Four Seasons on Big Green Lake

Green Lake dock and fishermen
Photograph by Barbara Wilson

Whether you’re a year-long or summer resident, or just taking a family trip, anyone who has been in Green Lake for any period of time has a story to tell. Many of these tales involve the laughs shared and memories gained at Big Green Lake. It may be the biggest fish you caught while out on the waves with your grandpa or successfully making it around the lake for the first time on water skis. Maybe you and your friends took pictures of your best poses as you jumped into the glistening blue water. Perhaps it’s even sharing your day ice skating on Big Green Lake as you and your family warmed up around a roaring fire later that night. There’s no shortage of fun on the lake, and what’s more, you can explore these opportunities all year round, as Green Lake is a four-season destination!


When the ice begins thawing, it’s time to get the boat from storage and clean it up for a summer of great times. No boat? No worries! Green Lake has some of the best boat rentals in the area. It’s also home to seven public boat launches for easy access to begin your fun.

There are even two boat tours available to explore Green Lake with a guide, including Heidel House’s 60-foot catamaran-style yacht, Escapade , and Green Lake Tours’ refurbished 1980s Navy boat, J. Lawson . Both are ready for your wedding party, business outing, and any other private event.

Maybe a nice, leisurely day of fishing is more your style. Load up on bait and tackle downtown before jumping into the boat. The public can fish from their boats, public boat landings, and beaches. Green Lake waters are filled with a wide variety of fish, such as white bass, catfish, panfish, cisco, lake trout, large and smallmouth bass, brown trout, walleye, northern pike, and even muskie. See the chart on the next page for the best times of the year to spot these fish.

If you have the whole family along, a trip to the beach is surely on the list. The top three favorite beaches are Dodge Memorial County Park, Hattie Sherwood Park, and Sunset Park.

What you do on the water is up to you. Tubing, boating, waterskiing, sailing—the cards are in your hand.


As the weather grows colder, the waters of Green Lake, the deepest natural inland lake in the state, begin to freeze over. While it may look barren and boring, it’s what lurks below the surface that draws many to the area. One look at the lake in December and January reveals an array of ice shanties dotting the horizon. You can stock up on bait in town and then hit the ice for a day of ice fishing.

A family-friendly adventure in the winter is a trip to the Deacon Mills Park ice skating rink. Maintained by volunteers, this ice rink provides a beautifully lit winter wonderland in the late afternoons and evenings with a separate warming house to take a break in.

Alyssa Paulsen is the Marketing & Project Coordinator of the Green Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.