Your Quick Guide to Waukesha County’s Best Lakes

When I first joined the Badgerland Water Ski Show Team back in 2012, I imagined that the body of water we’d be skiing on would be more, well… more of a body of water than the shallow stretch of the Fox River we’ve called home since the turn of the century could ever claim to be. Eight seasons later, I’m still not a fan of seaweed getting stuck in the engines during a pyramid or crash-landing onto the river’s rocky shoreline, but I’ve got to admit that the lack of boat traffic is hard to beat. While Badgerland gets special permission to operate motorized boats in the middle of downtown Waukesha, it’s definitely not a location I would fight to get access to for a lake day.

Lucky for anyone within driving distance of Waukesha County, however, this entire area is known as lake country and is literally overflowing with places to ski (and do whatever else on the water that people do besides ski). I’ve assembled a list of the region’s most notable lakes below to help you plan your next lake day!

Little Muskego Lake

Though this “Little” does have a “Big,” the naming is accurate in acreage alone. Little Muskego Lake has much more to offer in both depth and access than its larger counterpart. Conditions are often great for skiing, though traffic can become an issue on weekend afternoons given the lake’s relatively small size and circular shape. You can even relax on the beach at Idle Isle Park at the end of a long day on the water!

Nagawicka Lake

It’s big, it’s bold, and it’s the perfect place for wake sports! Fill the fat sacs and start surfing on this round, open lake that’s virtually designed for anything with a big wake. If you want to ski, hit the water first thing in the morning to avoid traffic, waves, and wind!

Okauchee Lake

Famous for the mansions that line much of its shore, Okauchee Lake is party central in the summer! There are tie-ups as often as the lake’s residents and visitors can manage, but also plenty of bays if you want to take a set away from the crowd.

Pewaukee Lake

This lake might be best-known for the postcard-perfect beach located along its northeastern shoreline. Small shops help turn this stretch of Wisconsin Avenue into a rustic northwoods lake town! Whether you want to sit at the beach or hop in the boat, Pewaukee Lake is an ideal location for families or groups of any age.

Upper & Lower Nemahbin Lakes

You know when the boat traffic is bad, the wind has picked up, or the seaweed situation has worsened and you just wish you could escape to another lake? If so, a trip just a little further west along I-94 to Upper Nemahbin Lake and Lower Nemahbin Lake is perfect for you! This package deal lets you conveniently boat from one lake to the other when the conditions take a downturn (or if you just need a change of scenery).

Which Waukesha County lake is your slice of paradise? I’d love to hear where you summer in Lake Country by leaving a comment below!

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  1. I always loved visiting my cousins in Wisconsin because of all the Lakes up there. I lovingly remember the beautiful Chain of Lakes. This reminds me of that area. Lovely.

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