Located by the lake at the intersection of Kettle Moraine Drive and County Road P, the Lake Home Info and NextHome Success Real Estate office provides easy access to listing information for interested buyers. Stop by our office to grab a cup of coffee and meet Robert Sivek, your local lake home expert. It has probably been a long trip up, feel free to come in and use the restrooms.
While visiting the office, stop by our Resource Center for information on local contractors & answers to your questions while enjoying free high-speed Internet. You can also pick up brochures on the trails and local attractions. If you need an EV charge, the office has a complimentary Level Two Tesla charging station.
Once you’re ready to get going, exit our parking lot and turn right onto Kettle Moraine drive.
Located in the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest in Walworth County, the Greater Whitewater Lake & Rice Lake area is known for its outstanding views, area lakes, and recreational opportunities including biking, hiking, camping, water skiing, fishing, boating, and swimming in summer as well as cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing in winter.
Just on your left, you’ll see the front gates of Camp Joy, a Baptist Youth Camp and Conference Center offering summer camps, retreats, and school camps.
As you continue down Kettle Moraine Dr., keep your eyes open for wildlife! You will often see fox, deer, turkeys, and other animals in the fields. If you enjoy bird watching, keep an eye out for the sandhill cranes, mallard ducks, loons, hawks, and bald eagles!
Coming up on the right-hand side is the ranger contact station where you can purchase a state park pass for the day or season. Stop in the parking lot for a moment.
Whitewater Lake is part of the Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit. From the contact station parking area, you can access Wisconsin’s famed Ice Age Trail. The contact station is also the spot to pick up information on the state park or check in for your campsite reservation.
A Wisconsin State Park System vehicle admission sticker is required on all motor vehicles stopping in state parks, forests and recreation areas. As you drive through the park, you will notice signs that read "fee area." If you plan on stopping, make sure you have your pass. It is not required for those driving through the forest.
Exit the parking lot to the right and then take an immediate left on State Park Road, then take the first right. You will be entering the Rice Lake Recreation & Wildlife area.
As you head down this road, immediately on your right you will pass the trailhead for the Rice Lake Nature Trail. This half-mile hike circles around a small offshoot of Rice Lake and features numbered trail markers that correspond with a guided brochure. You can pick up a brochure at the entrance of the trail. It is a great trail to take kids on. Lots of frogs & turtles. Bring your binoculars! There’s an elevated blind for birdwatching and wildlife observation located along the trail. Be careful on the elevated blind as it is a bit rickety.
As you continue down the road, you will come to a loop at the end. Here you can access the Rice Lake boat launch, visit the playground, use the toilet facilities, stop for a picnic in the pavilion or have a cookout. The Rice Lake Boat Launch is the main public access point for Rice Lake.
Home to 55 lakefront properties, Rice Lake covers 167 acres with 3.3 miles of shoreline and reaches a depth of 11+ feet. It is a great place to fish for panfish, northern pike, and largemouth bass. State park passes, boating licenses, and fishing licenses are required.
Follow the loop to turn around and head back to the entrance of the Rice Lake Fee Area, but this time take a right at the intersection onto State Park Road. Continue to take State Park Rd for about a half mile until you reach Crestview Drive then take a left.
Crestview is our first neighborhood. This quiet drive forks into Deerwood Road on the left and Hillside Drive on the right. There are about 7 properties on Deerwood facing south. There are about 8 properties on Hillside Dr. with sunrise views.
Turn around and return to State Park Road taking a left this time.
Go one block and turn left on Ridge Road.
Ridge Rd. is the mile-long peninsula that juts out toward the center of Whitewater Lake and divides two-thirds of the Lake. You will take Ridge Rd all the way to the end of the peninsula where there will be a cul-du-sac to turn around.
There are approximately 100 lakefront properties on Ridge Rd. As you travel down the road, homes on the left have sunrise views and, on the right, have sunset views. You will have waterfront views on each side. To your right, you see the state park and waterfront views of properties located on West Lakeshore Drive. To your left, you can see properties on East Lakeshore Dr.
