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Guide to the Inland Lakes of Door County

Although Lake Michigan attracts visitors with its dramatic views and beautiful beaches, Door County’s inland lakes are some of the peninsula’s best kept secrets. Perfect for paddling, swimming, fishing, and exploring, the inland lakes of the Peninsula will not disappoint.  

Secluded Fishing and Exploring on Europe Lake

Spend a lazy day fishing on Europe Lake’s clear, secluded waters. Panfish, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, and Walleye are all on the menu. The most eastern lake in Wisconsin, Europe Lake is 267-acres and located near Gills Rock at the eastern tip of the peninsula. With a mean depth of 6 feet and a maximum depth of 10 feet, Europe Lake is also ideal for canoeing and kayaking. Public access to the lake can be found in Newport State Park, Ferdinand Hotz Park, and Europe Bay Woods State Natural Area. There is also a public boat landing located at the end of Europe Lake Road.

Spotting Wildlife on Mud Lake

Located on 2,290 acres of Mud Lake Wildlife Area, Mud Lake is home to many species of wildlife and is surrounded by a shrub and timber swamp. The presence of bird species such as the Common Goldeneye makes Mud Lake and the surrounding area a popular area for birding. At 169 acres and with a maximum depth of 5 feet, Mud Lake is also well suited for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Mud Lake is located in Northeastern Door County, near Moonlight Bay.

Kayaking, Canoeing, and Swimming on Kangaroo Lake

At 1,156 acres, Kangaroo Lake is the largest inland lake in Door County. Located in Baileys Harbor, Kangaroo Lake is home to one of just two known reproducing populations of the federally endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly. With a maximum depth of 12 feet, Kangaroo Lake is perfect for boating, paddling, swimming, and fishing. Public access is available from a causeway that separates the developed southern portion of the lake from its undeveloped northern portion containing extensive wetlands, floating sedge mats, and lowland forest.

Clear Water Fishing on Clark Lake

The second largest inland lake in Door County, Clark Lake is 865 acres, with a mean depth of 7 feet and a maximum depth of 25 feet. Located north of Whitefish Dunes State Park, Clark Lake is home to panfish, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, largemouth bass, and trout—making it a popular spot to fish. Clark Lake is also notable for its clear water and excellent visibility. Access the lake from Logan Creek Natural Area, Whitefish Dunes State Park, Whitefish State Natural Area, or from the public boat landing at the end of Town Line Road.

A Day Trip to Lake Mackaysee

Lake Mackaysee provides the best of both worlds: the opportunity to travel on open water to Chambers Island and the opportunity to spend time fishing on a peaceful inland lake. Located on the northeast side of Chambers Island, Lake Mackaysee is 337-acres, with a mean depth of 5 feet and a maximum depth of 27 feet. Lake Mackaysee is home to panfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, and two small islands of its own. Although the lake is privately owned, public access is available from a boat launch at the Chambers East Dock.

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