Little Cedar Lake, Wisconsin, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Wisconsin - Southern Savanna Region -

Little Cedar Lake, located near West Bend, Wisconsin is a glacier-formed, 246-acre lake in the Kettle Moraine area of Washington County. Kettle Moraine is a 100-mile band of hills, ridges, and depressions in eastern Wisconsin formed by the intersection of two gigantic ice sheets during the last Ice Age, some 10,000 to 25,000 years ago. The kettles are spots where blocks of ice became buried under sand and gravel. When the ice melted, deep depressions formed. Some of these depressions are now lakes with depths of up 100 feet. The moraines are the hilly belts of connected ridges and mounds that were formed along the glacier’s edge. Today, a forest of hardwoods mixed with pine plantations cover the rolling landscape around the sparkling lakes. Just a half hour drive northwest of Milwaukee, Little Cedar Lake is a great retreat for boating, fishing, and picnicking.

With a maximum depth of 56 feet and over four miles of shoreline, Little Cedar Lake is popular with locals and visitors for its pan fish. Bluegill, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass are abundant. Walleye can also be found in the deeper water. By early January the ice is usually stable on Little Cedar Lake and ice fishing rigs replace the summer casting equipment. Public access to the lake is from a hard-surfaced boat ramp at Ackerman’s Grove County Park on the southeast end of the lake. Depths vary, so boaters need to be aware when launching and retrieving their boats. Parking, picnic areas, and restroom facilities are available at the launch site. The 63-acre park offers spectacular views of Little Cedar Lake as well as natural woodland and wetland areas to explore.

The city of West Bend is just a short drive northeast of Little Cedar Lake. West Bend is a beautiful community with a number of parks and paths for jogging. Regner Park is the largest of the city’s parks offering more than 79 acres for public use. For the outdoor enthusiast, the Eisenbahn State Trail extends from West Bend into eastern Wisconsin, and offers over five miles of paved trail for hiking, bicycling, and cross-country skiing. The city’s 104-acre Lac Lawrann Conservancy offers ongoing environmental education programs, and has five miles of scenic trails for walking. Accommodations, shopping and fine dining facilities also make West Bend a great place to rest and relax.

Visitors to Little Cedar Lake looking for a little more excitement will find the vibrant city of Milwaukee just a short drive east of the lake. Milwaukee is nationally recognized for its wonderful museums, fine dining and hotels, professional sports, performing arts, gardens and parks, and a world-renowned zoo. Festivals and celebrations attracting millions of visitors are held throughout the year.

For those who prefer the quieter sounds of nature, the Kettle Moraine State Forest is north of Little Cedar Lake and offers 30,000 acres and 132 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and cross country skiing. The State Forest is also home to seven lakes and many campgrounds for those who would like to spend the night under the stars.

Little Cedar Lake is a wonderful getaway with many lakefront homes available as vacation rentals. Lakefront and lake-access real estate can also be purchased for those who want to enjoy lake living year round. Hikers and wildlife observers will take pleasure in the scenery as they make their way through lush woods around the lake. No matter what draws visitors to Little Cedar Lake, its seclusion and proximity to metropolitan amenities will appeal to all who journey to its shores.

Things to do at Little Cedar Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Forest
  • Museum
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Little Cedar Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Little Cedar Lake Photo Gallery

    Little Cedar Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Surface Area: 246 acres

    Shoreline Length: 5 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,014 feet

    Maximum Depth: 56 feet

    Water Volume: 3,153 acre-feet

    Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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    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.


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    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.


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    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."


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    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.


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    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.


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    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.


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    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.


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    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


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    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.


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    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.


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    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.


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    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.


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    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.


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    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.


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    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.


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