Red Cedar Lake 2018 (first time)

This lake is probably quite pretty, but we really couldn’t see much of the water surface. We got to it too late in the season – it was just packed with vegetation. The canoe did ok in this thick plant material, but kayak paddles would probably get tangled due to the different pattern of paddle strokes. We heard about Red Cedar Lake in one of the paddling books, and it sounded idyllic; we guess they must have gone in the spring. We probably will not try again this year.

It wasn’t a total fail – there were tons and tons of frogs on the lily pads! We startled them as we floated passed, and we heard “squeak-splash” continuously as they blip-blip-blipped back into the water. It was impossible not to laugh. No motors of any kind are allowed(!) and, if you are a forager, there are a lot of cattails to harvest. Did you know that almost every part of the cattail is edible at some point in the year? We did take two to turn into a ‘barbecue’ but didn’t use them soon enough.

What we liked least were the gunshots as we were unloading the canoe. We were relieved not to hear any shooting while we were on the water.

Red Cedar Lake is a 370 acre “water seepage” lake located in the town of Oakland which is just east of Cambridge, WI. (Turn onto Brosig Lane from US-12) For a State Natural Area, the entrance to Leonard Brosig memorial landing is not at all well-marked; we must have passed it by 100 times and never saw it.

We couldn’t paddle the route we planned, but there is an island in the middle of the lake that we set as a destination and circumnavigated it.


Frogs galore, great blue heron, red wing blackbird, saw yellow-headed blackbird which we see less frequently on WI waterways.