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Lakes & Rivers

Vilas County is home to more than 1,300 lakes and 73 rivers and streams, making it the perfect place to play on the water in the Northwoods.

Paddling at North Lakeland Discover Center

By the Numbers

  • 73 Rivers and streams in Vilas County
  • 1,300+ Lakes in Vilas County
  • 6 Designated paddling routes in the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest

Vilas County is home to one of the largest collections of freshwater lakes in the world, with more than 1,300 beautiful lakes and 73 rivers and streams.  Boaters and paddlers can explore remote wilderness lakes, expansive lake chains, and beautiful backcountry rivers throughout Wisconsin’s Northwoods. Anglers will find some of the best fishing in the Midwest. Swimmers and watersports lovers enjoy good times in crystal-clear waters.

Looking for the perfect lake? Use the lake grid to see details on lakes throughout the county. The grid includes details on the size and depth of each lake, the fish each lake contains and the lake’s location in northern Wisconsin. The printed Vilas County Silent Sport & Water Recreation Map shows the location of every silent sports trail in the county as well as six canoe routes. Order your map here.