Tomahawk Lake, Wisconsin, USA

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

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Looking for Tomahawk 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 Tomahawk Lake

Oneida County is known as the place “Where nature lingered longer.” With over a thousand lakes, 68,447 acres of water and tens of thousands of acres of Wisconsin Northwoods, the phrase is certainly appropriate. One of the places nature lingered is on beautiful Tomahawk Lake.

Oneida County has one of the largest concentrations of water bodies in the world, and Tomahawk Lake is one of the largest lakes in the county. The drainage lake is part of a chain of lakes called the Minocqua Chain that forms the headwaters of the Tomahawk River. Tomahawk Lake is almost completely surrounded by the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest. Established in 1925 the state forest contains 225,000 acres covering parts of Vilas, Iron, and Oneida Counties. The state forest was created to protect the headwaters of the Wisconsin, Flambeau and Manitowish Rivers. It is the largest of Wisconsin’s state forests and it has miles of trails for hiking, biking, cross country skiing, and horse back riding along with trails for ATVs and snowmobiles. There is hunting including an archery season for deer. Included in the forest is the Tomahawk Lake Hemlock State Natural Area. The 244-acre area is a forest of hemlocks. Designated as a natural area in 2007, it is a beautiful place to explore.

Tomahawk Lake is one of Wisconsin’s Outstanding Resource Waters also known as ORW. Outstanding Resource Waters get the highest protection by law of their water quality. Tomahawk Lake has good water quality and is a productive fishery for walleye, northern pike, musky, and smallmouth bass. There are also healthy populations of blue gill, crappie, and largemouth bass. In the winter Tomahawk Lake is a popular ice fishing spot. Other good fishing lakes in Oneida County include Lake Nokomis and Pelican Lake.

Accommodations on Tomahawk Lake range from campgrounds and cabins to resorts. There are public boat launches and boat rentals. The town of Lake Tomahawk has restaurants and shopping and any amenities visitors could want. Rhinelander, Oneida’s county seat, is within easy driving distance; along with more restaurants, shopping and accommodations, it has museums and cultural activities to explore. Look out for the city’s mascot, the Hodag. In 1896 lumberjack Gene Shepard was photographed with the creature, a seven-foot long, 30-inch tall, hairy beast with horns down its back and tusks. Mr. Shepard later admitted that the photograph was a hoax, but by then the people of Rhinelander (or Pelican Rapids as it was called at that time) had become smitten with the Hodag. Today Hodags show up on t-shirts, souvenirs, and in team names. Oneida County is also home to the Mecikalski Stovewood Building and Museum. The folk architecture museum is made of 18-inch long pieces of cedar stacked and filled with lime mortar.

The beautiful Wisconsin Northwoods combine with Tomahawk Lake’s outstanding water to make this Oneida County destination a place to linger longer. Nature certainly did and you will want to as well.

Things to Do at Tomahawk Lake

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

Fish Species Found at Tomahawk Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Walleye

Find Places to Stay at Tomahawk Lake

If you’re considering a Tomahawk 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 Tomahawk Lake Vacation

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

Tomahawk Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 3,392 acres

Shoreline Length: 30 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,585 feet

Average Depth: 33 feet

Maximum Depth: 86 feet

Water Volume: 111,958 acre-feet

Lake Area-Population: 1,160

Drainage Area: 26 sq. miles

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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.

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