Kayak Guide Lake Country

Kayaking Around Lake Country & Waukesha County

Warmer weather is here, and it’s a great time to get out and enjoy our awesome Lake Country Lakes and rivers! Kayaking is an awesome activity for the family. Whether it’s mom and dad getting out on a date, the little kids going in the kayak for a ride, or the bigger kids keeping up in their own kayaks, there is so much {active and outside} fun to be had on the Lakes in Lake Country!

Many of you, our awesome followers, have been asking WHERE CAN I KAYAK NEAR ME?

Lake Country Family Fun, researched like we do, and put together a Kayak Guide which contains where to Kayak (lakes and rivers) in Waukesha County and where you can rent a Kayak from.  

When you go out don’t forget these Kayaking essentials:

  • Life vests for all
  • Sunscreen
  • Paddle (yup, I’ve forgotten mine before)
  • Cell Phone and keys (in a waterproof dry bag)
  • It’s also recommended to always tell someone where you are going and when you think you will be back. Kayaking is an activity best done with a partner or more and not alone, just like swimming. 
  • Learn more water safety tips here.
  • We also recommend planning your route ahead of time so you can estimate time and distance.  Are you doing an out and back, shuttle with a bike or vehicle or lake shore lap?
  • We recommend using an App to help you plan your kayaks. We like the free Go Paddling App (available for both iOS and Android and it has a lot of great info for Waukesha County spots)
  • Consider the wind speed, water levels, and current when you go out which all affect how your trip could go.
    • Erin, of Lake Country Family Fun, knows from personal experience, it’s always best to travel up stream or toward the wind FIRST, to make the trip easier on the way back  😉 Oops! 

Please thank your Kayak Guide Sponsor:

One of our favorite Kayak launches is featured in the image to the right. the Launch is located at a carry-in public spot parking site off of Hwy 67. 


All Things KAYAKING Near YOU (Waukesha County)

  • Sherper’s in Oconomowoc – reserve yours online 
  • PRS Watersports – They are a remote outfitter providing rentals and lessons. Rental Locations (not all-inclusive): 
        • Lower Nemahbin launch / 1623 Sugar Island Rd
        • Bark River HWY P BRIDGE 1800 N Sawyer Rd
        • Silver Lake Boat Launch, 37304 Valley Rd
        • Fowler Lake Oconomowoc, Fowler Park ($20 delivery fee)
        • Nagawicka Lake Saint John’s Park Delafield
  • Pato Locos Outdoor Destinations – located in Delafield but will deliver to any lake within 15 miles. They will bring the adventure to you!
          • 3 paddleboards (2 are inflatable)
          • 2 kayaks
          • 2 tandem Kayaks
          • See their website for other rental items. 
          • Weekend & Weekdays
          • Check the website to inquire or call (651) 600-2354
  • Nomad Boardsports – next to Panga Bar & Grill
  • High Roller Fun Rentals – Frame Park Waukesha, Fox Brook Park in Brookfield and Menomonee Park.
  • Clearwater Outdoor Rentals in Delafield – (St. John’s Park on Genesee St.)
  • Beachside Boat & Bait – Located on Park Street in Pewaukee near the beach
  • City Beach Oconomowoc – read more about the rentals here
  • KT Kayak Rentals at Pike Lake in Hartford – located between the beach and the kayak launch.
  • City of Watertown Kayak Rentals Rock River – You must reserve online 
  • Eagle Springs Pub in Mukwonago – You can rent one of our Canoes for $30 or Kayaks for $40. These are all day rentals.

You can visit the Lakes of Lake Country Guide for more information about drop-in points at the following lakes for kayaking:

  • Beaver Lake in Chenequa (personal favorite with kayak ramp)
  • Pewaukee Lake (free beach)
  • Big Muskego Lake (shallow lake for those afraid of deep water)
  • Okauchee Lake (has restaurants with docks)
  • Lac La Belle (four beaches on this lake)
    • *There is a fee to launch at City Beach.
  • Nagawicka Lake (Waukesha County beach and launches)
  • Pine Lake (has a newer public boat launch)
  • Little Muskego Lake (home of Idle Isle Park and the Waterski Shows)
  • Fowler Lake (free parking behind city hall)
  • Upper, Lower and Middle Genesee Lakes (multiple drop in points)
  • Lower and Upper Nemahbin Lakes (Panga is popular launch area and restaurant/bar)
  • Silver Lake in Oconomowoc (public launch across from Lucky Chuckys)
  • Ottowa Lake (State Park Fees apply)
  • Eagle Springs Lake Boat Launch to get on Eagle Springs Lake in Mukwonago and take a pass to Lulu Lake (Note: Eagle Spring Pub has boats for rental, contact them directly 262-594-2337.)
  • Fowler Lake and Oconomowoc Lake are connected via the Oconomowoc River – you can drop in at the Kayak launch at the boardwalk on Fowler, Riverside Park, or the kayak drop in on the Frontage Road near the Kiltie.
  • View the Lakes of Lake Country on a Google Map here

You can visit the Waukesha County Park Guide for more information about kayaking at the Waukesha County parks. Note: Do not launch your watercraft from the swimming beach, please use designated watercraft launch area(s). Park users can also launch at our park ponds and lakes after paying the entrance fee.

  • Fox Brook in Brookfield (Quarry)
  • Menomonee Park in Menomonee Falls (Lannon Quarry)
  • Fox River Park Waukesha (the Fox River)
  • Mukwonago Park (Swimming Area and Beach)
  • Muskego Park (Muskego Park Pond)
  • Minooka Park in Waukesha (Minooka Park Pond)

You can visit the Waukesha County Park Guide for more information about launching your canoes and kayaks from a launch site. Note: A kayak is usually a “carry-in” boat for $8.00/day.

