3 Ways To Enjoy The Lakes & Rivers Near Minneapolis
Minneapolis offers a ton of things to see and do, with a thriving music scene, America’s largest mall, an amusement park, aquarium, museums, and opportunities to get out on the water. Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes – there are more than 22 lakes in Minneapolis alone, and the Mississippi River runs right through downtown.
Whether you’re planning a visit or you’ve just purchased one of the Minneapolis houses for sale, if you want to get outdoors and soak up the beauty of nature in this city, enjoying the lakes and rivers is a great way to do it.
Paddle a Canoe or Kayak Around Lake Calhoun
The Chain of Lakes is just a few minutes from downtown, made up of five scenic lakes, including Lake Calhoun, the largest in Minneapolis, which joins Lake of the Isles through a long channel and connects Cedar Lake too. One of the best ways to enjoy it is to paddle around in a canoe or kayak.
If you don’t have your own, you can rent one from Wheel Fun Rentals, which is located right in the city park that surrounds it, Bde Maka Ska Park. You can paddle right through the canal to explore the other two lakes, gliding under an old railroad bridge and perhaps heading to one of the beaches along Cedar Lake for a picnic lunch.
Explore the Mississippi River by Water Taxi
The Minneapolis Water Taxi offers an hour-long experience for up to six passengers on the Mississippi River above St. Anthony Falls. You can cruise downstream to the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam for a panoramic view of the surrounding mill district and the falls, the only true waterfall on the entire 2,350-mile length of the Mississippi.
There’s a visitor center with exhibits that will tell you all about the falls and its place in the state’s history, which began right here where river transportation, roads, and water power came together. In the mid-19th-century, industrialists harnessed the energy produced by the 50-foot drop, which played a big part in the development of the industrial heart of the upper midwest.
Another option is to head upstream to the Lowry Avenue Bridge to see the Blue Heron Rookery, where you can watch for great blue herons along with the occasional resident peregrine falcons that fly over. Keep an eye out for migrating ducks like goldeneye and buffleheads too. On your return, you’ll get a fabulous, seldom seen view of the city.
Go Fishing at Lake Johanna
Head to Tony Schmidt Regional Park, located less than 10 miles northeast of Minneapolis in Arden Hills, and you can test your luck at one of the locals’ best fishing spots, Lake Johanna. Bluegills are abundant, but the northern pike are famous for their size. You might land large-mouth bass, walleye, crappy, yellow perch, or tiger muskie too.
The park also offers playgrounds, a beach with a lifeguard for swimming, and a space for picnicking.