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Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin

Trip Overview

Elkhart Lake, the "Hidden Gem." That is what a friend of mine told me when I asked about it. She talked it up as being that town in Wisconsin that not a lot of people know of and is a special place. Well Saturday, June 9th, I went to the lake with a friend and it started off to be a lake just like all other lakes I have been to.

But once I put my boat in the water [Star 1] and made my way into the lake, I was first amazed by the "under water forest" [Star 5] that you float over to get to the lake. It wasn't seaweed that grosses a person out nor was it underwater plants that were a pain to kayak through. They looked like an underwater forest with the top of the trees just barely touching the surface of the water. While I was floating over top of them I felt like I was flying or sliding over a crystal clear block of ice. I wish I had scuba gear to go down in the water to swim around the forest and see all of the cool things underneath.

After passing by the underwater forest, I made my way along the waters edge and trekked over to "Turtle Bay." Turtle Bay is a inlet on the lake that is very shallow and if you got out of your boat to stand up, you will be very surprised and sink in that "sand" that's underneath. It looks like a nice white sand but it is just a light color muck on the bottom. There are a couple of spot to dive and enjoy around there but that area is mostly for taking photos like the lily flower I took.

If you want to know of some cool places to dive and swim around, look on the map up above and focus on [Star 3] and [Star 4]. [Star 3] has a cute little fish nursery that you can swim down and see the little guys sitting in their nests. I wish I had an underwater camera to take a picture of the nursery and the fish in them but that will have to be a later birthday present. While underneath, just look around and you will see a lot of fish and different plants and structures. [Star 4] has a little structure to look over but otherwise it's an open area to just swim and see the bottom. In either location. make sure you have sandals or aqua socks on. The zebra muscles make it a little difficult to walk and if not the muscles, the rocks will do the same on your feet. So be prepared with foot ware.

Being that the lake is small, the waves don't get very large. We were out there on a windy day and the waves were very tolerable, though I did get a little wet with the water splashing, it was still fine to kayak. Here is what the water looked like on the Saturday and Sunday which were windy days.

After kayaking for 3.5 hours, my friend and I were getting hungry and thirsty so we decided to close the trip with a visit to the local tiki bar. The bar was called the "Barefoot Tiki Bar". We were really hungry and couldn't decide on what to eat so we ordered a couple of appetizers. One was Nachos with Chicken and the other was Fried Cheese Curds. The nachos were so tasty and they also had a sour cream sauce that had cumin in it which made the sauce that much better. The cheese curds resembled a tempura style of batter which was the best cheese curds I have ever had. They were soft from the fry and delicate from the batter.

They also had a live band playing that night which just set the mood just right. The music that was playing was proper for the crowd and the nice little area that they had made it so the music was not to loud nor to soft. Barefoot Tiki Bar was a little slice of the tropics and I am definitely going back again for more.

And before I close this article, I just want to make one comment about the Mojito drink that we had. AMAZING!!!!! The drink had just enough of everything and was well balanced. I get a lot of mixed results from places for Mojitos but they took pride in the right amount of mint and alcohol.


There is a rest area across the street from the landing.
In the article I make reference to a great place for drinks and food.


To use the landing, a $4 fee (in county) or a $6 fee (out of county) is required.


If you want to see more articles about areas that I have been to, please go to:

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip