The Geneva Lake Shore Path is one of the most unique things to do in Lake Geneva WI. This 21-26 mile public walking path goes around the ENTIRE lake and is open to the public year round. There really is no better way to view the mansions around the lake, while enjoying the stunning lake views! While you can hike the entire loop (which can take 8- 10 hours) most people opt to walk a portion of the path at a time. It can be fun seeing the lake from different points of view and taking in the beauty of each location. No matter how far (or short) of a walk you take, don’t miss out on these insider tips to make your trek a success!
This post is all about the Lake Geneva Shore Path.
Lake Geneva Shore Path Map
There are multiple access points along the lake to get on the Geneva Lake Shore Path. Below is a recap of the easiest access points, which are close to public restrooms and have space for parking.
Know Before you Go
- Not all of the Lake Geneva path is paved. There are many portions that are gravel, grass or dirt so strollers are not recommended and only certain portions are for young kids.
- Make sure you stay ON the path and not wonder into people’s lawn. The path is public but the properties are private and should be respected.
- Wear comfortable shoes- not all of the path is paved and some portions can be hilly. People with limited mobility will want to research which portions of the path are paved before heading out.
- There are public restrooms in 3 places around the lake: Big Foot State Beach (in Lake Geneva), Edgewater park (in Williams Bay), and Reid Park (in Fontana).
- If you are walking the entire path make sure you bring an extra pair of socks and even shoes (the dew can make your feet wet!), plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen and bug spray
- Make sure you start early- the terrain can be uneven so you want to only go in full daylight
- There is an awsome audio tour that you can download on your phone that covers the entire Geneva Lake Shore Path. You can start and end it at any point and come back to it as many times as you like. Whether you go for a long walk or a short one, there are plenty of restaurants and bars to relax at when you get back to one of the three lakeside towns. The app is $9.99 but worth it and can be accessed here.
Suggested Small Routes:
Williams Bay: One of my family’s favorite thing to do is walk a portion of the lake path, have lunch, and then walk back! With elementary school kids I suggest starting at Edgewater park in Williams bay. There is a playground right on the lake before the shore path entry. Enter the path and walk toward the blue townhomes. In less than a mile, or around a 20 minute walk, you will hit my favorite restaurant on the lake, Pier 290. Have lunch and a cocktail and then walk back to Williams bay. This portion of the path is flat but mostly grassy with none of it paved. If you still have some energy in you, hit up the Frosty Moose for an instagramable ice cream sundae (they also have non dairy and gluten free treats!).
Fontana: The lake geneva walking path access in Fontana is just path Gordy’s Surf Shack. If you are facing the lake, looking at the surf shack, walk left on the same side of the street and you will run right into it. My family usually walks for around half an hour then heads back to Fontana to eat lunch at Gordy’s boat house or get an ice cream at the Surf Shack. This portion can be a bit uneven. I would NOT recommend strollers or people with uneven footing. My two sons ages 3 and 11 are fine (but we go at a snail pace because they get distracted by all the things they find on the path!).
Lake Geneva: You can enter the lake geneva shore path right by the Geneva Library. The portion of the path from Rivera building past the library is paved, but once you hit the actual path it is not. If you have a stroller/baby I would recommend walking this very short distance so you can still enjoy the lake. Otherwise if you are in front of the library, facing the lake, walk to your right, past the kayak launch, and you will hit the path in no time.
The History of the Path:
No matter what portion you choose to walk, this is a FREE bucket list activity most everyone can enjoy. I hope these tips help you you enjoy the lake path as much as my family and I do!
This post was all about the Lake Geneva Shore Path.