Beautiful Year-Round Hiking

The Big Cedar Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District’s (BCLPRD’s) Water Spirits Preserve

The Water Spirits Preserve is a 101-acre property and to the west of Big Cedar Lake off of HWY 144. It has approximately 4 miles of hiking trails with multiple bluebird houses, forested moraines, and a picturesque pond. Many visitors enjoy taking their dogs on a walk on the trails of the Water Spirits Preserve.

As spring approaches, bluebirds migrate back to Wisconsin and begin their mating ritual. At the Water Spirits Preserve, several nesting boxes await their return. Through the chorus of the frogs, you will be able to hear the distinguished sound of the male bluebird courting his mate as the ground begins to warm and the flowers begin to bloom.

On the east side of 144 close to West Lake Drive, there is a retention pond. This retention pond was one of the first stormwater control efforts at Big Cedar Lake. Stormwater retention ponds catch non-point source pollution before it has the chance to reach a natural waterbody. Non-point source pollution includes runoff and often contains fertilizers, salt, livestock waste, and oil from roads.


In the 1600s, indigenous people lived in the Cedar Lakes region, and the name Water Spirits honors this legacy.

In 1992, the Big Cedar Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District (BCLPRD) in conjunction with the Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation (CLCF), protected the Kletti and Nehm Farms that comprise the Water Spirits Preserve.  As a result of this collaboration, the Water Spirit Preserve will be protected for the recreational enjoyment of all.


Water Spirits parking is located at 4601 Cedar View Drive, west of Hwy 144 and Big Cedar Lake.

Water Spirits is a spring oasis.  Keep your eyes and ears open for the variety of birds as they return for the year. Enjoy your hike!

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