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Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis

4.8
#5 of 11 in Nature in Minneapolis
Lake of the Isles is a lake in Minneapolis, Minnesota, connected to Cedar Lake and Lake Calhoun. In winter it is used for ice skating and hockey is the location of a New Year's Eve celebration featuring roasted marshmallows and hot chocolate. The lake has an area of 109acres, 2.86mi of shoreline with a little under three miles of paved walking and biking paths, and a maximum depth of 31ft.Lake of the Isles is known for its two wooded islands, its long north arm, and the surrounding stately houses of the Kenwood, Lowry Hill, and East Isles neighborhoods. The lake was named for small islands that used to exist in the lake, wetlands area, and was used from the earliest days of settlement of Minneapolis. At one time the lake contained four small islands, but two of them, near the south shore of the lake, were converted to parkland as the lake was developed and dredged to its current shape and size. The two remaining wooded islands, Mike's Island in the north and Raspberry Island, are protected wildlife refuges which contain virgin woods. Landing on either of the islands is prohibited, as marked by signs.The lake was created in its current form in the early 20th century by dredging a small lake, called Wita Tomna ("four islands lake") by the local Dakota people, and an adjacent marsh. The dredged materials—mostly peat and silt—were used to create about 36acre of parkland around the lake and the two islands in the middle of the lake. The settling of these materials and the pressure of urban development led to an unstable shoreline and reduced water quality. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is in engaged in a multiyear project to stabilize the shoreline, renovate the parkland, and construct twelve stone points of access to the lake.
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Lake of the Isles Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
304 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • The lakes and the mansions make for a beautiful walk, run or bike. The houses surrounding the lakes are breath-taking. There are a lot of great coffee shops and restaurants in the neighborhood as well...  more »
  • One of the things that makes Minneapolis special and unique was the planning that went into preserving the assessibility of the cities chain of lakes, one of which is Lake of the Isles. The perimiter ...  more »
  • This is a beautiful place to see when you are in the evening. The staff is very friendly and the location is great.
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  • I love Lake of the Isles! It's absolutely gorgeous! Go there, rent a canoe, kayak... I think they rent paddle boards too; I see them out there... Or just walk, jog or bike around it. I always have a lovely time there.
  • Got a canoe from the other lake you can paddle to all the other lakes very calm on a calm day
  • We participated in the Luminaria Loped by cross country skiing around Lake of the Isles with the trail marked with luminaries made of ice. It was a beautiful way to spend a winter evening.b
  • Picture perfect. A beautiful location to walk or bike ride in the summer and fall. The walk is easy enough for a beginner and has plenty of places too stop and rest along the way. They have a pages path and offer some canoe rentals.
  • As a wedding photographer, Lake of the Isles is my absolute favorite lake to photograph my clients at for engagement sessions. Less crowded than Bde Maka Ska and surrounded by beautiful trees and grasses. Easy, free street parking if you're driving. I could seriously shoot here all day!
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