Spectacle Lake, Wisconsin, USA

Those dreaming of the quiet beauty of a northern Wisconsin lake will want to check out Vilas County’s Spectacle Lake. Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest encompasses over a million acres in the Lake Superior Northwoods region along the Wisconsin-Michigan border. This small gem of a lake is surrounded by bigger lakes in the midst of Nicolet National Forest. Those lucky enough to discover the national forest campground, the private home rentals, or – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Spectacle Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Spectacle Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Spectacle Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Spectacle Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Spectacle Lake

Those dreaming of the quiet beauty of a northern Wisconsin lake will want to check out Vilas County’s Spectacle Lake. Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest encompasses over a million acres in the Lake Superior Northwoods region along the Wisconsin-Michigan border. This small gem of a lake is surrounded by bigger lakes in the midst of Nicolet National Forest. Those lucky enough to discover the national forest campground, the private home rentals, or the condo timeshare location along the four-mile shoreline will quickly decide Spectacle Lake is one of the most beautiful locations in the entire Northwoods.

Vilas County is noted for having one of the highest numbers of lakes in the world. Nearby Eagle River holds a large number of connected lakes and is a favorite for boating and fishing. Spectacle Lake is far less busy than the more commercialized Eagle River Chain of Lakes. Only a small portion of the shoreline lies within the national forest; the rest is sparsely developed with private homes. It’s considered ‘in the middle of nowhere’, which is exactly where Spectacle Lake fans want to be. Since the town is less than ten miles from the little town of Phelps, the remoteness is an illusion brought on by the endless sea of forest permeating the area. It’s a place to get away from the crowds and enjoy the natural beauty that is northern Wisconsin.

Swimming, kayaking, fishing and wildlife watching are what take up the day at Spectacle Lake. Traffic is light along the gravel roads near the lake, perfect for bike riding and leisurely walks. The lake is relatively shallow, with average depths of 12 feet. Near-shore areas are ideal for swimming. Motors are allowed, so waterskiing, tubing and other watersports are enjoyed during daytime hours. No-wake limits are in place after five o’clock, perfect for sailing, pontooning, kayaking and canoeing in the early evening when wildlife is often most active. The one-lane public boat ramp cannot accommodate large boats, so the only powerboats on the lake are those belonging to property owners who live here.

Spectacle Lake consists of two ‘bays’ or basins connected by a narrow channel that resembles a pair of spectacles. The national forest campground occupies a corner of the northern bay. Thirty-three campsites share a loop on treed lots with plentiful shade. There is no on-site electricity or water and amenities are minimal, with vault toilets and two hand pumps for drinking water. All campsites contain a picnic table and grill. Reservations for this campground are not available, so wise patrons arrive early to get their favored campsites. A 500-foot sandy beach fronts a buoyed swim area. The boat ramp is nearby with a convenient fishing pier for shore fishing. The campground is the perfect place to allow children to explore nature and amuse themselves watching for turtles, minnows and frogs. A 2.5-mile hiking trail leads from the Spectacle Lake Campground to the campground on nearby Kentuck Lake. Wildlife is abundant, with loons often seen in the early morning, and a wide variety of songbirds and waterfowl visiting the lake every day.

The campground is open from late May to early September, but the Spectacle Lake-Kentuck Lake Trail is available in winter for snowshoeing. The route utilizes an old logging rail bed and displays a variety of wildflowers in spring and early summer. Fishing is popular year-round with summer targets mostly largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, trout, walleye, bluegill and sunfish. In winter, ice fishing is possible, although roads near the lake within the national forest may not be plowed. Nature lovers and hikers will enjoy using Spectacle Lake as home base for exploring the numerous hiking and biking trails in the surrounding area. A number of wilderness areas and natural areas nearby are open to hiking and nature viewing.

Within ten miles of Spectacle Lake, Beaver Creek State Natural Area, Blackjack Springs State Natural Area, and Blackjack Springs Wilderness feature sparkling trout streams, stands of second-growth forest, and wetlands harboring bear, fisher (weasel family), deer, ruffled grouse and many songbirds. No motorized vehicles are allowed in wilderness-designated areas, but primitive camping is allowed as is paddling using hand-carried canoes or kayaks. Many hiking trails and local scenic destinations are available nearby, including to the site of an old fire tower and a dilapidated loggers’ cabin.

In winter, downhill ski hills are located nearby, as are numerous old logging roads for cross-country skiing. A number of groomed snowmobile trails are located in the Phelps area, along with most needed local services and supplies. The small City of Eagle River is only ten miles to the southwest, with all types of resort-style amenities, plenty of lodgings and choices of restaurants. The entire area is filled with winter activities such as ice fishing tournaments on the larger lakes, snowmobile races, and a Klondike Days winter festival. All year round, activities in the area of Phelps and Eagle River provide fun, food and excitement to every member of the family. Whether your sport is pond hockey, kayak racing, marathon running or professional muskie tournaments, you’ll find it here in Vilas County. In addition, there is always an arts-or food-related festival or celebration coming up with fun for the entire family.

Real estate is sometimes available on the lakefront at Spectacle Lake. Hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts and lakefront resorts are numerous in the nearby areas, so lodgings of all types can easily be found. Other larger nearby lakes such as Kentuck Lake, Long Lake, Big Sand Lake, and North and South Twin Lakes may be better known, but no place beats Spectacle lake for sheer beauty, colorful fall foliage or pristine swimming beaches. So come check out Spectacle Lake and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Enjoy the peaceful and natural beauty that greets each day.

Things to Do at Spectacle Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Forest

Fish Species Found at Spectacle Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Walleye

All About Spectacle Lake

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Spectacle Lake

The Spectacle Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Spectacle Lake Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Spectacle Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Spectacle Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Spectacle Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Spectacle Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 171 acres

Shoreline Length: 4 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,772 feet

Average Depth: 12 feet

Maximum Depth: 35 feet

Water Volume: 2,065 acre-feet

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

More Spectacle Lake news from LakeLubbers.com

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
  • The Spectacle Lake forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
  • New Spectacle Lake photos coming soon!
  • You’re invited to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!
  • Share this Spectacle Lake article with your fellow LakeLubbers:

Do you have a vacation rental property at Spectacle Lake? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

Please get in touch with our advertising team HERE and we’ll provide you more details on this upcoming advertising opportunity.

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Looking for the Spectacle Lake forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Click here to advertise your Spectacle Lake vacation rental or local business.

The former Spectacle Lake forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Spectacle Lake photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Spectacle Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Spectacle Lake vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

Looking for the old Spectacle Lake forum group? Click Here

New Spectacle Lake photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi