White Sand Lake, Wisconsin, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Wisconsin - Lake Superior Northwoods Region -

The sound of laughter emanates from within a dense pine forest in the Northwoods region of Wisconsin at White Sand Lake. Bare feet from a group of children thud softly on pine needles as the group emerges from the trees, making a beeline for one of the lake’s docks. Tossing towels and sunglasses onto the sandy shoreline, each child races across the wooden platform before executing a youthful splash into the water.

This scene may seem like something out of a film, but instead is a typical day for families visiting and vacationing at White Sand Lake. The 1,229-acre lake is a clear freshwater lake offering anything from hiking, to fishing, to snorkeling. The retreat is complete with picturesque log cabin rentals or real estate dotting its 11-mile shoreline.

The White Sand Lake Association keeps a close eye on maintaining the quality of life at the lake in Vilas County, so that those looking for relaxation can find it in many forms. A simple hike through the wilderness may reveal bald eagles resting on a limb, a black bear shuffling around a bend, or a variety of loon species searching for fish at the edge of the lake. Grab your camera and set out for the lake in the early morning or the late evening to watch the sun glint off the crystalline waters.

Anglers will find consistent catches at White Sand Lake, which has an average depth of 25 feet. Northern pike, crappie, perch, smallmouth bass, rock bass, bluegills and largemouth bass can be caught when settling down with patience. The lake boasts excellent numbers of walleye and trophy musky and vacationers can watch from the shore as anglers pit their wits against the fish.

Those wishing for quality family time can take their pick of vacation rental cabins or real estate spread throughout White Sand Lake’s shoreline. Parents can mingle with other vacationers while watching their children build sandcastles at one of the lake’s beaches. Others can don snorkeling gear, squeezing silky sand in their fist while watching tiny fish fly by under their goggles.

Activities at White Sand Lake still abound during winter time. Boulder Junction, a quick 30-minute drive northwest, is known as the “winter fun capital of the world.” Year round residents, or those simply looking to escape to a winter wonderland, snowshoe through fresh snow, cross country ski around the dense forests, continue fishing through the ice, or pack a snack in their snowmobile and race through the well-groomed trails. During the rest of the year, visitors can go horseback riding, hiking, geocaching, hunting or golfing.

The Lac du Flambeau Indian Reservation, translated as Lake of the Torches, is located less than 10 miles southwest of White Sand Lake. Throughout the year the reservation holds vibrantly-colored pow-wows to celebrate life while singing and dancing the night away. Come during late summer to pick fresh strawberries off the vine at the reservation’s farm, or immerse yourself in history and traditions at their cultural center.

Nature is easily found in this part of the country. White Sand Lake is surrounded by other lakes such as Ike Walton Lake, Little Sand Lake or Steams Lake. Keeping with the outdoor theme is Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, a 225,000-acre forest chock full of activities. Over 30 miles of biking trails and over 400 miles of snowmobiling trails awaits adrenaline junkies, while others can remain content to camp out under the stars.

Make it easy on yourself when looking for your next vacation site and choose the peaceful vacation rentals at White Sand Lake. Peer through the trees, thick with pine needles and birds, and watch the sun set, or grab a canoe and take off to discover new scenery at the lake. The opportunity to live in a wondrous landscape year round awaits you.

Things to do at White Sand Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Snorkeling
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Forest

Fish species found at White Sand Lake

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

White Sand Lake Photo Gallery

White Sand Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 1,229 acres

Shoreline Length: 11 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,631 feet

Average Depth: 25 feet

Maximum Depth: 63 feet

Water Volume: 29,946 acre-feet

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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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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