Wazee Lake Recreational Area Black River Falls, Wisconsin
Directions: Lake Wazee Recreational Area is located just east about 5 miles from the Intersection of I94 and Hwy 54 in Black River Falls, WI (North of Wisconsin Dells - 76 miles or 224 miles - 3:45 drive from Cedar Rapids.
From Cedar Rapids, we take Hwy 13 north to Prairie Du Chein, Wisconsin, then take Rt 27 north from PDC, all the way to Black River Falls. Then right on Hwy 54.
Max Depth: 355'
Avg Dive Depth: Variable
Dive Rating: Easy to Advanced (See training note!)
Fees: Divers - $10 day/ $75 Year / Vehicle permit - $3.00 day / $12 Year
Hours: 6am - 11pm for visitors
Dive Flag required
LAKE MAP (.pdf)
Wazee Lake is one of the most popular diving sites in the Midwest. It's exceptionally clear, deep water combine to create a fascinating dive site for the experienced and novice dive.
The lake was the site of the former Jackson County Iron Mine Quarry which was in operation from the early 60's until April of 1983. When the mine was closed and the water pumps were removed the quarry began filling to form this unique lake. Wazee Lake Recreational Area is owned and operated by the Jackson County Forestry and Parks Department.
Wazee Lake Recreational Area is large and beautiful and includes many miles of hiking and gravel surfaced bicycle trails through a mosaic of prairie and forests. The park also includes several scenic overlooks, picnic and sanitary facilities, camping, a boat launch and a large beach. Wazee Lake does not allow gasoline motors on the lake. Wazee Lake is one of our favorite dive sites at Seatasea. We conduct our Advanced Open Water Courses there along with just great diving. (kind of a mini vacation spot..not too far away) It is a great one day trip, but we highly recommend an overnight and bring the non-divers too. Camping is available at the park and there are hotels nearby just off of the interstate exit that include a Days Inn and a Super 8.
The Diving - LAKE MAP (in .pdf file - requires Adobe Acrobat)
Wazee Lake is recognized as the deepest inland lake in the state of Wisconsin, with a maximum depth of 355'.Visibility in the lake averages 30-40 feet during the summer months. Water temperatures run from approximately 70 + degrees at the surface to 50+ degrees below the first thermocline. The thermocline depth varies during the summer, but averages about 30 feet. Divers who venture to greater depths will encounter a second thermocline at approximately 60 feet where the temperature drops to a chilly 34 degrees. Use of a quality dry suit (with proper training) is recommended for deep diving in the lake. Although all the machinery was removed from the quarry upon its closure, remnants of the mining operation still remain visible underwater. A series of circular haul roads wind around the pit where divers often find artifacts including chains, pipes, taconite pellets, And iron shovel teeth. Massive boulders and shear walls create challenging and interesting features for the more experienced recreational diver. Novice divers will enjoy the gradually descending roadways which are found throughout the quarry. Divers may encounter several groups of fish cribs as well as four dive platforms used by instructors for training new divers. Fish species include rainbow, brook and brown trout, blue gills, suckers, catfish, and small mouth bass.
A dive flag is required by Wisconsin Law. Air and Nitrox fills and complete dive services are available at Wazee Sports Center, which is located on the north side (left hand) of Hwy 54 just after you exit I90 and head east to Lake Wazee.
Training Note: Wazee Lake is a deep lake and a cold lake. Diving beyond your training and experience is dangerous. Use caution and be a safe diver. Always dive with a buddy. Plan your dive...dive your plan!