  • Pewaukee
  • Nagawicka
  • Nemahbin
  • School Section Lakes
  • Ashippun Lake (no fee)

Most popular rivers for kayaking in Waukesha County are sections of the:

  • Oconomowoc River
    • Links more than a dozen lakes in Waukesha County
    • We love the stretch between Fowler Lake and Oconomowoc Lake
  • Fox River
    • This is a 202-mile-long river flowing from SE Wisconsin to Illinois. 
    • The falls in downtown Waukesha make for a beautiful landmark in the heart of Lake Country.
  • Rock River
    • The Bark River joins the Rock River in Fort Atkinson. 
  • Pewaukee River
    • No lake touchpoints, but goes into the Fox River. View map of the river here.
  • Bark River
    • The Bark River is a tributary of the Rock River. It rises at Bark Lake in Richfield and flows through Waukesha County to Jefferson County where it meets up and joins the Rock River.
  • Mukwonago River
    • This river provides the major inflow into Eagle Spring Lake. It continues easterly passing through Phantom Lake and discharging into the Fox River. You can view a map of it here.

Thanks to many local fans and followers as well as our friends at VisitWaukeshaPewaukee, we’ve compiled the following information for Rivers:

  • Oconomowoc River
    • Oconomowoc River is fun, put in a kayak right by the Kiltie.
    • You can drop in by Fowler Lake/Riverside Park and end up in Oconomowoc Lake.
    • Oconomowoc River- Launch on the west side of the Bridge on Co. Q (Hwy 83 North to Hwy Q. Right turn to the Boat launch at the bridge over river. Park east of the river on the shoulder)
    • Here is a map of various put in/take out points along this river.
  • Pewaukee River
    • For the Pewaukee River, put in your canoe or kayak at Koepp Park or the area across from 321 Riverside Drive in Pewaukee.
    • For the Pewaukee River, put in at the Pewaukee Village Hall at 235 Hickory St. in downtown Pewaukee.
    • Here is a link to a map with various put in/take out points along the Pewaukee River.
  • Bark River
    • Bark Park (used for community softball games),  has good access with free parking and nearby restrooms.  Best launch will be at the north end of the park by the pedestrian bridge.
    • Here is a google map created of many other put in/take out points along the Bark River. 
  • Fox River
    • For the Fox River, drop in at Bethesda Park off of College Avenue, along Riverwalk Drive, or by the E.B. Shurts building in Waukesha and enjoy the easy stretch along the river.
    • Fox River – put in at CTH Y in the Village of Menomonee Falls.
    • For the Fox River near Vernon Marsh, put in at the CTH I Bridge five miles south of Waukesha.
    • Fox River – Put in at the CTH ES bridge east of Mukwonago
    • Fox River – Put in at Village Park boat landing in Big Bend then take the deeper left channel around the island just before the Bridge Road bridge to the Fox River
    • Here is a County Government Map of 14 Waukesha County access points (with pictures!) for the Fox River here.
    • Here is a link to a map with various put in/take out points along the Illinois Fox River.
  • Mukwonago River
    • Mukwonago River – Put in at CTH ES, just east of Phantom Lake
    • Mukwonago River – The Beulah Road put-in is located five miles west of Mukwonago just south of Hwy LO on Beulah Road
    • Just south of Hwy LO is the old Rainbow Springs Golf Course driveway.  Although the road is closed now, there is a public parking lot at the entrance where you can then drag your boat 400′ south to the old bridge. 
    • Here is a link to a map with various put in/take out points along the Mukwonago River.

Thanks to many local fans and followers , we’ve compiled the following Kayaking location recommendations:

  • Michelle from Put Your Passion to Work says this, “My fave lake to kayak on is on Eagle Springs, there’s even a “secret” passage to beautiful Lake Lulu, where there is a small beach area, and it is protected by the DNR so no builds.
  • Michelle from Put Your Passion to Work also says, “Also Ottawa Lake because it’s shallow and smaller, no big tide, great for kids and beginners”.
  • “We love paddling on lower Nemahbin! A fun trek is putting in on the lake, going up the Bark river, through cooked lake and then You can take out on Genesee Lake road.”
  • “Upper Genessee, just south of I-94 on Hwy 67, Oconomowoc Exit. Restricted to No Motor Boats. Parking for only 5 vehicles. A gem!”
  • “Get a friend on a Lake or River and drop in anytime!”
  • “We like putting in our Kayaks at the Oconomowoc Lake public boat launch or the Okauchee Lake public boat launch. Both boat launches are located off of Wisconsin Avenue just minutes from each other.”
  • “I like to put my kayak in the Oconomowoc River near the South Concord Road bridge. Then take that north to Lac La Belle.”
  • “Mukwonago River on Holtz Parkway (Mukwonago Bypass) in Mukwonago, from there you can paddle to Big Bend Village Park”
TELL US YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO KAYAK. TELL US HERE or Join the Conversation in our Facebook Group HERE

Are we missing your favorite kayaking spot?

Tell us and we'll add it to this awesome guide.


Anytime you are out Kayaking, Canoeing or SUP, tag @lakecountryfamilyfun and we'll feature you in our stories!

3 thoughts on “Kayaking Around Lake Country & Waukesha County”

  1. RIck Sankovitz

    Just a note to update your site. The take-out at the Highway 83 bridge in North Lake behind the post office is now closed. A new owner has posted the landing and the path leading to it no trespassing.

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