Visit the Best In Madison area lakes and rivers in Madison and in South Central Wisconsin.

Experience Lake Mendota - a Madison, Dane County, WI largest and scenic lake.  

Lake Mendota is located in Madison, Dane County, WI. Lake Mendota is the northernmost and largest of the four lakes in the Madison, Wisconsin area. Other communities bordering the lake are Maple Bluff, Middleton, Shorewood Hills and Westport. Also bordering Lake Mendota is the University of Wisconsin, James Madison Park, UW Student Union, and numerous expensive homes and condos. Lake Mendota is 15.21 square miles. Fishing includes Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye and White bass. Water sports include boating, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, sailing, tubing, wake boarding, windsurfing and in the winter includes cross country skiing, ice-boating, ice-fishing, ice hockey, ice-skating and snow-kiting.


Experience Lake Monona between Madison and Monona in Dane County, WI. Lake Monona is a 5.116 square mile lake. The 3359 acre lake is maintained by fresh water drainage. It’s depth is 74 feet. Visitors can access the lake from public boat landings, beaches, lands or parks. Fish species include Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Musky, Northern Pike, Panfish, Smallmouth Bass, Sturgeon and Walleye. 


Experience Lake Wisconsin - a 10,000 acre lake with 52 miles of shoreline in Columbia County, WI. Lake Wisconsin is a prehistoric lake that existeover 14,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age when a glacier retreated and carved the lake, islands and sandstone bluffs. After removing the lake-bottom sand, it cut canyons through the weak sandstone beneath forming the Dells.


Welcome to the Sugar River - a tributary of the Pecatonica River and runs approximately 91 miles from the hills of Dane County southwest of Madison Wisconsin to Illinois.


Sugar River winds through the hills past Paoli and Belleville where it is dammed to form Lake Belle View to Monticello through Albany and Brodhead and crosses into northern Illinois where it joins the Pecatonica River approximately 15 miles (24 km) north-northwest of Rockford.


The river runs along the Badger State Bike Trail near Paoli and Belleville and along the Sugar River State Trail near New Glarus, Monticello, Albany, and Brodhead.


The river is ideal for canoeing as it flows gently through forested riverbanks and rich farmlands in Dane and Green County. A few dams must be portaged.  

Suggested trip: You can put-in in Belleville below the dam at Community Park (Belleville is about 13 miles SW of Madison) and canoe for about 4 hours and 10 miles to HWY X. I made a 1st canoe trip and similar trip 50 years ago, got caught in the dark as left early afternoon.

You can get stuck in the mud in low points and see some carp, ducks, turtles and perhaps a crane and bald eagle. It is 4.25 miles to the Highway 92 bridge, which may be a great place to end your trip.


There is a very accessible take-out at Highway X and a parking lot entrance on the northeast corner of the bridge. 


Sugar River Sports of Belleville WI have canoe and kayak rentals and fishing advice - 7008 Little Lakes Road, Belleville, WI - 53508 - Phone:(608) 424-6045.


S&B Tubing - - is located on state highway 59, right on the beautiful sugar river - 100 East Main, Albany, WI - 608-862-3933.

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