Wisconsin’s 5 Cleanest Lakes and Most Pristine Beaches

(Photo via Deposit Photos)

By Fiona Hatch

June 7, 2024

Beach days are a must during Wisconsin’s summer months, but it can be hard to choose between the state’s 15,000 lakes!

DID YOU KNOW? Many Wisconsin lakes are infected by blue-green algae, which can cause serious health problems for people or pets. Ingesting or even touching it can cause symptoms ranging from stomach pains and headaches to fever, muscle weakness, and dizziness. Algae usually blooms in water that is warm, slow moving, and full of nutrients, aka most Wisconsin lakes.

For most families, the cleaner the lake, the better the beach day. We used surface water condition data from the Wisconsin DNR to find five of the most pristine.

Black Oak Lake

Black Oak may not be Wisconsin’s biggest lake, but it’s certainly one of the state’s cleanest. Located right on the Wisconsin-Michigan border “up north”, this lake has crystal clear water that’s perfect for swimming. The surrounding pine forest and stretches of sandy shoreline make this a destination worth visiting for a weekend getaway.

Geneva Lake

Geneva Lake is one of Wisconsin’s most famous lakes, especially for summer vacationers. The town right on the water, Lake Geneva, is known for its lively downtown and beautiful, hundred-year-old mansions, making it worth a stop after a day by the water. Tip: Make sure to walk along the Geneva lake shore path and bring your camera – the views can’t be beat!

Two Sisters Lake

Spanning more than 700 acres and 63 feet deep, Two Sisters Lake’s clean water is ideal for boating, swimming, and fishing. The Two Sisters Lake Property Owners Association have also adopted an aquatic invasive species prevention program (AISPP) to keep the water clear of any invasive pests or plants that could infect the natural ecosystem.

Blue Lake

A 441-acre lake in Oneida County, Blue Lake’s water is clear and deep enough to safely accommodate boating, kayaking and swimming. But if you aren’t feeling like dipping your toes in, we recommend simply spending a day nearby. The forests that surround the lake make for great bird or wildlife watching – beavers, otters, cranes, black bears, and deer are all common sightings!

Lake Superior

As the largest and cleanest of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior is a popular destination for Wisconsin adventurers. There are plenty of great beaches along Superior’s shores to pitch a tent for the day, or for an overnight stay. And if you’re up for braving the chilly Northern waters, the clear water is a great place to take a swim. Fun fact: Lake Superior tops out at just 52 degrees in the summer!

Your favorite lake not on this list? Click here for the most recent data on a lake near you.

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