Green Lake, Wisconsin, USA

Also known as:  Big Green Lake

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Green Lake WI.

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Green Lake WI visitor and community guide

Green Lake, also known as Big Green Lake, is exceptional, and it has the statistics to prove it. It’s Wisconsin’s deepest natural inland lake: only Lake Wazee, a man-made lake in Jackson County, is deeper. It’s also the oldest resort community west of Niagara Falls. What is truly exceptional, however, is the fishing and the recreation opportunities.

In the early 1840’s, New Englander Anson Dart settled with his family on the shores of what the French were calling “Grand Lac Verde.” He built a dam at the outlet of the lake and a sawmill and gristmill. By 1907 the village that had grown there was called Green Lake. By the late 1800’s the lake had developed a reputation as a resort community, and there were several large wooden hotels on the shores of Green Lake most of which have since burned down.

The most significant thing about Green Lake is its water. Its maximum depth of 239 feet, combined with the fact that the lake is primarily spring fed, makes Green Lake exceptionally clean with excellent water quality, many algal species, and oxygen available year round in the deep water. That makes it an ideal home for oxygen sensitive fish. For anglers it means the fishing on Green Lake is fantastic. The lake has healthy populations of walleye, northern pike, largemouth bass, muskie, bluegill, crappie, and even lake sturgeon. Green Lake also holds Wisconsin’s inland lake trout record with a 35 pound fish caught in 1957.

The clear water also makes Green Lake a great destination for scuba divers. Swimming, boating, sailing and kayaking are popular and in the winter there is skating and ice boating. Bird watching around the lake is good and the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge is less than half an hour away. Part of the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States, Horicon includes a state and national refuge and is a great place to see migratory birds and waterfowl.

There are plenty of accommodations of all kinds around Green Lake, lots of restaurants and public boat ramps. The City of Green Lake has shopping, restaurants and other amenities. There are three championship golf courses in Green Lake County and over 15,000 acres of public hunting land.

No matter what their preference visitors are sure to find something to love about exceptional Green Lake.

Custom Green Lake WI house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Green Lake WI

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Kayaking
  • Scuba Diving
  • Golf
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Wildlife Refuge
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Green Lake WI

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Lake Trout
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Sturgeon
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Walleye

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Green Lake WI

The Green Lake WI map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

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Green Lake WI photo gallery

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Green Lake WI statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: WDNR, UW-Extension, Wisconsin Assoc. of Lakes

Surface Area: 7,346 acres

Shoreline Length: 29 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 796 feet

Average Depth: 101 feet

Maximum Depth: 239 feet

Water Residence Time: 21 Years

Lake Area-Population: 1,100

Drainage Area: 100 sq. miles

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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