Little Crooked Lake, Wisconsin, USA

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

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Little Crooked Lake visitor and community guide

Little Crooked Lake is 153-acre lake just northwest of Boulder Junction in Vilas County, Wisconsin. In a region already overflowing with natural splendor, Little Crooked Lake’s ideal Northwoods location offers visitors ample opportunity for fishing, hiking, cross county skiing and some of the best nature-watching opportunities in the state.

Although one of the smaller lakes in the region, Little Crooked Lake is big on fishing and outdoor recreation. With a maximum depth of 20 feet, the lake is home to a variety of fish including musky, northern pike, walleye, largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill. Boating and swimming are encouraged, but water skiing and jet skis are not allowed. Finding accommodations on the sparkling water is easy as there are several lodges located on the lake’s nearly three miles of beautiful shoreline. Vacation rentals can also be found at nearby pristine lakes and in the city of Boulder Junction. A number of area resorts, lodges and rental cabins cater to anglers, making planning an angling adventure easy and convenient. Real estate for sale or rent is also plentiful in the area. A public boat ramp maintained by the Department of Natural Resources grants visitors access to the lake.

Unlike some vacation areas which shut down during the colder months, visitors to Little Crooked Lake can enjoy the very best of every season. For anglers looking to hit the water early, crappie fishing is excellent after the ice comes off the lakes. Spring, summer and fall are the perfect seasons for fishing, boating, canoeing and kayaking. With over 1,000 area lakes, lots of beautiful beaches and many boat launches, paddlers could spend a lifetime exploring the area. Northwoods golfing is fantastic in the spring or summer. Visitors can choose from a variety of scenic courses within a short drive of Little Crooked Lake. The surrounding area also offers a fantastic variety of wilderness trails for bikers, hikers, birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. Located in the “Lake Superior Snow Belt,” there is no shortage of snow and ice for favorite winter activities. Little Crooked Lake is located near an incredible snowmobile system with over 700 miles of groomed trails. Cross country skiing, ice skating, sledding and ice fishing are also popular pastimes.

Surrounded by the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, Little Crooked Lake is an oasis for wildlife, sparkling lakes, and solitude. Over 900 lakes dot the surface of the 225,000-acre forest. Nearly 40 miles of remote and challenging bike and hiking trails and many more miles of old forest roads are open to the outdoor enthusiast. Wildlife in the area ranges from timber wolves to soaring bald eagles. Over two million people visit the forest every year to experience the peace and tranquility of the woods and enjoy hunting, fishing, camping, wildlife watching, nature study, boating, canoeing, and countless other outdoor activities.

Mountain bicyclists will love the dozens of excellent mountain biking trails located around Little Crooked Lake. Road bicyclists will find lots of quiet routes and paved trails throughout Vilas County. Bicyclists will also appreciate the Boulder Junction area’s extensive trail system. Many of Boulder Junction’s trails are paved and open to touring bicyclists, as well as a network of quiet country roads with spectacular woodland scenery.

Southeast of Little Crooked Lake, anglers will be delighted to find the official Musky Capital of the World. Boulder Junction has long been noted for its excellent musky fishing with more than 50 Class A musky lakes and an additional 194 recreational lake within a few miles of town. Boulder Junction offers all kinds of accommodations, restaurants, and shops and is well known for its well-groomed snowmobile trails and cross country skiing trails.

Whether you enjoy canoeing, swimming, fishing, or just watching the sun set over a tranquil shoreline, Little Crooked Lake and its immediate vicinity has what you are looking for. From relaxing campgrounds to cozy resorts, it is no wonder that this area has become a very popular vacation destination.

Custom Little Crooked Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Little Crooked Lake

  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Forest

Fish species found at Little Crooked Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Little Crooked Lake

The Little Crooked Lake 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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Little Crooked Lake photo gallery

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Little Crooked Lake statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 153 acres

Shoreline Length: 3 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,627 feet

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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