The Geneva Lake Shore Path is a public footpath created by early settlers of the region. The path meanders along the lakeshore, crossing the front lawns of lakefront estates, association beaches and public parks. The terrain is meant for walkers and varies from grass to dirt to brick and concrete. Here are some of our top recommendations for what to see.

 

1. THE HISTORIC BAKER HOUSE

baker house facade

This 30-room Queen Anne-Style mansion was built for Robert H. Baker of Racine in 1885. Sadly, he passed away before it was completed. The home highlights 13 fireplaces and intricate woodwork throughout the restaurant and hotel now named The Baker House.


2. BIG FOOT BEACH STATE PARK

Nestled against Button's Bay, this historical park where Native Potowatami Tribe used to inhabit, now welcomes campers, swimmers, picnickers and hikers. The lagoon, is a replica of Geneva Lake, Created by the Maytag family (of washing machine fame) when they previously owned the property.

 

3. GLANWORTH GARDEN

Driehaus-1024x768

Built in 1905/06 by Norman Harris, the founder of Harris Trust & Savings Bank in Chicago this stately home was originally known as Wadsworth Hall. The original estate's grounds were designed by the Olmsted Brothers, a landscape architectural firm founded in 1898 by the sons of the landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmsted, who designed New York City's Central and Prospect parks. The home was subsequently owned by family members of both the Yellow Taxi Cab Company and Morton Salt from 1920 until 1998. Most recently known as the Driehaus Estate, this Georgian Revival, was purchased in 1998 and painstakingly restored by fund manager, businessman and philanthropist Richard Driehaus and was home to lavish parties and events throughout the year raising money for a variety of charities until the death of Driehaus in 2021.


4. THE ELGIN CLUB

Elgin-Club-1-1024x768

In an area known by the Potowatami as "the place for good fishing" In 1873, two friends from Elgin, Illinois, purchased 16 acres, here for $400. They recruited other friends, and the group grew to 20 families, each possessing a 50-foot lot of lake frontage.  Some of the homes built here are among the oldest on the lake and the oldest residence still in use dates back to 1878.


5. PINEGATE

Pinegate-1-1024x768 

This Prairie-style home was constructed in 1903 for Sanford S. Vaughn, an innovator that made basic changes in the design of the traditional carpenter's hammer that are still used in all hammers produced today. Vaughn owned a Prairie School-style home in Oak Park, IL designed by Eben E. Roberts, an architect of the same movement as Frank Lloyd Wright, and chose to build a similar home on Geneva Lake.


6. CASA DEL SUENO

This estate was built in 1929 by C.B Smith, the founder of the country's largest automobile accessory manufacturer, and its name means "house of dreams." Lee Phillip Bell and Bill Bell, the husband-wife creators of "The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful" soap operas, called this estate home and wrote many of the first scripts for the long-running soap operas here. The boathouse, designed to look like a boat emerging from the shoreline is original to the property but has been significantly updated.

 

7. BLACK POINT

Barely visible above the trees, the home was commissioned in 1888 by German immigrant and Chicago beer baron Conrad Seipp. The Queen Anne-style home was a family summer cottage enjoyed by four generations of Seipp descendants. Black Point Estate was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 and donated to the Wisconsin Historical Society in 2005. The estate and museum is open for public tours, accessible only by tour boat through a partnership with the Lake Geneva Cruise Line. 

 

8. LAKE GENEVA COUNTRY CLUB

 

Established in 1895 and built by Richard Soutar, this was the first golf course in Wisconsin. Because Newport, Rhode Island had become a popular summer vacation destination in the late 1800s, Lake Geneva decided to build their own Country Club. The club opened in 1896 with a six-hole course and a clubhouse. The original structure burned down in 1915 and the members rebuilt it to the version enjoyed today by the clubs exclusive membership. Today's property includes an 18-hole course, boat and swim piers, and is home to one of the areas favorite 4th of July fireworks displays viewable from the lake.


9. THE ECHOES

 

This beautiful Queen Anne-style mansion was designed in 1896 by Henry Lord Gay for George P. Braun, one of the founding fathers of Oleomargarine. In 1913, the property was bought by Amariah Cox, owner of Zeno Manufacturing Company, which made chewing gum. Cox and William Wrigley Jr., eventually joined forces to create the Wrigley Chewing Gum Company. It was common to see the pet peacocks of Amariah Cox roaming the grounds during the time he owned the property.

 

10.  WYCHWOOD

 

The original owners Charles Hutchinson, president of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his wife Frances built Wychwood in 1901. Their home was a three-story English Tudor mansion with extensive native landscaping. They donated the property in 1932 to the University of Chicago for use as a botanical and wildlife refuge. But in 1957 the University divided and sold the property. P.K. Wrigley purchased the east parcel to combine it with his family's property and it has been in the Wrigley family since 1960 when it became the summer home of William Wrigley. The main home was purchased by banker Clarence Mitchell who converted it to the ranch house that remains today.


11. STONE MANOR

This is the largest mansion on the lake, and it was designed by Henry Lord Gay and built for Otto Young in 1899.  Young died in 1906 before ever getting to use the home. After many uses including an Episcopal girls school, restaurant, Christmas tree museum, and most recently luxury condominiums the residence has recently returned to a single residence and has a rooftop pool and underground parking.

 

Visitor Information Center

Stop by the Lake Geneva Visitors Information Center in Flat Iron Park to pick up the Geneva Lake Shore Path Guidebook before you start your journey around the lake! Or, download the Visit Lake Geneva travel app now to plan your visit and hike around the Geneva Lake Shore Path!

Below is a list of the public access points for the shore path.

ACCESS POINTS
A LAKE GENEVA LAKESHORE AREAS*

B CHAPIN ROAD
C WILLIAMS BAY LAKESHORE AREAS*
D FONTANA LAKESHORE AREAS*
E SHADOW LANE
F LINN PIER ROAD
G BIG FOOT BEACH STATE PARK*
*PARKING AND PUBLIC RESTROOMS AVAILABLE