Lake Petenwell Reviews

The below reviews have been submitted by actual Lake Petenwell property owners. Thank you for sharing your stories, adventures, and experiences on Lake Petenwell and the surrounding area.

Have you ever dreamed of a relaxing get-away of all your own? Well, we found it! We needed just the right feel for our secluded place in the woods to build our log home. Living in Canada had set the stage for just the right location, a place where it would feel like a retreat and yet far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

One weekend 10 years ago, we met Mike Coke from Terra Firma. Now, who works on Father’s Day? Well, this dedicated agent was so friendly that we couldn’t say no. This meeting was one of the best decisions of our life. Arrangements were set and while driving into the property, both of us looked at each other and said, “This is it!” without even getting out of the car.

With the bounding huge oak and pine trees and the beautiful large expanse waters of Lake Petenwell, it only took us less than an hour to walk the property and sign a contract to purchase one of the most beautiful pieces of land we could have ever imagined. And to this day, we cherish each weekend and vacation time at our retreat.

Overlooking Lake Petenwell at sunset is paradise found. This piece of land not only provides tranquility, but the door back to nature. There is so much to experience around our lake house whether boating, fishing, socializing on the lake or access to miles of ATV and snowmobile trails, hunting, restaurants and evening bonfires, it confirms this was one of the best decisions we ever made.

So, if you want a piece of nature, trust me, call Terra Firma. They will make it happen for you. Your life will change forever. Ours did.

Chris and Jan
Aurora, IL.

My personal thoughts about finding our dream cabin is that we love the fact a lot of people don’t know about the 2nd largest lake in WI!  It’s like our little secret.  The lake isn’t crowded and it’s big enough to enjoy a whole day of boating!  We were lucky to have such a trusted friend and realtor introduce us to a new life and dream home.  It’s like we are living two lives, the vacation life every weekend and the working one during the week.  Being there on the weekends makes us feel like we are part of a new family or community.  The local restaurants and bars are fun and friendly.  The trails are everything you picture about Northern Wisconsin. You come across deer, eagles soaring overhead, owls, fox and nature in its glory.  Finding our vacation home on Petenwell is like enjoying life to the fullest.  Winter is spending time by the fireplace reading a book and being cozy.  It is very peaceful and serene during this time.  In the summer, friends love to visit and we have fun memories of sitting around the campfire sharing stories and bringing loved ones together.  Summer comes alive with all the activities of ATV trails, boating and outside patios at the local restaurants.  The location is ideal since you aren’t spending your time driving way up north.  Finding our dream cabin is the epitome of “enjoying the journey” instead of the destination.  We are glad to be part of this new community.  As far as working with Terra Firma, you can’t find a better, more decent, honest company than Terra Firma.  They’re the ones to have on your side with recommendations from house buying to settling in.  They are always there for you, never steered us wrong, offered many suggestions, always in our favor, and saved us both time and money in all our transactions.  They always “got” us and we were always “on the same page.”  When the time comes to sell our primary home, Terra Firma is the only company I would trust to handle it.

Jeff & Tracy
Waunakee, WI.

Petenwell Lake is probably the best kept secret in all of Wisconsin. I have literally grown up in the area since I was a young boy and I can remember saying “wow, this lake is huge”! and what great memories I have had from that time on. As a family, we would snowmobile around the lake in the winter and water ski, swim and fish in the summer. Catching Walleyes, Northerns, Bass and an occasional Muskie would be pulled in.

Later on in years, my wife and I decided to purchase our own Petenwell Lake front property with the hopes of building our retirement home there. People would ask, why Petenwell and not Castle Rock? My answer was always, this is the best kept secret of all the lakes in Wisconsin. Beautiful shorelines, no crowds, wonderful beaches, great fishing and property taxes are a lot less than Castle Rock Lake. Then I would get asked about the algae. This is something that happens once a year on Petenwell as well as Castle Rock (typically in August) although it is not pleasing to look at, it is harmless and does not last but a few days.

All the pluses that Lake Petenwell has to offer far outweigh a few days (or less) of any algae that may appear along the shoreline. I tell people all the time, you will not find this kind of beauty within a short drive from Milwaukee, Madison or even Chicago for the prices offered on lake front property on the 2nd largest lake in Wisconsin.

Roscoe, IL.

We searched properties in a few states before we purchased our majestic 2 acres on Lake Petenwell with 135 ft of lake frontage.

