Lakes and Streams in the Northwest Corner of Northwest Wisconsin

Lakes and Streams in the Northwest Corner of Northwest Wisconsin

As I’ve noted elsewhere, the northwest corner of northwest Wisconsin is somewhat less known.  In the minds of many vacationers and home buyers from the Twin Cities, Eau Claire, or Chicago, there’s a large blank area on the map of Wisconsin; it extends all the way from Duluth to Hayward.  It’s time to fill in the blank.


This truly is corner of Northern Wisconsin with many roads less traveled.  That’s one reason you may be able to get more for your money here in Douglas County, western Bayfield County, and northern Washburn County.  In many cases, the same dollars will get you more home, more cabin, more shoreline on a clear, deep lake, or more acres of great hunting land.

I’d like to help my clients, both present and future, learn more about the undiscovered and under-rated northwestern corner of northwestern Wisconsin.  Who knows?  Maybe someday we’ll become neighbors.

To help you begin your search, I’m gathering essential information about the specific lakes and rivers in this area.  (I’m also, by the way, gathering helpful information about the communities of Gordon, Wascott, Solon Springs, Barnes, and Minong.)

An Overview of The Lakes And Streams in Northwestern Northwest Wisconsin

In this part of Wisconsin, you’ll find a wide range of lakes and streams.  The largest lakes include the Gordon-Saint Croix Flowage (1,913 acres),the Minong Flowage (1,564 acres), Upper Saint Croix Lake (855 acres), Whitefish Lake (Bardon) (832 acres), and the Upper, Middle, and Lower Eau Claire Lakes (996, 902, and 802 acres).  If none of those are big enough to suit your taste, there’s always Lake Superior. Although larger lakes are often seen as more desirable; smaller lakes have a charm all their own.

Our best-known rivers include the St Croix, Namekagon, Totagatic, and Brule. The first three are all part of America’s wild and scenic river system.  The Brule is world-famous for its trout fishing and whitewater paddling.  We also have dozens of smaller trout streams that so far are less famous.

For most people, these rivers and streams are just one more recreational opportunity that’s nearby.  Riverfront properties do occasionally become available, however.

I live near Gordon on the 1,913-acre Gordon-St Croix Flowage; it’s in the southern part of Douglas County.  For my husband and I, it was the perfect lake.  But the lake that’s right for us might not be the one that’s right for you.

To see maps for dozens more, you can visit the Wisconsin DNR website.  For most lakes, you can also find maps and aerial photos on Google Maps or Google Earth.

Finally, there’s one more resource that I highly recommend, even to clients who have no interest in fishing.  It’s Sportsman’s Connection’s Northwest Wisconsin Fishing Map Guide, Northern Region: Lake Maps and Fishing Information for Bayfield, Douglas, Sawyer, and Washburn Counties.  For only $21.95, you can order a copy of this handy, 200-page reference directly from Sportsman’s Connection; the company also offers PDF downloads of individual lakes for three or four dollars each; the price depends on the size of the lake.  (If you’re in the area, you can also find the guidebook at most bait shops, bookstores, and sporting good stores.  We’ve even seen it for sale at stores in the Twin Cities.)

This resource provides detailed contour maps, fisheries information, and vital stats like size, shoreline length, maximum depth, mean depth, bottom type, water clarity, and lots more—and for over 175 different lakes in Bayfield, Douglas, Sawyer and Washburn Counties.  If you study each lake’s description and read between the lines, you’ll also be able to infer a great deal about other lake characteristics.

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