When it comes to lakes to visit, few places can compare with Minnesota, the state known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Actually, this is a bit of a misnomer for the North Star State because its lakes actually number more than 12,000. I guess 10,000 looks like a cooler number on license plates and road signs. Anyway, 10,000 or 12,000, it still means Minnesota has some fabulous lakes to visit. Here’s a handful:-
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Deer Lake lands at the very top of my lakes to visit in the Land of 10,000 Lakes for its striking color, its numerous islands, and its vast shoreline. Encompassing around 4,156 acres, Deer Lake is nearly 1.5 miles wide and 5 miles long. One of Minnesota’s clearest lakes, the water of Deer Lake is transparent up to 11 feet. Also known as the lake of “changing colors,” Deer Lake’s mineral content produces a vivid shade of blue-green waters in the summer. If you plan to hike the Cut Foot Sioux National Recreation Area trail, which runs about 26 miles, you can stop for the night at Deer Lake campgrounds.
Situated in southern Itasca County, Pokegama Lake covers 6,612 acres and is a fantastic respite for rest and relaxation. Its resorts, restaurants, golf courses, and campgrounds are a great selling point for Pokegama Lake, as everything you could ever need is available to you in this stunningly scenic environment. Pokegama is also a good source of Small Mouth Bass and Walleye. Visit Pokegama on the 4th of July, and you will be treated to an outstanding fireworks display.
Lake Vermilion is home to 365 islands, making it a must-visit. In fact, you could visit a unique island every day for a year! Often referred to as the Crown Jewel of the North, Lake Vermilion offers a number of bays, shoreline stretching for 1,200 miles, as well as great fishing, casinos, golf courses, water parks, and endless hours of R&R in the beautiful lakeside lodges and resorts. If you’re looking for a variety of entertainment options, you can’t beat Lake Vermilion.
Situated southwest of St. Paul, Lake Minnetonka covers over 14,000 acres and is known for its great fishing, especially of Largemouth Bass, Yellow Perch, Muskie, Northern Pike, and Walleye. If fishing isn’t really your thing, this is still one of the lakes to visit. The spectacular scenery in and of itself is worth the trip, with a drive that takes you winding around the edges of the lake.
Lake of the Woods
One of the most scenic lakes in America, Lake of the Woods is hidden (as anything this breathtaking should be) up in Zippel Bay State Park in Minnesota’s northern-most corner. With 14,000 islands and over 65,000 miles of shoreline, Lake of the Woods is not only a sight for sore eyes, but it offers great water sports as well. Wake boarding, water skiing, jet skiing, canoeing and kayaking - whatever water activity you can think of, you can probably find it at Lake of the Woods. This lake is also known to have some of the nicest beaches in Minnesota.
Lake of the Isles
Spanning over 120 acres, Lake of the Isles is completely open to the public, offering ice skating in winter and canoeing in the summer. This lake was created to improve the quality of life in Minneapolis, and does it ever! Though swimming is not advised, the Lake of Isles offers residents of Minneapolis-St. Paul a site for the perfect picnic, a good walk or jog, or a land to let dogs run free in the off-leash dog park. And, what’s more is that it’s only a step away from residents’ backyards!
Wabana & Bluewater Lakes
Though technically two lakes, Wabana and Bluewater are Siamese twins. Joined together by Wabana’s Wakeman Bay, Wabana Lake and Bluewater Lake are situated 12 miles from Grand Rapids. These gorgeous lakes offer stunning scenic views, crystal clear water, and not too many fishermen. So if you’re looking for a quiet place to fish, Bluewater is a good source for Lake Trout, while Wabana is a good source of walleyes. So go ahead – cast out and reel ‘em in!
With so, so many lakes to visit in Minnesota, where on earth do you start? These 7 are a good choice but you really could choose any. Do you have any favorites you’ve already visited?
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