We were very choosey when we made our purchase and that is why we chose Lake Petenwell. The lake is serene and expansive, with the right amount of fishing, swimming, and boating activity. The lake is ever changing with the seasons and we have a front row seat to nature so there’s always something to be in awe over.

Our views in Clear View Estates sold us immediately. We have enjoyed our time spent on the lake with something to do for everyone, even if that means doing absolutely nothing (maybe our most favorite thing to do).

Steven & Brigitte
Oak Park, IL.

When we decided to look for a lake to build a summer home, we wanted certain things that would make it a pleasant experience. We had been on lakes further north, but the weekend traffic going to and coming from Illinois made the experience unpleasant unless you were going up before the weekend and leaving well after. Petenwell well was much more convenient, with better traffic flow and yet it still had the up north feeling. Already living in Wisconsin, we had a dislike for weekend traffic, and the close proximity of the Petenwell area made it more appealing.

Another major reason that Petenwell was so appealing to us was that it was the 2nd largest lake in Wisconsin but since the power company had controlled the lakeshore and access for so long, there was very little activity on the lake. Even the holiday weekends were quiet compared to other lakes. It was like having a big private lake. I have been on many lakes where fishing and water sports were not enjoyable due to the number of boats on the lake. Petenwell is an exception that makes boating fun.

I have been involved in many conversations about the algae bloom and whether it has been a problem on Petenwell. Even some of the most crystal clear lakes that I have been on in the state have algae bloom based on time of year, amount of rain, sunshine exposure and winds. It seems that algae in any lake is more pronounced when there is lack of wind and rain with too much heat and sun. Last year (2012) especially, the warm winter and spring months combine with the lack of moisture created an atmosphere conducive to algae bloom growth. This was a problem on most if not all lakes in the area. I have not found the algae bloom in Petenwell to be a problem. Fishing is excellent and the large size of the lake lends itself to all kinds of water sports.

I have also been told that by not having my own dock, I was missing out on one of the joys of ownership. I don’t feel that lack of dock ownership has made me miss out on anything. When owning a dock, you have the responsibility of putting the dock and slip in and out of the water each year as well as the initial slip cost and continued maintenance. I am a lazy boat owner and keep my boat at the local marina. They put the docks and slips in and out of the water every year and all I do is pay a reasonable yearly dock fee without any of the hassle. Added to the low hassle is that they serve a great burger and some pretty decent tap beer which is not available in my home kitchen. On top of all of that my lot on the lake gives me the greatest lake views, especially at sunset!

When I come up to my lake home for a weekend or a week, I don’t want to spend much of my time on maintenance issues. My home in Kennedy Waters on Lake Petenwell has given me low maintenance- high fun leisurely weekends.

Bob & Barbara
Sun Prairie, WI.

Just wanted to drop you a line on what a great weekend the family and I had for our first official memorial day weekend. It was jammed packed full of riding ATV’s and boating. Could not thank you enough again for your help with finding the house. I got out on the Lake Saturday and just opened up the throttle for the first time this year and nothing could be better! I could not be more in love with Lake Petenwell, than I am after a great weekend like this past one. Looking forward to a great summer, hope to see you around. Thanks again for all your help.

Erik & Kerri
Gilberts, IL.

We fell in-love with the beautiful new log home and also loved surrounding area. We also enjoy picnic’s on the lake and sunset appetizer/dinner cruise’s. The fact that the lake is not too busy makes the lake safer. We love all of the recreational activities. I feel the Lake has more recreatioal than other area lake’s because of all the trails/hiking and ATVing.

Rob & Terri
South Barrington, IL.

As a family our wishes were for a cabin with an awesome view of the lake and with year round activities for the family. It is an awesome area to make many memories for friends and family. I have 2 sons that continue to decide to come to the cabin versus staying home with their friends. Which was the main purpose of having a cabin at Lake Petenwell. There is so many activities to do in the area. And Wisconsin Dells and other eating establishments close by. All of the neighbors are very pleasant and enjoy seeing them on the water and the size of this lake allows very quiet private time if you would prefer and this is not a big party lake. Petenwell is such a large body of water that you will learn that the algae is not a permanent area of the lake. The algae could be there one day and with the movement of the lake will be gone the next day. There is always the option to go to other spots of the lake or the river which is never an issue with algae. We have been there 6 yrs and I have noticed a substantial improvement of reducing the algae.

Connie & Mark
DeForest, WI.