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There’s nothing like hitting the water in Wisconsin's Northwoods: Vilas County's lakes offer clear water, undeveloped shores, and outstanding views.

Speed boat with a tube attached at Lake Forest Resort

Vilas County is a land filled with beautiful lakes—1,300 of them, to be exact. There’s nothing like hitting the water in Wisconsin’s Northwoods: the lakes offer clear water, undeveloped shores and plenty of fish and wildlife. While there are countless beautiful views from shore, there’s a whole different perspective to be enjoyed out on the water.

If your idea of a perfect day is finding yourself purposely adrift on a small, undeveloped lake, there’s no shortage of opportunities in northern Wisconsin. If you would like to cruise along the shoreline in a pontoon boat, check out one of our world-class chains of lakes. You can find short, pleasant routes as well as routes that will fill a whole day with fun. In all, Vilas County has more than 1,700 miles of shoreline, so the cruising options are almost limitless in the Northwoods.

If you’re an angler, you’ll find some of the best freshwater fishing on the planet. If you’re into watersports, get ready for fun: Vilas County lakes have plenty of room for waterskiing, tubing, wakeboarding and more.

If you want to pilot your own boat (captain’s hat recommended but not required), check out this boating information. A certification is required for anyone who’s at least 16 years old and born after Dec. 31, 1988, who wants to operate a motorboat or personal watercraft.

Affordable boat rentals are also available in Vilas County, as are boat tours. Vilas County also has plenty of places to gas up the boat, and there are lots of fun restaurants where you can leave the boat tied up while you dine. There’s nothing more delicious than a lakeside hamburger enjoyed after a long day in the sun with some friends. Boat landings are never far away and there are lots of places where you and your boat can stay right on the water in northern Wisconsin.

Plan your Vilas County boating adventure today!