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The Lauderdale Lakes consist of a chain of three lakes - Green Lake, Middle Lake, and Mill Lake - located in scenic north-central Walworth County, Wisconsin. The lakes have a total surface area of 807 acres with maximum depths ranging from 42 to 55 feet. Because the lakes are connected, boaters and paddlers can make their way around 16 miles of meandering shoreline. Many small islands in the lakes plus plenty of open water provide unlimited opportunities for boating, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
Like many of the lakes in Wisconsin, the Lauderdale Lakes are glacier formed. As glaciers slowly moved through the area, they left behind thousands of lakes and springs. Middle and Mill Lakes are characterized as drainage lakes, fed primarily by groundwater, precipitation, and runoff. Green Lake is the only spring-fed lake. All the water in the three lakes flows through Mill Lake to an outflow located on the eastern shore and into Honey Creek. Although Honey Creek is small and slow-moving today, early surveyors described it as a swift moving creek with a rapid current. A dam constructed on the creek in the mid 1800s helped raise water levels and continues to maintain the water level of the lakes.
Anglers will find large populations of northern pike, pickerel, largemouth bass, yellow perch smallmouth bass, walleye, bullhead, crappie and bluegill in the Lauderdale Lakes. Public boat ramps can be found on the western shores of Green and Middle Lakes and on the eastern shore of Mill Lake. There are also several private recreational facilities that offer lake access to the general public.
Accommodations on the Lauderdale Lakes are plentiful. Visitors can choose to stay at lakefront resorts, bed and breakfasts, hotels, campgrounds or cabins. Vacation rentals can also be found in the nearby towns of La Grange, Abells Corners and historic Elkhorn. Lakefront lots and real estate for purchase are available around the lakes. Approximately 70 percent of the shoreline is developed with homes and businesses.
For recreation, visitors and year-round residents have much to choose from. Northwest of the Lauderdale Lakes, the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest covers over 20,000 acres of glacial hills, lakes, and wooded forests. Visitors to the forest can camp in one of three campgrounds, hike, mountain bike, horseback ride, snowmobile or ski on over 160 miles of trails, swim at one of two beaches, backpack to an overnight shelter on the Ice Age Trail, have a picnic, fish, hunt, or just enjoy the peace and quiet of the great outdoors.
The Lauderdale Lakes are also located just 15 minutes north of beautiful 5,262-acre Lake Geneva where activities and festivals are abundant. Concerts and performance arts are a regular occurrence at West Lake Geneva, and a summer triathlon draws many visitors each year. Cruise boats of all kinds make their way around the lake and offer a great way to enjoy the water. Lake Geneva also offers additional opportunities for fishing, boating, and swimming.
Golfers visiting Lauderdale Lakes need look no further than Mill Lake. The local country club offers a regulation nine-hole golf course on the eastern shore of Mill Lake. The golf course encompasses 45 scenic acres and features a rustic clubhouse with a full bar and snacks. The city of Elkhorn also offers a 27-hole course open to the public.
The White River State Trail is a 12.6 mile limestone trail near Elkhorn, just south of the Lauderdale Lakes. The trail offers beautiful scenery for biking and hiking in the summer and snowmobiling in the winter. A two-mile stretch is also open to horseback riding.
When the snow begins to fall, winter activities on the Lauderdale Lakes keep the area busy. Snowmobile enthusiasts will discover an outstanding network of groomed trails through the Kettle Moraine State Forest, and the rolling terrain of the area offers a variety of challenges for both beginner and experienced cross country skiers. Ice fishing and skating are also popular lake activities. Most vacation rentals are available year-round and feature cozy fireplaces.
For your next vacation or permanent residence, consider one of the tucked-away bays in the Lauderdale Lakes chain. With skiing, snowmobiling, and ice skating in the winter, and everything from fishing, camping, biking, golf and other recreational sports in the summer, there's a little something for everyone.
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