Ridge Rd. has varied terrains. Being on top of the esker, the high elevation gives rise to some spectacular views. For some, this means steep stairways and paths to the lake. These homes on the hillside tend to have low-maintenance yards and primarily have wooded hillsides with ground cover or trees.
As you continue down the road, you will notice the peninsula narrows. At one time the far part of Ridge Rd was an island and since has been connected. The narrower section is where the island connects to the peninsula. Now, the terrain is relatively flat.
Once you come to the cul-du-sac at the end of Ridge Rd., turn around. Continue back the way you came in about .9 miles. When you see Woodchuck Alley on your right, take the drive. It is a one-way, narrow street.
As mentioned earlier, Ridge Road is built along the top of an esker, a ridge of gravel and sediment left behind by the retreat of glacial formations during the last Ice Age. This esker is an example of one of the many glacier landforms you will see on this tour. You will also see kettles, moraines, and erractics. A kettle is a crater-like depression formed by a large chunk of melting ice left behind. A moraine is a ridge made of gravel, sand, & boulders. You will also see random large rocks in fields as you drive through the countryside. These are known as erratics.
Following the latest period of the Ice Age, a smaller Whitewater Lake, a Bass Lake, a Round Lake, and a pre-glacial valley was formed. The area between Whitewater Lake and Bass Lake was primarily marshy land with beautiful, forested hills divided by a high ridge. Whitewater Lake was created in the 1940s when the dam was closed, and the area was flooded to join the three existing lakes
Today, Whitewater Lake covers 705 acres with 10 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 40+ feet. It is a great place to fish for panfish, perch, northern pike, largemouth bass, and walleye. Don’t forget to turn down Woodchuck Alley when you get there.
On the east side of the peninsula, Woodchuck alley is a small private street overlooking the Tamarack Islands with beautiful sunrise views and wonderful bird watching. There are about 10 properties on Woodchuck Alley.
Woodchuck Alley will feed back into Ridge Road. Take a right to continue on Ridge Rd all the way back to the end where Ridge Rd meets State Park Road and take a left.
Ahead, at the end of Ridge Road, you will see the Oak Hollow Pet Area with port-a-potties and a trail on the left where you can take your pets down to the water. Be aware it is not a fenced-in pet area. State Park passes are required.
As you drive down State Park Road, Whitewater Lake is on your left and Rice Lake is on the right. While the two lakes are adjacent, canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards would need to portage between the two. As you drive down this narrow strip between the two lakes, you will pass the Rice Lake Dry Prairie State Natural Area on your right.
Next, the Whitewater Lake Beach is on your left. Picnic tables, grills, toilet facilities, and changing rooms are available. From the parking lot, the beach is straight ahead. If you follow the paved path down to the right, there is a fishing pier. A state park pass is required.
As you drive down the road, you’ll pass the Dr. O. R. Rice Memorial Picnic Area on your right, a small peninsula on Rice Lake. The Picnic Area offers a beautiful outlook, picnic tables, and grills.
Right after that is the Whitewater Dam that connects both Whitewater and Rice Lake. A lot of folks ask about the basic water flow out of Whitewater Lake. There are many factors including floodplains, evaporation, and wetlands. This dam is the primary outlet for Whitewater Lake. There is a gauge on the lakeside of the dam that is used to determine when the lake will be declared “no wake” or “good to go.” This is a “fixed” dam.
After the dam, you will see the sign for the Whitewater Lake Boat Launch. There is a large parking lot, port-a-potties, and a fishing area. Next to the boat launch is the JNT Parkside Marina, a place to pick up gas, bait, licenses, and refreshments. Boat rentals are also available.
Take the road a little less than a half mile and you will come to a stop sign. At the stop sign, go left onto W. Lakeshore Dr.
On the left, the homes enjoy sunrise views of Whitewater Lake with relatively flat open yards. There are approximately 25 lakefront properties on West Lakeshore Drive. Follow West Lakeshore Drive as it veers to the right.
