Plan a trip on the water with our Paddle Guide, exploring the best spots to canoe and kayak in the Stevens Point Area. This time we're featuring Lake Joanis, part of the Schmeeckle Reserve on the UW-Stevens Point campus. Read on for details on what to expect, where to put-in and take-out, along with mileage and estimated time. All that's left to do is head out! 

Paddle Guide: LAKE JOANIS

By Timothy Bauer of

Trip Overview

Ensconced smack-dab in the city of Stevens Point, Lake Joanis offers paddlers and hikers alike a beautiful natural oasis surrounded by the city and UWSP campus. The lake is only 23 acres large, but is 25′ deep, and is an outdoor lab for the university.

Skill Level: Beginner Class
Difficulty: Flatwater
Put-In/Take-Out: Dirt path off Maria Dr.
Time Needed: 1-2 hours
Miles Paddled: 1 mile

A roundtrip paddle map of Lake Joanis in Schmeeckle Reserve.

Trip Description

Lake Joanis is a 24-acre freshwater lake in the heart of Schmeeckle Reserve and serves as a great spot for beginner paddlers. The lake is open for paddlers but swimming is not allowed. You can easily park a car on Maria Dr. to the south and walk a short distance to the beach. Paddle around the lake for a short trip or stay all day. Lake Joanis is surrounded by trees that block the wind and with no motorboat traffic, the lake is small and safe for children to try out kayaking for the first time.

The sunset on a partly cloudy day at Lake Joanis.

Insider Tip: If you are feeling adventurous, explore the island in the center of the lake! The island is only accessible by boat and offers a secluded natural escape. 


About Schmeeckle Reserve

Schmeeckle Reserve is a 280-acre natural area on the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point campus. It offers five miles of trails and also serves as the trailhead of the Green Circle. Notable trail routes include the Trail of Reflections a 1/2 mile trail wheelchair accessible option. This trail includes a reflection pond and a treehouse optimal for wildlife viewing. For those seeking a longer trail, check out the Lake Loop Trail which offers a one-mile loop around Lake Joanis. Or, explore the University Trail which offers 1.5 miles to explore. Parking is available at the Schmeeckle Reserve Visitor Center, in addition to adjacent street parking. No pets are allowed in Schmeeckle Reserve. 

Interested in paddling but don't have a kayak? Canoe and kayak rentals are available through the Schmeeckle Reserve Visitor Center.


Want More?

Plan your own trip in the Stevens Point Area with the Pedal, Paddle & Hike Official Adventure Guide (view online), free print copies available by order. Find more fun on the water in the Stevens Point Area - from paddling to swimming and fishing to boating. Then, learn more about great paddling in the Stevens Point Area with MilesPaddled