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Madison Area Lakes

Dane County's lakes are heavily used for recreational activities including sail boating, power boating, wind surfing, water skiing, swimming, scuba diving, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and jet skiing. The citizens of Madison and Dane County treasure the recreational value of the their lake resources.

All of the lakes listed below (and a couple smaller lakes not listed) are interconnected via the Yahara River in a system called the Yahara Chain of Lakes.

  • Lake Kegonsa covers 3,209 acres and is more than 30 feet deep. Lake Kegonsa State Park borders the northeast portion of its 10-mile shoreline.
  • Lake Mendota covers 9,842 acres with a maximum depth of 83 feet, has 5 City beaches, 7 other swimming areas, and is primarily urbanized. It also receives some agricultural drainage. The University of Wisconsin-Madison borders the south shore of the lake.
  • Lake Monona covers 3,274 acres with a maximum depth of 74 feet, has 7 City beaches and 1 non-City swimming area. It is fully urbanized.
  • Lake Waubesa covers 2,080 acres with a maximum depth of over 30 feet. Fifteen miles of shoreline and 3 county parks surround it.
  • Lake Wingra covers 345 acres with a maximum depth of 21 feet and has one City beach. It is fully urbanized, but almost completely surrounded by University Arboretum and City Park land. A freeway is also within the drainage area of the lake. The Vilas beach is near the outfall of the lake, adjoins the County Zoo and is by far the most heavily used beach operated by Madison.

Dane County Lakes Maps