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a Wisconsin state park, forest, recreation area or trail.
Camping opportunities
in state parks and forests.
How to buy
a vehicle admission sticker or state trail pass.
Get Outdoors!
to attend a nature program or event with family and friends.
Contact information
For information, contact:
Wisconsin State Trails
P.O. Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707

Lake Michigan State Water Trail Mapping application

The Lake Michigan State Water Trail mapping application is a map-based system that allows paddlers to locate and obtain information for access to Lake Michigan.

A view of Lake Michigan from the boardwalk at Harrington Beach State Park.

DNR Photo

Paddlers are strongly encouraged to use developed and carry-in access sites. Alternative access sites are non-ideal and could present difficult challenges or conflict with adjacent landowners. Emergency sites should only be considered in emergency situations.

Paddling on Lake Michigan presents difficulties unlike those on other, smaller waterways. The potential for significant off-shore distances, cold water, high winds and tall waves create hazards which should not be taken lightly. Paddlers must dress for immersion and be aware of weather conditions. Use of the Lake Michigan State Water Trail is recommended only for experienced paddlers with appropriate equipment and training.

Map features

Please press the toolbox icon in the upper right part of the interactive map to open up a list of map tools. While the toolbox features important functions you can perform within the map, the “I want to…” box will be the way you can customize the map layers and see the map legend.


Why is the map not available?

The web map server might be down temporarily. Please try again in a few minutes. If it still isn't available, contact us.

How can I see air photos/topographic information - or how do I use them?

Click on the Map Layers or Show Layers buttons. Scroll to bottom of list and select 2010 Air Photos (WROC). If the text is grayed-out, click the text and select "Zoom to Visible Scale" to see this layer. Aerial photos are designed to display between 1:200 and 1:500,000 scale.

How do I see additional detail?

You can zoom in or out by using the scroll wheel on your mouse. Users can also press the "Zoom In" or "Zoom Out" buttons on the left side of the map, then single click using your left mouse button, or draw a box around your desired destination using the Ctrl key and your left mouse button. You can also zoom in or out pressing the + or - keys on the zoom slider on the left side of the map.

How do I find out detailed information for a specific site?

After you've zoomed into your specific site, click on "Identify" button above the map. Then click on the site. A name should appear in the column on the left side of the map. Click on the name, and a pop-up box with specific information will appear.

I see coordinate positions reported on the map system; can I use these with my GPS?

The accuracy of these lat/long, utm, or wtm coordinates is unknown. While we have generally found it to be quite good, we do not consider it to be an appropriate tool for, say, collecting lat/long coordinates and incorporating them into a database. These coordinates are generated "on-the-fly" by the application. You must be aware of how your GPS collects, stores and displays data.


The information shown on these maps has been obtained from various sources, and are of varying age, reliability and resolution. These maps are not intended to be used for navigation, nor are these maps an authoritative source of information about legal land ownership or public access. No warranty, expressed or implied, is made regarding accuracy, applicability for a particular use, completeness or legality of the information depicted on this map.

For more information, see the Terms and Conditions.

Last revised: Tuesday July 05 2016