Manitowish Lake, Wisconsin, USA

Also known as:  Manitowish Chain of Lakes

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

If you’re considering Manitowish Lake vacation rentals, we’ve made it super easy to explore accommodations and nearby hotels using the interactive map below. Simply click on a listing to compare similar properties, best rates and availability for your dates. Or keep scrolling to read our Manitowish Lake guide!

Manitowish Lake visitor and community guide

Tucked into the middle of the Manitowish Waters Chain in Vilas County Wisconsin, Manitowish Lake is one of 10 lakes: Little Star Lake, Island Lake, Rest Lake, Clear Lake, Fawn Lake, Spider Lake, Stone Lake, Wild Rice Lake, and Alder Lake linked by navigable channels. Manitowish Lake directly connects to Little Star, Alder, and Wild Rice Lakes. These lakes are a part of Wisconsin’s Northwoods region and offer a range of activities for all. The Manitowish River that runs through the lakes offers guided tours for canoeing, kayaking, rafting, and tubing.

Manitowish Lake has 496 acres of alluring water to fish, boat, and unwind. It has a mean depth of 23 feet and a maximum depth of 61 feet, and is home to many species of fish including walleye, muskie, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike, bluegill, and panfish. Spend the day hiking and biking along the 7 mile shoreline. If you prefer seeing the terrain from a more relaxing perspective, there are horseback riding trails during the summer months.

The best part of Manitowish Lake is the proximity to other lakes and activities. You can visit Rest Lake Park for water ski shows, and Frank B. Koller Park for Music in the Park Sunday Concert Series. Take a break from the lakeside entertainment and indulge in libraries, museums, and more. The Frank B. Koller Memorial Library is the ideal place to pick up your favorite book or movie for those quiet nights. The Northwood Children’s Museum provides 22 hands-on exhibits that help children learn about their world as well as understanding concepts related to science, history, art and culture. Your children will also enjoy summer residence camps and summer day camps in the surrounding area. Adventures for all ages are offered at the North Lakeland Discovery Center. The Center provides year-round programming as well as wooded trails for hiking and biking during warm weather and cross country skiing and snowshoeing during winter months. These trails are also perfect for birding treks. There are rustic bunkhouses available to rent for your wedding, reunion, or business retreat.

Manitowish Lake is in the heart of the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest. More than 225,000 acres are available for year round recreational activities such as canoeing, hiking, bird watching, snowmobiling, biking and hunting. Hunters, trappers, berry pickers, bird watchers, and photographers will also enjoy the Powell Marsh State Wildlife Area. There are no designated trails, but roads and dikes provide walking access throughout the area. In the middle of the Marsh there is a 1,800-acre no entry from September 1- December 31 for wildlife refuge. Any wildlife enthusiast will love the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail. This trail has a total of five highway-based viewing guides featuring exceptional birding and wildlife watching sites. The trail has more than 80 waypoints for birding and wildlife watching.

Manitowish Lake is surrounded by some of the finest downhill ski facilities, snowmobile clubs, golf courses, horseback riding trails, and much more. Visit during the fall season and experience the Cranberry Marsh Tours. The event features self-guided fall color tours, a quaint arts and crafts show, cranberry samples, fresh cranberry sales, bake sales, live music, “Taste of Harvest” offered by some of the area’s local restaurants, cranberry cooking contest, pontoon cruises on the Manitowish Waters chain, and other fun-filled activities.

There are a multitude of vacation rentals and real estate properties for sale at Manitowish Lake. Plan your next visit here and experience everything this lake has to offer.

Custom Manitowish Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Manitowish Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Forest
  • Museum

Fish species found at Manitowish Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Manitowish Lake

The Manitowish 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.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Manitowish Lake photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

Manitowish Lake statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 496 acres

Shoreline Length: 7 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,601 feet

Average Depth: 23 feet

Maximum Depth: 61 feet

Water Volume: 11,351 acre-feet

Lake Area-Population: 700

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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