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Lake Noquebay spans more than 2,400 acres in northeastern Wisconsin. Located in Marinette County, Lake Noquebay is part of Wisconsin's Lake Michigan Region. The name, Noquebay, as with Bay de Noc, is the French name for for a sub-tribe of Menomunik Native Americans, predecessors of the Menominee. Very likely, this group inhabited the shores well before the arrival of white settlers. Although little has been written about the Lake Noquebay area in early years, archeologists have found remains of a Native American camp and burials near the east end of the lake, and the remnants of a mound on the outlet river. A genealogy record for a family named Peck discovers a Mr O.F. Peck, married to a Native American woman, living at Lake Noquebay by at least 1855.
Lake Noquebay, or Noque, as locals often call it, has been a prime section of real estate in Marinette County since that time. Lumbering and then farming were the occupations of most early settlers. It appears wild rice was harvested there before the 1900s. No doubt, fishing and hunting rounded out the diets of settlers. Located about four miles east of Crivitz, local residents rely on either Crivits or Marinette-Menominee less than thirty miles south-east for their needs.
The lake is a drainage lake, with water draining from Lake Mary, through Lake Julia and finally into Lake Noquebay. Three other small creeks, named Upper Inlet, Middle Inlet and Lower Inlet Creek, also add their volume to the lake. The only outlet, named Outlet Creek, flows into the Peshtigo River not far downstream.
Originally, the lake was three interconnected lakes, separated by barely submerged weed beds and sandbars part of the year. In 1929, an earthen dam was constructed across the outlet creek, raising the water level so the lakes became one continuous body of water. The result is a large lake, with sandy bottom and gradually sloping floor, making it ideal for swimming at the County Park on the south shore. Small resorts have held residence on the shores and a few still remain, providing rental cottages to families and fishermen.
The lake is a haven for all sorts of water sports: powerboating and jet skiing are popular activities during the warm summer months. The Crivitz Ski Cats Waterski Club performs weekly in the summer to the enjoyment of spectators. Pontoons, canoes and kayaks can be rented on the lake, Weekends see many visitors heading to Lake Noquebay with their watercraft in tow.
Lake Noquebay is best known for its abundance of large Bluegill and Crappie. Other species caught include Bass, Walleye, Northern Pike, Trout, Perch, and Muskellunge. Ice fishing is, of course, a very popular activity as evidenced by the Fish-o-Rama, held each February by the Lake Noquebay Sportsman Club.
There are numerous residences and cottages on the lake, but because the shore remains wooded, the entire lake has an 'up-north' feel: several areas of the shore have been selected for protection to assure the continued growth of unique native aquatic plants. A large 1300-acre section at the east end of the lake is under Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) control as the Lake Noquebay Wildlife Area. The area is open to the public for a variety of activities, such as hunting, trapping, hiking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, wildlife viewing, berry picking, bird watching and fishing. Species that may be seen in the area include Whitetail Deer, Grouse, Woodcock, Wild Turkey, Canada Geese and several varieties of ducks and small game.
There are plenty of off-lake activities to engage in nearby: Over 200 miles of trails are maintained by five ATV clubs in Marinette County. Snowmobile trails, groomed and un-groomed, crisscross the entire area. Cross-country skiing is both recreational and serious here, as skiers travel from afar to take part in the full 51K Noquemanon Ski Marathon or the 25K Half Noque from from Ishpeming to Marquette's Superior Dome each January. The Audubon Society has printed maps available with prime birdwatching trails.
Farther afield, but still within a short drive, you will find several golf courses, magnificent waterfalls, guided raft tours on the Peshtigo River, a fun park with go-carts, bumper boats and mini golf. There are several fine restaurants and supper clubs in both Crivitz and Marinette-Menominee. This twin city straddles the Menominee River and the state line and is rich in the history of both states. To the west, it's a short drive to Peshtigo and a visit to the Peshtigo Fire Museum. The little-known Peshtigo Fire, on the same night as the Chicago Fire in 1871, killed well over 2000 souls, many of whom were never identified. The huge conflagration burned over a million acres, including much of Marinette and into the Lake Noquebay area. The combined fires were the largest natural disaster in the history of the young country at the time.
At 65 miles from Green Bay, 208 miles from St Ignace, and 276 miles from Chicago, getting to Lake Noquebay can easily be attained on a weekend. So, book your Lake Noquebay rental home and join us to experience clean water, northwoods vistas and the laid-back atmosphere of Lake Noquebay.
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