When I first joined the Badgerland Water Ski Show Team in Waukesha, 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 call home. 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, it’s definitely not a location I would recommend 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 enjoy the water. I’ve assembled a list of the region’s five most notable lakes below to help you plan your next lake day! Want to learn more about show water skiing? Check out this brief history of water ski shows in Wisconsin.
Though this “Little” does have a “Big,” the naming is accurate in acreage alone. Little Muskego Lake has more to offer in both depth and access than its larger counterpart. Conditions are often great for skiing, especially in the morning. At the end of a long day on the water, catch the sunset from the beach at Idle Isle Park.
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!
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 can manage, but also plenty of bays if you want to take a set away from the crowd and find calm water.
This lake might be best-known for the postcard-perfect beach located along its northeastern shoreline. Parks and small businesses help turn this stretch of Wisconsin Avenue into a rustic lake town that is perfect for families. While you’re there, stop into the Lake Effect Co. shop for some sustainably-designed lake day goods.
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 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! For more things to do in Lake Country, check out Lake Country Family Fun.