You will come to a stop sign bringing you back to Kettle Moraine Drive. Take a left onto Kettle Moraine Drive. Continue about 1/3 of a mile.
On your left, you will pass the Whitewater Lions Club. As our local chapter of a national service organization, the Whitewater chapter of the Lions does its part to maintain the beauty and cleanliness of the lake and its surrounding neighborhoods. One of its main annual fundraisers is the Lions’ Fish-a-ree, an all-day ice fishing extravaganza with a pancake breakfast, raffle, and auction. Lake residents can rent the club through a club member. Talk to any current member if you wish to become a Lion.
As you continue the drive, the waterfront properties on the left of Kettle Moraine Drive enjoy sunrise views. You will see that the lake begins to merge into the third body of water.
Once you see Kettle Moraine Drive starting to veer right, slow down, and take a slight left to continue on Krahn Dr.
Take Krahn Drive all the way to the end where you will be able to turn around in the cul-du-sac. Krahn Dr. is a winding street with beautiful homes with a variety of terrain and home styles. There are about 30 lakefront properties and a few more homes just off the lake.
On your right-hand side just off the lake, you pass a Little Red cottage. The Cottage by the Lake is an Airbnb that provides privacy, nature, and relaxation. The cottage sits on a 1-acre lot surrounded by trees. It suits 8 visitors with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. Interested in lake life? This is the perfect short-term rental to try it out. Visit whitewaterlakerentals.com to learn more.
Once you return to the stop sign, you will turn left onto Townline Road. If you pause at the stop sign and look to your right, you will see the Krahn Drive boat launch. Looking straight across the lake from the boat launch, you will see the Townline Boat launch. There once was a street connecting the two. This street disappeared when the Whitewater Dam was closed and the land was flooded to join the lakes. Some residents will bring their horses to these boat launches to cool off and take a swim. During the winter, when the lake is frozen solid, some brave souls drive directly across the lake. In winter, ice fishers will use this as a point of access.
Whitewater Lake is subject to both the State of Wisconsin’s Boating Regulations as well as the local Whitewater Lake Ordinances. If you plan on going out on the lake, make sure you have a boating license and are familiar with the local Ordinances. For example, no wake is enforced before 9:00 am every morning. You can find more information on the Town of Whitewater’s website.
Coming up on the left, you’ll pass Lakeview Elementary School, home of the Leaping Lizards! Part of the Whitewater Unified School District, this school provides K-5 education.
Interestingly, this is the only way to get around the lake. It is approximately 10-11 miles to go around the lake. If you enjoy biking, you can spend the day biking around Whitewater Lake and leave your car at the Lake Home Info parking lot. Take a similar route to today’s tour. For more details, visit LakeHomeInfo.com where we have a blog post detailing the Whitewater Lake Bike Loop.
Shortly after passing the school, take a left on Brown Road. Continue down Brown Road until it ends at a stop Sign. Take a left on Territorial Road.
As you drive, you will pass a few farms in the countryside. Many of the Whitewater Lake residents appreciate how “out in the country” the lake feels while only being a 10-minute drive from the conveniences of town. Whitewater Lake and Rice Lake are located in Walworth County. Rice Lake and the majority of Whitewater Lake are served by the Town of Whitewater. The southern portion of Whitewater Lake is served by the Town of Richmond.
The Whitewater-Rice Lake Area is home to a total of 405 waterfront homes and a total of 443 just off the water residences.
The Greater Whitewater Lake Property Owners’ Association is a voluntary organization with the purpose of promoting, protecting, and preserving the environment and quality of life in the area. It is a great informational source for lake living, boating on the lake, resident needs, emergency numbers, and non-emergency numbers. The group also hosts the social events and activities on the lake including picnics and Music on the Lake concerts.
Once you reach the stop sign and take a left on Territorial Road, continue about 0.2 miles until you reach Natureland County Park. Take a left into the parking lot.
The southern tip of Whitewater Lake is home to Natureland Park, a Walworth County Park. You do not need a pass to park here. County parks are free to the public. Stop in the parking lot to view one of the headwaters of the lake.
