Namekagon Lake, Wisconsin, USA

Also known as:  Lake Namekagon

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Namekagon Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Namekagon Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Namekagon Lake

Surrounded on all sides by the beautiful Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Lake Namekagon is a great Wisconsin Northwoods getaway in Bayfield County. The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is over a million acres of Wisconsin’s beautiful Northwoods, and the forest is a restoration success. By the late 1800’s the Great North Woods were practically gone. They had been logged into nonexistence by the timber barons. The forests were replanted by the Civilian Conservation Corps and protected as a national forest. As a result they will be enjoyed for generations. Originally two separate national forests, the Chequamegon Forest and the Nicolet Forest have been managed together since 1993. Lake Namekagon is on the Chequamegon side, pronounced “Sha Wom Again” and Ojibwa for long strip of land. The forest has miles of trails for hiking, biking, cross country skiing, and snowmobiles. There is also good hunting for white-tailed deer, black bear, ruffled grouse and water fowl.

Lake Namekagon is at the headwaters of the Namekagon River, portions of which are part of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. The Riverway contains 252 miles of the Namekagon and St. Croix Rivers that are protected for recreation. It is a great way to explore the area by kayak or canoe. There is a dam owned by the Town of Namekagon on the west side of Lake Namekagon. Completed in 1926, the Namekagon Dam helps regulate water levels on the lake. With about 3,000 acres of water, there is plenty of room to explore by boat, kayak or canoe. Sailing and water skiing are also popular, and there are boat rentals and several public boat launches. Quiet boats can explore Lake Namekagon’s many bays and islands, including Paines Island where local pairs of eagles nest in the spring.

Lake Namekagon is managed by the Department of Natural Resources as a Class A1 trophy muskellunge lake. Muskies are the largest predatory fish in Wisconsin. Anglers regularly pull 40-pound fish from the waters, and any muskie angler is sure to find the lake worth the challenge. There are also healthy populations of walleye, northern pike, bluegill, crappie, and largemouth and smallmouth bass. In the winter there is ice fishing. Lake Namekagon is a good all-around fishing lake and an exceptional muskie lake.

Winter is time for the American Birkebeiner Cross Country Ski Race. The “Birkie” is the largest and one of the longest cross-country ski events in North America. Held in the National Forest, the multi-day race draws visitors from all over. Another national event is the Chequamegon Fat Tire Bike Race held every year in September. This off-road biking event through the Northwoods attracts thousands of contestants and spectators. There are restaurants and resorts around the lake. In addition, Lake Namekagon is near Cable in southern Bayfield County. Visitors can find any amenities they might want there, including golf and shopping and complete range of accommodations.

Whether it is exploring the Wisconsin Northwoods, pulling fish from the lake, or simply listening to the loons call across the water, Lake Namekagon has something to please everyone. This beautiful lake is sure to become a repeat destination for anglers and anyone who loves the outdoors.

Things to Do at Namekagon Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Forest
  • Shopping

Fish Species Found at Namekagon Lake

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

Find Places to Stay at Namekagon Lake

If you’re considering a Namekagon Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Namekagon Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Namekagon Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

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.

Namekagon Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Town of Namakagon

Surface Area: 2,897 acres

Shoreline Length: 43 miles

Maximum Depth: 54 feet

Water Volume: 50,032 acre-feet

Lake Area-Population: 285

Drainage Area: 48 sq. miles

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

Shop Namekagon Lake Gifts

Custom Lake Tumblers

Captain / First Mate Custom 20 oz Tumbler

Custom Lake T Shirt

Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

Custom Lake Coffee Mug - On Lake Time

On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


Advertise Your Namekagon Lake Business or Vacation Rental

LakeLubbers will soon offer businesses the opportunity to advertise and homeowners and property managers the ability to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily. If you would like additional details, please contact our advertising team.


Looking for the Namekagon Lake Forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here. We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Namekagon Lake Photo Gallery

New photos coming soon!

Spread the word! Share our Namekagon Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!