendly.

Conover | 866.394.4386 |

Hunter Lake Park & BeachThe park is located on the southeast shore of Hunter Lake at 5710 Hunter Landing Road.  The swim area is accessed via the sandy beach, and while the swim area is designated with buoy markers, there is no life guard on duty.  The park contains 2 fire rings with attached grates and 6 picnic tables.  There are informal horseshoe pits and a swing set in the play area, and an unimproved boat launch, providing boating and fishing opportunities.  The comfort station is located near the parking lot. NOT dog friendly.

Torch Lake Park & BeachThe park is located on the southeast shore of Torch Lake at 5101 Torch Lake Road. The swim area is accessed via the sandy beach, and while the swim area is designated with buoy markers, there is no life guard on duty.  The park contains a fire ring with attached grate, 3 cooking grills, and 10 picnic tables.  There is a horseshoe pit and a swing set in the play area.  There is no formal boat landing, but there is plenty of room to carry a kayak or canoe to the water’s edge for boating and fishing opportunities. The comfort station is located near the parking lot.  Torch Lake Campground & RV Park adjacent. NOT dog friendly.

Eagle River | 800.359.6315 |

Eagle Lake County Park & BeachEagle Lake County Park is located at 4105 W. Eagle Pines Road off Chain O’Lakes Road, approximately 4 miles (driving distance) northeast of Eagle River. The park is also easily accessible via water. It is located on the World-Famous Chain of 28 Lakes, on the north sore of beautiful 572-acre Eagle Lake. It offers bird watching opportunities as well as a spectacular view of the lake. NOT dog friendly.

Silver Lake Park & BeachLocated just outside Eagle River at 932 Silver Lake Road. The park has a beach, picnic tables, a playground, public bathrooms, and a lifeguard on duty at scheduled times. NOT dog friendly.

Land O’ Lakes | 800.236.3432 |

Black Oak Lake Park & BeachBlack Oak Lake is hailed as the clearest lake in Wisconsin. The public beach is adjacent to County Hwy. B, and has changing room and bathrooms available. Dog friendly.

Minocqua Area | 800.446.6784 |

Big Arbor Vitae Park and BeachLocated at 1762 Buckhorn Road in Arbor Vitae, this park includes a beach, picnic tables, grills, a boat landing, and public restrooms. Dog friendly.

Brandy Lake Park and BeachBrandy Lake Park and Beach is located at 326 Brandy Beach (Lemma Creek Road) in Arbor Vitae. The park’s facilities include a disc golf course, two baseball fields with fencing and bleachers; two tennis courts with fencing; a soccer field with lighting; a large shelter building with grills and picnic tables; two sand volleyball courts; a paved full basketball court; a skate park, playground equipment; a swimming beach with pier, changing house and restroom facilities; a shoreline picnic area with tables and grills; and a paved walkway from the shelter to the beach parking area.  Winter facilities include an ice skating rink. NOT pet friendly.

Torpy ParkTorpy Park is located in Downtown Minocqua, at 705 Hwy. 51. The park is a 4-acre waterfront park with a beach, restrooms, pavilion, picnic shelter, grills and tables, tennis courts, playground, sand volleyball court, and ice skating rink during the winter months. Dogs NOT allowed in beach area.

Manitowish Waters | 888.626.9877 |

Koller ParkLocated at 6014 County Hwy. W. The part’s facilities include public piers, fishing pier, grills, picnic tables, public restroom, non-buoyed/swim-at-your-risk beach area. Dog friendly.

Little Star Lake Park & BeachLocated ½ mile west of Highway 51 on Park Road. The park’s facilities include a beach/buoyed swim area, picnic tables, grills, hand water pump, pit toilets, and is accessible by watercraft. Dog friendly.

Rest Lake ParkLocated on County Highway W across from the Lakeland Discovery Center. The park’s facilities include a public boat landing, pavilion, picnic tables, grills, water hand pump, pit toilets, and a non-buoyed/swim-at-your-own-risk beach area. Dog friendly.

Sayner/Star Lake |

Crystal Lake Park & BeachThis popular swimming spot is located in the Crystal Lake Campground in the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest. A state vehicle sticker is required. It’s located right on the Heart of Vilas County Paved Bike Trail System, so it’s possible to pedal right to the beach. The lake earns its name – the water has amazing clarity. You’ll find soft sand beaches on the east and west sides of the lake. The beach is about 5 miles from downtown Sayner on
County N. NOT dog friendly.

Old Mill Site Park and BeachLocated at 7877 Statehouse Rd in Star Lake. The park includes a handicapped fishing pier, modern pit toilets, picnic tables, playground equipment, pavilion, and beach area. Dog friendly.


NOTE: Dog friendly implies that your dog may be in the area, but MUST still be on a leash, and, as always, please clean up after your dog.