Lake of the Woods, Oregon, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - West - Oregon - Southern -

Beautiful Lake of the Woods is one of southern Oregon’s favorite recreation destinations. A natural lake with over 1,250 acres, Lake of the Woods has attracted nature lovers’ interest for well over a century. The lake was named by Oliver C. Applegate for its striking setting and made part of the Cascade Forest Reserve by 1898. In 1908, it became part of Crater National Forest, and in 1926 a permit was issued to build a resort at the lake. After leasing cottage locations to numerous future residents, and the Forest Service building two campgrounds, the lake became part of the Rogue River National Forest.

By the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps began improving local roads and constructing a Ranger Station and other buildings. The lake and nearby forest were transferred to the new Winema National Forest, now the combined Fremont-Winema National Forest. Through all of the transfers, Lake of the Woods continued to attract increasingly large numbers of visitors. Today, Lake of the Woods hosts resort cabins, campsites, three organization camps, and a number of private cottages and homes.

Lake of the Woods is the perfect location for all types of water sports, including swimming, waterskiing, tubing, sailing, pontooning, canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding. Over 200 cottages have private docks jutting into the water. A loosely-defined community of cottage owners lives along the southeastern shore in the area called Lake of the Woods. One might think that so many cottages would spoil the natural views available at the lake or impair water quality. Through careful management, that has not occurred. Large sections of the shoreline are undeveloped and contain wetland areas that harbor a striking variety of waterfowl, native mammals and birds. Pubic boat launches are available near Aspen Campground and at the concession-operated resort’s marina. Non-boat owners can rent fishing-sized boats with motors, canoes and kayaks at the resort, so water access is available to all.

Anglers try their luck primarily for kokanee salmon, brown trout, rainbow trout, black crappie, yellow perch, largemouth bass and chub. Prior to Oregon Fish and Wildlife management of the fishery, a number of other types of fish were unofficially introduced to the lake by individuals. These other species competed so successfully against the more desirable species that they were crowded out. In 1955, the entire lake was poisoned so that Fish and Wildlife could start over on the stocking project. Today, the fish population is much more balanced and provides better fishing opportunities for all. In winter, the lake freezes over, and ice fishing takes the lead.

Both of the US Forest Service campgrounds are now managed by the concessionaire that runs the resort. Both offer a variety of tent, trailer and RV campsites, playgrounds, restrooms, electricity and water beneath shading pines and firs. Two day-use areas offer swimming beaches and picnic areas. The resort marina offers boat gas, dock space, boating supplies and snacks. Also available at the resort are two restaurants, a camp store and over 30 rental cabins designed with visitor amenities to make a stay here pleasant and comfortable. All visitors must either purchase a day-pass or hold a seasonal US Forest Service pass.

Lake of the Woods isn’t the only attraction available. Several hiking and mountain biking trails in the area provide plenty of exercise. The popular High Lakes Trail meanders through Aspen Point Campground and joins other popular trails. The terrain near Lake of the Woods and Great Meadow below the outlet are generally flat and easy trails for those with children or limited stamina. More strenuous hiking or biking occurs for those who continue along the Cascades Crest to Fish Lake, a round trip of about 19 miles. The trail crosses the spectacular lava flows of Brown Mountain. Much is shaded by the old growth forest, and areas near the lakes themselves support a wealth of birds.

The Great Meadow area is an attractive destination in its own right, particularly in the spring when the wet meadow is ablaze with native wildflowers, and nesting grounds harbor waterfowl and meadow birds. In winter when the meadow dries, the area is a favored snow sports destination for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Wildlife are common in the Great Meadow and the surrounding forest. Commonly, animals such as elk, mule deer, black bear, black-tailed deer, cougars, coyotes and bobcats inhabit the less visited areas. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the area allow winter visitors to see numerous tracks of these wild creatures.

Lake of the Woods gains most of its water from ground seepage. Three inflowing streams also contribute water, only one of which flows year-round. The only outlet flows to Great Meadow and is usually dry by late summer, causing Great Meadow to be more of a seasonal wetland. Lake of the Woods never became part of the water storage reservoir systems so common in the West. Water levels only vary about two feet during the year, with most lost to evaporation and natural seepage. Consequently, water quality has remained good. Careful management efforts by the Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife are geared toward maintaining that quality. Shoreline property holders have been encouraged to plant native vegetation near the water and to allow fallen trees to break up wave action from boats using the lake which can erode the shoreline.

Vacationing at Lake of the Woods needn’t all be outdoor adventure. The small City of Klamath Falls is only about 45 minutes away by car, with larger Medford about an hour to the west. Klamath Falls in particular takes its western heritage seriously, with several museums and attractions designed to entertain and educate. The Favell Museum, although small, holds a very nice array of western art and Native American artifacts. The Klamath Art Gallery is a must-see for art lovers. For the youngsters, the Children’s Museum of Klamath Falls will delight them with interactive exhibits, And, because outdoor recreation is always a focus here, there are commercial zip lines and adventure parks, along with the 15-mile OC & E Woods Line State Trail, a rail trail popular for mountain biking and easy strolling.

Lodgings at Lake of the Woods can be had at the resort cabins, campgrounds, or the few private rentals of cottages along the lakeshore. Because this is such a popular recreation area, numerous guest cottages, bed & breakfasts and inns are available in the surrounding area. A few cottages can be found for sale on occasion but are in high demand. A new development is planned for an area near the lake. If you have never visited the southern Oregon area, now is the perfect time to plan a visit. Klamath Falls and Lake of the Woods are ready to welcome you.

Things to do at Lake of the Woods OR

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Snowshoeing
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Forest
  • Museum
  • Playground

Fish species found at Lake of the Woods OR

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Brown Trout
  • Carp
  • Crappie
  • Kokanee Salmon
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Yellow Perch

Lake of the Woods OR Photo Gallery

Lake of the Woods OR Statistics & Helpful Links

divider

Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 1,250 acres

Shoreline Length: 8 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 4,949 feet

Average Depth: 27 feet

Maximum Depth: 55 feet

Drainage Area: 26 sq. miles

Trophic State: Oligo-mesotrophic

Spread the word! Share our Lake of the Woods OR article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.