Franklin Else Bandstand in Commons Park
By Eli Wedel - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Explore Lake Mills!

Lake Mills is a city in Jefferson CountyWisconsin, United States. The population was 5,708 at the 2010 census. Lake Mills lies on the shores of Rock Lake just 25 miles east of Madison and 55 miles west of Milwaukee. Take I-94 exit #259. If you’re traveling from the north or south, Hwy 89 is our Main Street – what could be easier!

Legendary Lake Mills in beautiful Jefferson County Wisconsin is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty. From the mysterious waters of Rock Lake to the scenic Glacial Drumlin Bike Trail to historic Aztalan State Park and Museum to the picturesque downtown shopping and dining district, Lake Mills has something for everyone!

Why are the waters of Rock Lake mysterious? Many tales have been told of the stone structures that are reported to be found on the bottom of Rock Lake. One such legend says that after suffering a long and terrible drought, natives appealed to their gods for help by building and using sacrificial pyramids. In answer to their prayers, great waters soon covered the pyramids and created the beautiful lake the Indians came to call Tyranena, meaning:  Sparkling Waters.

Legends aside, Rock Lake is a crystal clear 1,371-acre recreational oasis, beckoning fun-seeking visitors and residents to its cool waters and tree-lined shores. The lake is surrounded by five parks which offer fishing, swimming, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, water-skiing, or a leisurely sunset cruise, all part of your next legendary experience.

Located on the southern edge of Lake Mills, the Glacial Drumlin Trail offers recreation for hikers and bikers alike. The 47 mile trail follows the old Chicago and Northwestern railway. It is open 365 days a year – trail pass needed. Navigating the trail you will find a surprising treasures, Zeloski Marsh.

The Zeloski Marsh is a  wildlife management property located just south west of Lake Mills and promises to be the next “great’ birding spot in south east Wisconsin. When fully restored this property will be over 1,500 acres of wetland and grassland and will attract over 200 species of birds.

Just east of Lake Mills lies Aztalan State Park, one of Wisconsin’s most important archaeological sites. It showcases an ancient Middle-Mississippian village that thrived between 1000 and 1300 A.D. The people who settled Aztalan built large, flat-topped pyramidal mounds and a stockade around their village.

Just north of the state park is The Aztalan Museum, operated by the Lake Mills-Aztalan Historical Society. The site features two pioneer churches as well as other 19th century structures and displays. The displays feature historic items dating back to 1000 A.D.

In the heart of downtown is Common’s Park. It is surrounded by charming 19th century buildings that house unique shops and restaurants ( Lake Mills is a designated Main Street Community (, and this program has guided the renaissance of downtown Lake Mills.

Dining in Lake Mills offers a number of culinary experiences, from legendary sliders to home smoked brisket to artisan breads and Friday night fish fries. For those who crave ethnic fare we have Creole, Italian, Chinese, and Mexican. And of course we have traditional family favorites, sit down and fast food.

Lake Mills is home to many galleries, jewelry and specialty shops. It is also headquarters for a number of nationally recognized businesses – Ephraim Faïence Pottery (, Tyranena Brewing Co. ( , Lewis Station Winery ( and James J. Chocolate (

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Lake Mills March 26, 2023
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