As you get out of your parked car, take a few steps forward and then a few steps to your left. See that water bubbling up from the ground? It quickly forms a small stream and then goes off to be part of the lake.
Natureland Park spans 122 acres with 4 hiking trails and features port-a-potties, picnic tables, charcoal grills, and a pavilion. There is also a shelter and a log cabin available for rent. The park provides views of Whitewater Lake and is home to abundant wildlife.
If you head straight from the parking lot towards the lake and to the left of the Pavilion, you’ll find the entrance to the yellow color-coded 1-mile Prairie Trail. The Prairie Trail is a fairly flat trail that is great for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in winter. The trail features a pond, prairie, and plenty of woodland.
Towards the left of the Pavilion near the water, you’ll notice a little bridge that crosses over the spring that feeds Whitewater Lake. This bridge marks the beginning of the white color-coded Trail of Many Terrains spanning .9 miles. As you walk over the bridge, keep an eye out for frogs in the water as well as ducks and herons. As you continue down this trail, you walk down a boardwalk over a wetland area and then into a forest. If you are up for it, hang a right and continue onto the Ridge Loop where the elevation increases. If you prefer to skip the steepness of the ridge, take a left for a flatter shortcut.
From the parking lot, you can head directly to your right, towards the east, and you can take the blue color-coded ½ mile Vista Trail through pines. This trail provides various views of Whitewater Lake.
The last trail is across the street from the parking lot. Once you cross the street, you can pick up the red color-coded High Wilderness Trail spanning .6 miles. The trail travels through a healthy forest with pines, oaks, hickories, ferns, raspberry bushes, and many other plants. Keep an eye out for deer, fox, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, turkey, and other wildlife.
Now leave the parking lot, take a left onto Territorial. Go about a third of a mile and take a left on Oakwood Road.
On Oakwood Road, there are approximately 25 lakefront properties facing Natureland Park with sunset views. From Natureland County Park to the island, the lake is a no wake zone and is very popular for fishing. Known to locals as Bird Island, this island has been home to many birds recently, including a couple of bald eagles. Keep an eye out and you might just see one soaring in the sky or a baby popping its head out of the nest.
When you come to a stop sign, take a left on Chapel Drive.
There are about 40 relatively flat properties on Chapel Drive with sunset views. As you drive down Chapel Drive, you will notice a series of ponds on your right. These ponds are connected to Whitewater Lake but require portage over the road.
When you come to the Dead-End sign on Chapel Drive, the Townline Boat launch is to your left. This is the boat launch we referred to earlier in the tour. When you look across the lake, you will see the Krahn Drive boat launch on the other side. Take a right onto Townline Road.
As you drive down this road, you will pass a little brick church surrounded by a pioneer cemetery overlooking Whitewater Lake. The Heart Prairie Lutheran Church holds worship services each Saturday at 5pm and Sunday at 8 am during the months of June, July, and August. There is no electricity at this church. Special Oil Lamp services are held at 8:30 pm the last Sunday of each summer month. Its construction was believed to be started in 1855. It is considered the oldest original Norwegian Lutheran church in America.
As you drive down the road, the road narrows with a pond on the right and Whitewater Lake on the left. This is a popular fishing area.
Soon, you will pass Scenic Ridge Campground. The campground offers tent, RV, and seasonal campsites. A sandy swimming beach with inflatable water toys is accessible for a small fee. Feel free to stop in their general store or visit the Snack Shack for refreshments. During the summer, the Southern Wakes United Water Ski Show Team hosts free ski shows nearby, Check with Lake Home Info for the schedule.
E. Lakeshore Drive is the longest road on the lake with approximately 80 lakefront properties that enjoy sunset views. The southern end of E. Lakeshore Drive has varying terrain going both up and down, while the north end of E. Lakeshore Drive is relatively flat.
If you look across the lake, you will see the Ridge Rd. peninsula. Between the peninsula and E. Lakeshore Dr., there is a walleye fish crib. Both the lake association, management district, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources work in tandem to keep the lake properly stocked.
