Aug 31, 2016

Community Profile: Adams County

You have Arrived

Nestled in Central Wisconsin is Adams County. It is the spot where younger and older generations come to create memories. From the top of our 689 acres to the bottom, which reaches into the Wisconsin Dells, there are numerous activities that are both relaxing and exhilarating. Whether you are passing through the area, staying for a weekend, taking a week-long holiday or planning a retirement retreat, Adams County fits all types of lifestyles. With over 37,000 acres of water; you won’t find an area that isn’t perfect for fishing, boating, skiing, canoeing, kayaking and sailing. If you would like to stay on land; we still have many activities including: ATVing, golfing, camping, hiking, hunting and trapping to keep you active!

Let’s talk about water. Adams County is an angler’s paradise! Two of the largest inland lakes in the state of Wisconsin are here, Petenwell Lake, Wisconsin’s second largest body of water and Castle Rock Lake, Wisconsin’s fourth largest. These lakes were formed by dams on the Wisconsin River and are great for small and large watercraft.

Petenwell Lake 

Petenwell Lake (Petenwell Flowage) is 23,040 acres in size. People fishing can expect to catch walleye, bass- smallmouth and largemouth, crappies, bluegills, perch, white bass, pike, muskies, catfish and sheepshead. Petenwell is well known for its great walleye, crappie and muskie fishing. There is a slot limit for walleye on Petenwell. Walleyes must be 15 inches to keep, for all walleyes from 20 to 28 inches there is no harvest. One may be kept over 28 inches. The daily bag limit is 5 walleye per person.

Castle Rock Lake

Castle Rock Lake (Castle Rock Flowage) is 13,995 acres in size. You can expect to catch, walleye, panfish, white bass, smallmouth and largemouth bass, pike, muskies, catfish, sheepshead. Just like Petenwell flowage, there is a slot limit on walleyes. Walleye must be 15 inches in length to keep. From 20 to 28 inches, there is no harvest and one walleye may be kept over 28 inches. Castle Rock Lake is well known for its great walleye, musky and even great panfish fishing. Fishermen come from all around to enjoy fishing Castle Rock during the hard and open water seasons.

Adams County is also home to 25 other lakes and numerous streams, creeks, ponds and rivers that are just waiting for exploration.

Not sure what bait to use or know what lake depths are good for the fish you love? Check out Badger Sportsman’s Scouting Report or hire a fishing guide to help you navigate the area lakes. There are various fishing guides, with different approaches, that can help you find some of the sweetest spots in the area. With miles of waterways, it is not surprising that Adams County has become a favorite destination for those throughout the Midwest.

Water Activities

If you do not have a boat or are looking for canoe, kayak and tube rentals; there are many places to rent for the day or week. There are over one hundred miles of scenic streams and rivers along the canoe routes for you to experience the wildlife and scenery. Aquatic fans enjoy island and pontoon picnics and setting their own pace of pleasure in the sun. Whether it is beaching your boat and throwing a football around or enjoying a cold beverage, while at one of the countless sandbars, there is always a place to relax. Skiing is very relaxing in the evening when you are slicing through the calm water and gliding back and forth across the lakes.

One of the favorite activities for groups to do is to go from one eatery to another by boat! Having multiple eateries on the lakes is great if you aren’t into cooking while on vacation. From pizza to burgers, you can get a hot meal without taking the boat out. And you won’t want to miss the fabulous Friday fish frys that are a staple here, as well as prime rib on Saturdays!


One of the perks of Adams County are the parks. The hub of summer activity can be found at Castle Rock and Petenwell County Parks, located on the respective flowages of the Wisconsin River. Both offer camping, complete with electrical and water hookups, showers, flush toilets, and dump stations. Semi-primitive tent sites are also available. The large, clean beaches, boat landings and visitor hospitality have people coming back year after year.
Wintertime is snowmobiling season.  Currently, we have over 230 miles of state funded, well-groomed trails that twist through forest and farmland. Don’t forget to climb the stairs at Roche-A-Cri State Park, which has 303 steps to the sheerest cliff face in Wisconsin. The 200 foot-high summit of Quincy Bluff permits a stunning view of the Wisconsin River, to the west, and additional wetlands. In addition to these parks, there are many others that have terrific hiking trails that wander through pine plantations, prairie, and marshes.


With dozens of miles of age-old timberland trails in our backyard, Adams County’s terrain is a natural for ATV and UTV fun! Trails are open May through November of each year. Get your wheels turning and engines revving with the miles and miles of trails throughout all of Adams County, especially in the Rome area. Adams County state-funded public ATV Trails, formerly known as Monroe Prairie ATV Park, has been expanded to over 40 miles of state-funded ATV trails. A developing network of township roads, approved for all-terrain vehicles, allow the countless users to reach this site by ATV. Maps are available to help navigate and provide routes for users to select prior to riding. If you are looking for an area that is secluded to riders, visit Dyracuse Off-Road Park where you can explore over 10 miles of trails and 334 acres.


How many golf courses can we fit and still have an overflow of water and wildlife? So far that number is seven! Adams County has seven challenging courses, all with scenery unmatched anywhere in the Midwest. There are courses built by renowned architects and situated on thousands of acres of majestic, tumbling sand dunes, replica holes and breathtaking greens. There are courses for everyone ranging from 9-hole courses, 18-hole courses all the way up to 36-hole courses. Each course delivers a different challenge for any type of golfer and you won’t be disappointed with the views! Many offer a pro shop, dining, cart rentals and driving ranges.


In Adams County, as in most predominantly rural areas, hunting and trapping are very much a way of life. Whitetail deer hunting by bow and rifle, plus turkey, geese and duck hunting are among the best in the state of Wisconsin. Adams County fur-bearing animals; beaver, otter, fox, muskrat, raccoon, coyote and others-thrive due to sound management practices and only minimal habitat encroachment. The many area lakes and streams afford plentiful opportunities for trappers. Any questions relating to game requirements should be addressed by the local DNR. 


Not sure where to set up camp or stay? We have over 10 campgrounds in the area from RV to primitive camping. We also have resorts, condos and cabins that can pamper your every need, if roughing it isn’t your style. Some resorts have dining, golfing and waterviews all in one spot! There are also home managers around the lakes and area to help you find a home rental if that is the accommodation that suits you best; this is a great idea for larger groups. Accommodations are all year round even some camping!

Need help planning your stay or your next life move? The Adams County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism is here to help! Just visit or call 608-339-6997 and they will help you find your way to your next adventure.