Lake Columbia (Portage, WI) If you're interested, just sign in... Victoria and I are still in planning stages, so more info to come.
Lake Columbia is a cooling pond for a power plant in South Central Wisconsin. Many paddlers utilize Lake Columbia for paddling practice throughout the winter, as it frequently offers water temperatures to around 80 degrees (depending on which side of the lake you're on). These conditions also attract relatively large numbers of people fishing for the record size range fish that enjoy the constant warmth.
Paddling more than a 100 yards away from the parking lot will usually provide solitude. There's often a nice layer of fog which helps give a 'rugged' feel to the place. Paddle up the east side of the lake for warmer water and views of the coal pile and rail cars. Paddle up the west for cooler water and a better view of the boilers and plant structure. There's also nice boat ramp on the east side for a lunch/bathroom break.
From Madison, take Highway 51 north, past Poynette (there is a gas station here). Turn left (east) on County Highway V. Turn right (north) into the marked parking lot. Access to the water is down a small hill from the parking lot.