One of the defining features of the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is its stunning chain of lakes. Among these, the largest is Lake Calhoun, an urban oasis that attracts locals and tourists alike. Lake Calhoun is located in the southwest part of the city, just three miles west of downtown Minneapolis. It is situated within the boundaries of the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Regional Park, which offers a plethora of recreational activities such as fishing, swimming, sailing, and biking.
Originally named “Mde Maka Ska,” meaning “White Earth Lake” in the Dakota language, Lake Calhoun was renamed after John C. Calhoun, a proponent of slavery and a controversial figure in American history. In 2017, however, the lake was officially renamed back to its original Dakota name, Mde Maka Ska, following a petition by local residents.
The lake spans an impressive 401 acres, making it the largest body of water within the city limits of Minneapolis.
Here are some noteworthy facts about Lake Calhoun:
- It has a maximum depth of 87 feet.
- The lake is a popular spot for boating, with a public boat launch and numerous rental options available.
- There are three beaches located on the lake – Thomas Beach, Cedar Lake East Beach, and Calhoun North Beach.
- The Midtown Greenway, a popular biking and walking trail, passes by the lake.
- Lake Calhoun is surrounded by beautiful residential homes, making it a desirable place to live.
- There are picnic areas and a playground located near the lake, providing ample space for families to enjoy outdoor activities.
Whether you are looking to relax on the sandy beaches, explore the lake by boat, or simply take a leisurely stroll along its scenic shoreline, Lake Calhoun offers something for everyone. Its size, location, and rich history make it a beloved destination for locals and visitors seeking natural beauty in the heart of Minneapolis.
Must-Do Activities at the Biggest Lake in Minneapolis MN
Minneapolis, Minnesota is known for its beautiful lakes, and the biggest one is none other than Lake Calhoun. This urban oasis offers a wide range of activities for both locals and tourists to enjoy throughout the year. From water activities to leisurely strolls along the shore, Lake Calhoun has something for everyone.
One of the most popular activities at Lake Calhoun is kayaking. Renting a kayak and exploring the lake at your own pace is a great way to enjoy the stunning views and tranquility of the water. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced kayaker, Lake Calhoun offers a great paddling experience.
If you prefer a more relaxing activity, taking a leisurely bike ride along the scenic trails surrounding the lake is a great option. The trails are well-maintained and offer beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding nature. Renting a bike from one of the many rental shops in the area is easy and convenient.
For those who enjoy fishing, Lake Calhoun provides ample opportunities to cast a line. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including bass, pike, and walleye. Whether you’re fishing from shore or from a boat, you’re bound to have a great time reeling in some big catches.
For those who prefer to stay on land, Lake Calhoun offers several picnic areas where you can enjoy a meal with family and friends. The grassy areas are spacious and offer plenty of shade, making it a great spot for a summer picnic or a BBQ gathering.
The Best Waterparks in Minneapolis MN
Directions to the Biggest Lake in Minneapolis MN
To get to the biggest lake in Minneapolis, follow these directions:
- Start by heading towards downtown Minneapolis.
- From downtown, take Hennepin Avenue and go south.
- Continue on Hennepin Avenue until you reach Lake Street.
- Take a left onto Lake Street and continue driving until you reach the lake.
Once you arrive at the biggest lake in Minneapolis, here are some additional tips for your visit:
- Bring your walking shoes – the lake is surrounded by beautiful walking and biking trails, so take advantage of the scenic views and get some exercise.
- Pack a picnic – there are plenty of picnic areas near the lake, so bring some snacks or a lunch to enjoy in the great outdoors.
- Rent a kayak or paddleboard – if you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the lake from a different perspective.
- Visit during the summer – the lake is most popular during the summer months when you can swim, sunbathe, and enjoy various water activities.
- Check for events – the lake often hosts events such as concerts, festivals, and art shows, so make sure to check the local events calendar to see if there’s anything happening during your visit.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the biggest lake in Minneapolis offers a beautiful and relaxing escape from city life. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning views!
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