When you come up to a stop sign at Hackett Rd, turn left to stay on E. Lakeshore Drive.
Shortly after the stop sign at Hackett Rd., the Cruise Lane boat launch is located to your left. This is the fourth and final public boat launch on Whitewater Lake. That being said, there are some smaller points of access around the lake for launching a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard. The lake reaches a maximum depth of 40 feet, spans 705 acres with 10 miles of shoreline.
Take the road to the end and you will come to a stop sign. Take a left on County Road P, and continue for about a half mile.
As you drive down County Road P to your right is the Whitewater Oak Opening State Natural Area. The Whitewater Oak Opening covers 120 acres of rugged morainal topography. Similar to the Rice Lake Dry Prairie State Natural Area, the Whitewater Oak Opening is also part of the Clifford Messinger Dry Prairie Preserve. The reserve is composed of 13 separate parcels of dry prairie and oak savanna scattered across the southern unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest.
Up ahead, you may note that we’re right back where we started, at the Lake Home Info and NextHome Success office. At the Lake Home Info office, take a right on Kettle Moraine Dr. You have completed the Whitewater Lake Loop. But the tour isn’t over just yet!
The next part of the tour will briefly take you around the scenic points in the area and end in the City of Whitewater where you can grab a great meal, relax a bit, or check out the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater.
Go about 0.6 miles then take a left on Esterly Road.
As you meander down Esterly Rd. you are surrounded by the Kettle Moraine State Forest. Coming up on the right-hand side, you will see the Esterly Road parking area that provides access to the Ice Age Trail, horse trails, and snowmobile trails.
The Ice Age Trial is 1,200-mile footpath trail spanning across 30 counties through Wisconsin. The trail begins in northwest Wisconsin in St Croix Falls and weaves to the east, then south, passing through Whitewater and then weaves north towards Green Bay.
As one of the four segments that make up the Whitewater section of the Ice Age Trail, the Whitewater Lake Segment spans 4.6 miles. It includes hilly terrain with wooded moraines, kettles, and outstanding views of Rice and Whitewater Lakes.
The Whitewater Lake segment that begins at Clover Valley Road parking area, connects to a spur trail that takes you to the Rice Lake Nature Trail that we visited earlier. The segment continues east crossing over Hi-Lo Road, connecting to another spur trail that leads back to the contact station, then the trail wraps around the Whitewater Lake Campground, and brings you to a scenic outlook offering a beautiful view of Whitewater Lake. Continuing on the trail, the segment crosses County Road P, connects to Esterly Road parking lot, and then continues to Highway 12. Highway 12 marks the end of the Whitewater Lake Segment.
Continue on Esterly Road and soon you will pass the Lone Tree Bluff. At the beginning of the trail, you can pick up a scenic overlook and self-guiding nature trail booklet. The Lone Tree Bluff is a challenging but rewarding hike. Hike up 89 steps and then walk ¼ mile to get to a lookout that provides a birds-eye-view of the glacial landscape. The bluff stands about 1,050 feet above sea level. Long pants, sturdy shoes, a hat, water, and mosquito repellant are all recommended; the trail is not as maintained as others in the area.
Shortly after passing the Lone Tree Bluff parking area, you’ll come to a stop sign. Take a right on County Road P and then an immediate left onto Hi-Lo Road.
Hi-Lo Road is a scenic drive through the Kettle Moraine State Forest with only one private property. Along the way, you will pass the Hickory Woods group campground on your left. Shortly after, you will pass the Whitewater Campgrounds. The Ice Age Trail crosses Hi-Lo road shortly before the stop sign.
At the stop sign, take a right onto Kettle Moraine Drive. You will see Rice Lake to your left. When you come to Clover Valley Road, take a right. As you drive down this road, you pass the Clover Valley parking area for the Ice Age Trail on your right-hand side that we mentioned earlier in this tour.
Coming up on your left is the Flowing Well. The flowing well is a natural spring that brings clean underground water to the surface. It is the most natural, purest form of drinking water! Whitewater’s flowing well was hand-dug by Adam Channing in 1895 to an original depth of 55 feet. It has been steadily flowing ever since, even during the coldest Wisconsin winters. The water’s purity is tested on a frequent basis. Nearby, there is a picnic pavilion where you can relax.
