Winter on the Water

Green Lake is a place where winter is embraced, and there’s a running list of reasons why you will want to bundle up to appreciate the season.

Ice Boating

Ice boats have been a gracing Green Lake’s frozen waters for over a century. A sport of adrenaline, ice boats are capable of hitting top speeds anywhere between 90 and 140 miles per hour. The Green Lake Ice Yacht Club hosts regattas throughout the Winter when ice conditions cooperate.

Ice Fishing

Once the ice covers the lake, you can move farther out for deeper-water ice fishing and search for lake trout, musky, walleye, panfish, cisco, white bass and catfish.

Ice Skating

An ice rink on the southern end of downtown is a popular spot for families and couples to skate beneath the twinkling lights. The rink has plenty of free skates to borrow, and there’s a warming shelter for a comfortable break. Community members volunteer to maintain this space (clearing the snow etc). If you’ve wanted to try this winter activity, or if you’re a long time skater, this is a awesome spot to glide on!


When the ice is good, you can get going four to five times the speed of the wind. It’s pretty thrilling how fast these boats can go.

Iceboating captured the imagination of Dan Bierman from the time he was a young boy watching experienced boaters rip across frozen Green Lake each winter. When he was 11, Bierman built his first successful iceboat using bedsheets for sails and old ice skates nailed onto planks for runners. 

“Green Lake has always had an active fleet of iceboats through the years so we had lots of good people to learn from and help us get going,” he says.

Today Bierman is part of a group of local boaters who travel the country “chasing ice” to experience that elusive perfect ride.

“This is a very fickle sport. You have to have near-perfect conditions to get a good ride.”

Green Lake’s size and depth make it prime for iceboating, which is why it continues to be a favorite of competitive sailors today.

“Green Lake is a pretty special lake,” Bierman says. “When other shallower lakes freeze early and get snowed out, we are just coming into our prime for sailing.”

Most iceboating starts on the west end of Green Lake at Dodge Memorial County Park. Follow Green Lake Ice Yacht Club on Facebook for lake condition updates, photos and information.


Winterfest on Big Green

Nothing says Wisconsin like a fisheree, cold beer under a heated tent, raffle prizes, live music, free horse-drawn wagon rides, delicious hot food, a cornhole tournament, snow dogs, ice skating, and more! This is a family-friendly winter event in February is one that you don’t want to miss!

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