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Explore Beautiful Lakes & Rivers in Minnesota

Treat yourself to a swim or a boat ride at Crystal River. Like the name suggests, it has some of the cleanest and most beautiful water in the country. You’ll be let in on one of America’s best-kept secrets when you visit Lake Minnetonka.

With more world-class restaurants, regional parks, and aquatic activities than you can shake a stick at, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to find out about it. Before you leave, make sure you check out Paisley Park; the former home and recording studio of late pop music star Prince.  

Bask in the six inland lakes, four waterfalls, rock climbing, 22 miles of hiking trails, and 12 miles of ski trails that make up Lake Superior; the largest freshwater lake in the world. Otter Tail Lake is a top destination for fishing, boating, and sailing. The fishermen out there have to make time for Milles Lacs Lake also.  

Crystal Lake

Located in Dakota County, Crystal Lake is set near Burnsville within the Twin Cities metropolitan area. With a surface area of 280 acres, Crystal Lake offers boating, beaches, trails, and more.

Visitors to Crystal Lake can access the area from one of three parks: Crystal Beach Park, Crystal Lake West Park, and Tyacke Park. Anglers can reel in bass, sunfish, and bluegill while families and picnic on the coastline from any Crystal Lake park.

Lake Minnetonka

Encompassing more than 14,500 acres of water, Lake Minnetonka features 125 miles of shoreline and an abundance of coves, bays, and islands just west of the Twin Cities area.

For centuries, Native American tribes lived in the area before it was found by two boys paddling up the Minnehaha Creek in 1822.

The name "Lake Minnetonka" stems from an American Indian meaning of "big waters," and is unsurprisingly one of the Minnesota's largest lakes.

The lake is known for its excellent outdoor reaction – including boating, fishing, swimming, hiking the shores, and much more.

Lake Superior

With a surface area of 31,700 acres, Lake Superior is the biggest of the five Great Lakes.

It is the world's largest freshwater lake, and the Great Lakes – Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario – are the largest group of their kind on Earth.

While more than 200 rivers feed into massive Lake Superior, it empties into Lake Huron and the Soo Locks, which allows boats access to the lower Great Lakes.

The lake's shoreline encompasses 2,726 miles, with Minnesota's portion reaching from Duluth to the Grand Portage National Monument – all along US Highway 61.

Mille Lacs Lake

Set just northeast of Saint Cloud in northern Minnesota, Mille Lacs Lake is the second largest lake in the state.

Encompassing over 132,000 acres in size, this inland lake is ideal for any avid angler, featuring muskie, walleye, largemouth bass, and more.

Since the lake completely freezes during the winter, ice fishing is a popular winter activity at Mille Lacs.

Too, boating, hiking, four-wheeling, and hunting are also popular activities for visitors of adjacent Mille Lacs Kathio State Park.

Otter Tail Lake

Located in the western region of Minnesota, Otter Tail Lake is a part of the larger chain of lakes formed by the 192-mile long Otter Tail River. The lake is roughly 21 square miles – featuring plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities for Ottertail County visitors.

Avid anglers won't want to miss casting out for a chance at walleye and Northern pike – both are considered plentiful. The lake can be found near the aptly named city of Ottertail – only a short drive from communities like Fergus Falls and Detroit Lakes.