After passing the flowing well, continue on Clover Valley Road until you reach the stop sign. Once you come to the stop sign, take a left to continue on Clover Valley Road.
If you look to your right, you can see the terminal moraine where the ice lobes pushed the rocks, gravel, and debris as it traveled south. This was the very end of the journey and the geological formations you see are the result of that. This terminal moraine was formed where the Green Bay Lobe and the Lake Michigan Lobe of the Wisconsin Glacier met along a line extending from Walworth County to Kewaunee County. As the ice melted, kettles of all sizes were formed. These kettles, scattered throughout Wisconsin, gave rise to the name, Kettle Moraine. The Ice Age Trail follows that path. Interestingly, the retreat of the Wisconsin Glacier created many of the natural landmarks we know today including Niagara Falls and the Great Lakes.
Drive about a half mile down Clover Valley Road and the Fuzzy Pig will be on your right. If it’s open, it is worth stopping in. The Fuzzy Pig is a charming, unique place to shop and dine.
A Whitewater family restored an old barn into the Fuzzy Pig country store featuring clothing, antiques, décor, and plenty of local Wisconsin handcrafted products. As you walk from room to room, you will notice the various themes throughout.
Next to the country store is Whiney’s offering wood fire pizza, wine, and cocktails. There is often live music on the weekends. Whiney’s is a hidden gem and a favorite of locals.
Continue 0.8 miles down Clover Valley Road. You will come to a stop sign. Continue straight. You will drive over a bridge that takes you over highway 59/12 bypass.
Once you pass over this bridge, you will start to get the feeling you are back in town. Clover Valley Road becomes S. Wisconsin St.
As you drive down S. Wisconsin St, you will pass Hillside Cemetery on your left. A little fun fact about Whitewater, it is also known as Second Salem. It is considered by many to be the second most haunted place in the United States. You may have heard of the “Witches of Whitewater.” The city has a long history of stories of witches, ghosts, and such. The Hillside Cemetery is linked to these legends. It is said that a line drawn to connect Whitewater’s cemeteries including Oak Grove, Hillside, and Calvary forms an exact isosceles triangle, sometimes called “The Witches Triangle”. If ghost stories like this intrigue you, look up the Whitewater Spirit Tour, an annual event hosted by the Whitewater Area Chamber of Commerce.
After Hillside Cemetery, you will drive over another bridge. To the left is Cravath lake. To the right is Tripp Lake. Tripp Lake is a 121 acre lake and Cravath Lake is a 70 acre lake. You can fish either for panfish, largemouth bass, and northern pike.
At the stop sign, take a left on E Milwaukee St. Follow the road across the train tracks and along the curve. Now you will be on Main St.
Welcome to the City of Whitewater! Cravath Lakefront Park is a popular place for locals to fish, stroll, and relax. It is also where the city holds many of its public events including the annual fourth of July celebration and Freeze Fest. Cravath Lakefront Park is also home to the amphitheater where a summer concert series is held. The Whitewater Passenger Train Depot is where the historical society resides and is home to the Whitewater City Market that brings togethers farmers, artisans, and food trucks on Tuesdays from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm May through October.
Throughout downtown Whitewater, there are plenty of places to shop, dine, and visit. Remember those stop lights where you just took a left? If you had gone straight one block, you would be at the Whitewater Area Chamber of Commerce and Discover Whitewater office. You can pick up brochures, maps, and everything you need to know about the local area. If you had gone straight one mile, you would be at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.
This is the perfect place for us to part ways! You can explore downtown, head back to the lake, or head home for the day. This tour was brought to you by Robert Sivek with Lake Home Info and NextHome Success. If you enjoyed your trip around Whitewater Lake and want to make it your primary residence or second vacation home, contact Robert Sivek. Stop by the office, send him an email at email@example.com or call 630-774-4640 to learn more about lakeside living.