LAKE WAWASEE -- SYRACUSE, INDIANA

Lake Wawasee, located in northern Indiana, is a great location for fun and relaxation. With over 3000 acres of clean, clear water, Lake Wawasee is ideal for motor boating, water skiing, sailing, swimming, and fishing,. Other recreational facilities in the area include golf courses, tennis courts, shops, movie theatres, and a bowling alley.

Boaters can use the free public boat ramp and parking area, located on the southeastern shore, Other options are several local marinas, which charge a nominal fee to use their private boat ramps. Also, boaters enjoy the convenience of five lakeside marinas for supplies, fuel, boat repairs and maintenance.

Also, you can rent a fishing boat, pontoon boat, or personal watercraft (jet ski) at several locations on the lake.

Photo by Roseanne Garver

Boaters, sunbathers and swimmers often visit the "sand bar", which is located about 500 yards off the south shore. The sand bar is a portion of the lake (about 2 acres) where the water is only 3 to 4 feet deep. Since the sand bar is completely surrounded by deeper water, it is only accessible by boat. With it's sandy bottom, shallow water and centralized location, it's the perfect place to take a refreshing swim, have a picnic in your boat, work on your tan or take a nap.

With almost six square miles, the wide expanse of Lake Wawasee is ideal for sailing. When the wind whips the waves to "white caps", sailboats, catamarans and windsurfers quickly join in the fun. Since Wawasee is home to two yacht clubs, swarms of sailboats with brightly colored sails converge every weekend to compete in the regattas.

Water skiiers can enjoy several protected bays where the water is usually calm. The more adventurous skiers may take the 45-minute journey around the entire lake shoreline.

The fishing is good too-- bass, crappie, blue-gill, walleye, and pike are the most common catch. A legendary 63-pound sturgeon was caught (and released) by a local fisherman in 1990. Several bass fishing tournaments are sponsored throughout the summer. Anglers can fish the main lake, bays, or the many channel waterways that surround the lake.

If you get hungry, there are 3 restaurants which are accessible by boat. Or you can take a break from the lake action and enjoy a wide variety of dining in Syracuse and the surrounding area.

Photo by Rhonda Kachmann

Enjoying Lake Wawasee can be spiritually uplifting. Every Sunday morning from Memorial Day to Labor Day, ministers from various denominations conduct a jointly sponsored "Boat-In Worship". On most Sunday mornings, hundreds of people attend the 30-minute service in the open-air cathedral of Lake Wawasee -- with landlubbers seated on the shore (bring your own lawn chair) and boaters anchored within distance of the loud speaker system. Dress is very casual. Immediately before and after the service, monetary offerings are collected in fish nets --both on the shore and from boats-- and distributed to the local churches and charities.

The fourth of July weekend is an exciting time to be at Lake Wawasee. The weekend celebration includes the "Flotilla" where entrants decorate their boats and parade them around the lake. Also, the Wawasee Property Owners Association sponsors a public fireworks display over the lake which can be seen from most shores --or better yet -- from your boat. It is a spectacular event with colorful bursts in the sky which are reflected on the water. Patriotic music is simulcast on the radio and is synchronized with the fireworks. The most spectacular fireworks are acknowledged by hundreds of boats sounding their horns in approval.

Photo by Carey Hawkins

At neighboring Syracuse Lake enjoy the Lakeside Park, which features a public swimming area, park and picnic area and another 300 acres of beautiful lake. Lakeside Park also hosts the "Music in the Park" series on six evenings in the summer. Lake Syracuse also has a fireworks display over the fourth of July holiday period.

In the immediate lake area, there are 3 public golf courses and free tennis at the local high school. Other local activities include a movie theatre and bowling alley. There are additional golf courses and other recreational activities in the surrounding area.

Syracuse has a variety of local shops for art, crafts and fashions. For the more adventurous shoppers, Amish Acres, Essenhaus, and Shipshewanna are just a short drive away.

With so much to enjoy at Lake Wawasee and the surrounding area, you might want to spend a relaxing week or two. Room accommodations are available at a lakeside hotel, or neighboring B&B's, inns, and motels. Also, waterfront rental properties are available by the week, month and season.

After visiting beautiful Lake Wawasee, you may want to make your stay more permanent. If so, meet with a local realtor to consider purchasing a slice of paradise in Indiana.

Photo by Karen Hirsch Phelps

Year-round residents enjoy snowmobiling, ice fishing, and ice boating in the winter months.

Lake Wawasee is located near the city of Syracuse, Indiana (population 2500). The lake has 25 miles of shoreline with over 1000 lakefront homes and condos. Additional homes are located on the channel waterways which have access to the lake.

Neighboring lakes include Syracuse Lake (300 acres) and Lake Papakeechie (80 acres). Syracuse Lake is accessible from Lake Wawasee via the "main channel", but boats must pass under a train bridge with approximately 6 foot clearance above the waterline. Lake Papakeechie is not accessible by boat from Lake Wawasee.


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