The western end of Kenosha County has long been attracting summer tourists and residents since the mid-1850s. It was once home to the largest ballroom in the state of Wisconsin, dotted with many lakeside resorts and supper clubs. In the summer, many visitors come to our area for a day trips to boat, fish, kayak, swim, or enjoy a picnic or hike in one of many of our local parks. These activities are a great way to get outside enjoy the sunshine and spend a day exploring the western end of Kenosha country. Please read further to learn about our lakes and what is available on each one of them in the western part of the county.
Lakes Elizabeth and Mary
Twin Lakes is made of up of Lakes Elizabeth and Mary that are adjoined by a small channel that can be navigated with a kayak. The town of Twin Lakes has many boutiques, small cafes and restaurants, and a seasonal farmers market on Sundays. There are local festivals like the 4th of July parade with an illuminated boat parade and fireworks and a brat and corn festival with local bands. The nationally recognized Aquanauts also perform at Lance Park on Wednesday and Saturday nights starting Memorial Day weekend.
The main feature of Lake Mary is Lance Park. It is the boat launch (paid) with a sand beach and designated swim area. There is also a fishing pier, seasonal concession stand, picnic tables and grills and portable bathrooms. Lance Park is also home to the Aquanut Ski Shows, the adaptive ski program, and the summer movies in the park.
If you are planning on spending on spending on the afternoon boating, Lake Mary features a genuinely nice sandy bottom tie off area on the west of the lake. It is a great place to the let the children swim or bring a raft to enjoy the clear lake water.
If you come to enjoy a day of wakeboarding or waterskiing, water patrol has only one ask of you and that is to be courteous of smaller watercraft and swimmers. Please stay to the center of the lake as the wakes from the wakeboards have been known to capsize smaller vessels and turn over individuals on SUPs.
There are many fishing holes on Lake Mary to enjoy. Please obey the signs posted by the DNR and note fish size requirements. Mainly in the summer you will catch panfish, largemouth bass, crappie and walleye. The best times for fishing are usually early in the morning or late at night. You can always to take out a Facebook post and ask a local for help.
Lake Elizabeth has two boat launches, Musial Road (no Parking) and one at East Lakeshore Drive (Parking). Both are fee-based launches. Kayak rentals are available at the East Lakeshore Drive Boar Launch. Lake Elizabeth is a shallow lake that empties into the Varga Wetland area to the south which provides an opportunity to preview native plant and animals.
Powers Lake is on the far end of Kenosha County. It a favorite spot among local boaters for its rock bar to set up camp on weekends (weekdays too) and enjoy the day. We have been known to bring chairs, grills, rafts, volleyball nets and spend the days socializing from our boats. If you plan in on joining in on the fun, there is one boat launch with limited parking, otherwise parking is on the road.
Sunday mornings are a particular favorite if you have a chance to visit. The local sailing club races every Sunday morning, and it is quite nice to see the small sail boats dotted the horizon racing around the lake before heading back to their docks.
The Village of Salem Lakes (Salem, Trevor, Silver Lake, Camp Lake and Wilmot)
The Village of Salem Lakes consists of several smaller townships. You’ll find roadside farm fresh produce stands with local honey and eggs, restaurants, and boutiques. The Wilmot Flea Market takes place on Sunday mornings from 7-2pm at the Kenosha County Fairgrounds.
One of the main attractions of Silver Lake is the 260-acre park. There is a beach, grills, picnic areas, hiking trails, disc golf, bathhouse, and concession stand. This blogger used to windsurf on this lake, and I have heard it is now used for kite sailing. The various picnic areas are spaced out nicely that you can find plenty of room around the park.
Silver Lake has three boat launches with parking, 2 on Cogswell and one on county Highway F. Silver Lake is the only lake in Kenosha County that has muskies in it which makes a popular lake for anglers. This is an excellent place for musky, northern pike, largemouth bass and crappies. Silver Lake is also abundant bluegill and perch you are looking for panfish.
Fox River Park
Fox River Park is adjacent to Silver Lake. It is a beautiful park that is a great day trip for picnics, fishing, or launching kayaks or canoes and heading down the river. Learn more about the Fox River Water Trail here.
There are several spots to cast a fishing pole right from the banks that make it appealing to bring a lawn chair and spend the day fishing for walleye, white bass and various panfish.
The park itself has a disc golf course, tennis courts, maintained hiking trails, grills, covered shelters and picnic areas as well as outdoor chess tables for recreation. There are also a couple of playground areas for the smaller children in the group to enjoy.
Kenosha County Veterans Memorial Park
Another great alternative we have to a lake in the county is the former gravel quarry turned 39-acre lake and 335-acre park. There is a boat launch for boats (trolling motor only), canoe or kayak, fishing (stocked by the DNR), grassy beach like area, pier, and swimming (chilly). The park itself has several picnic areas and well-maintained trails and traverse around the lake which can provide some challenging hiking. A favorite of this blogger, it is across from the New Munster Wildlife Area and Island Bog also perfect for hiking and bird watching.
An honorable mention goes to Lily Lake largely because of Lily Lake Resort and the owner’s willingness to keep the beach somewhat accessible to the public. Lily Lake Resort is a ten-guest room motel and restaurant with a sandy beach and pier on Lily Lake. The resort has a full restaurant and features outdoor live entertainment on the weekends.
Enjoy your time in western Kenosha County!