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Discover Vilas County’s beaches


  • Article
  • Beaches
  • Lakes & Rivers
  • Parks & Natural Areas
  • Summer
  • Swimming

Take a dip in a crystal-clear lake or just enjoy a sunny day on the sand at these public beaches in Vilas County.

person relaxing on beach chair in front of large lake flanked with trees

There’s nothing like a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear water of a glacial lake in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Whether you’re hoping to go wading, take a quick dip, or for a longer swim along the shore, you’ll find plenty of great swimming options.

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

Nichols Beach Park & Beach: Nichols 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 & Beach: Located 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. NOT dog friendly.


Hunter Lake Park & Beach: The 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 & Beach: The 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

Eagle Lake County Park & Beach:  Eagle 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 shore of beautiful 575-acre Eagle Lake. It offers bird watching
opportunities as well as a spectacular view of the lake. NOT dog friendly.

Silver Lake Park & Beach: Located 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

Black Oak Lake Park & Beach: Black 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

Big Arbor Vitae Park & Beach: Located 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 & Beach: Brandy Park and Beach is located at 326 Lemma Creek Road in Woodruff. 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 Park: Torpy 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

Little Star Lake Park & Beach: Located 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.

Koller Park: Located 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.

Rest Lake Park: Located 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.


Lac Vieux Desert National Forest Campground: Located off of West Shore Road just north of Sunrise Lodge in the National Forest Campground. This hidden gem is shallow and sandy with always crystal clear water, great for walking in with kids. Picnic area and shelter, vault toilet, and parking area. Next to the boat launch. Dog friendly.

Spectacle Lake Campground: This beach is located at the end of Spectacle Lake Lane off of County Road A in the Spectacle Lake Campground. 500 feet of sandy beach great for relaxing. There are restrooms throughout the campground. Dog friendly.

Sayner-Star Lake

Crystal Lake Park & Beach: This 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. The beach is about 5 miles from downtown Sayner on County N. NOT dog friendly.

Old Mill Site Park & Beach: Located 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.