10 Largest Lakes in Minnesota for Your Bucket List 2023!

There are more than 15,000 lakes and ponds across Minnesota, giving it a reputation as a haven for freshwater fishing. Most of these lakes are large enough to be included in lists of the ten largest lakes in the United States.

While practically impossible to select a favourite among Minnesota’s hundreds of lakes, it would be great to see some of the 10 largest lakes in Minnesota.

Top 10 Largest Lakes In Minnesota

Lake Superior, Largest of the Great Lakes

Lake Superior, the state’s largest lake by surface area and third largest by volume, is located in the central north. It’s home to a wide range of freshwater fish species, up to 80% of the whole fish species in the world..

Minnesota’s Lake Superior is a sight to behold, and it also happens to be a fantastic fishing spot. Many species of bass and bluegill are present in Minnesota’s lakes. Lake Superior has some huge walleye species: largemouth bass, brown bullhead, minnow, and largemouth rainbow trout.

Lake Superior, Largest of the Great Lakes
Lake Superior, Largest of the Great Lakes. Image: Pexels

Fall Lake, Superior National Forest

Many people visit the state of Oregon because of Fall Lake as a way to escape from the hustle and bustle of life and indulge in nature.

If you’re looking for a great vacation spot, go to Winona, Minnesota. A day trip to the lake and the waterfalls is a fantastic opportunity to explore this town’s many sights. 

The Lake of the Falls Visitor Center in New Ulm is a must-see if you’re in town for a short time. It’s the place to pick up maps so you can explore the lake properly.

Fall Lake, Superior National Forest
Fall Lake, Superior National Forest. Image: Pexels

Lake Nokomis, Sailing Lake in Minneapolis Park

One of the most picturesque lakes in all of Minnesota is Lake Nokomis in central Minnesota. If you’re looking to get away from the busyness of the city, that’s the spot to visit. 

There is a wide variety of things to do around this lake. Birdwatching is an engaging activity around the lake.

Location in a beautiful part of the state is the selling point of Lake Nokomis Lake. You won’t soon forget visiting this picturesque lake because of its stunning scenery.

Lake Nokomis
Lake Nokomis, Sailing Lake in Minneapolis Park. Image: Pexels

Willow River, Water Body Near State Park

Any visitors should take advantage of the splendor of Willow River. The river offers an incredible array of things to do and see. Winter brings snowshoeing, fall brings color tours, and spring brings fishing; but summer is the ideal time to explore Willow River. Taking a refreshing swim in the “pool” after a climb and experiencing the rush of standing beneath a waterfall are great ways to round up a great trip.

Even though it lacks the variety of attractions seen at U.S. water parks like El Paso Water Parks, this lake is excellent for swimming. This is also the best spot if you’re looking for peace on the ocean.

Willow River, Water Body Near State Park
Willow River, Water Body Near State Park. Image: Pexels

Louis River, Lake Superior Tributary

One of the state’s deepest lakes, the St. Louis River, is located near the state’s geographic center, where you can enjoy finishing. 

Go out on the sea for a cruise by renting a boat. Take a canoe journey if you’re in the mood for some extra excitement.

Louis River
Louis River, Lake Superior Tributary. Image: Pexels

Lake of the Woods, 6th-Largest Freshwater Lake

Lake of the Woods is a body of water in the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Manitoba, and the U.S. state of Minnesota. It’s easy to get to the region, whether you’re via a vehicle, aircraft, or train. Lakes, woodlands, and animals have made this region famous. 

That lake is not only wonderful for youngsters to swim in, but it also boasts a fantastic fishing spot. The region’s lakes, ponds, and rivers are teeming with fish. This is also a family-friendly destination that your children always feel excited about.

Lake of the Woods, 6th-Largest Freshwater Lake
Lake of the Woods, 6th-Largest Freshwater Lake. Image: Pexels

Minnesota, Home to Voyageurs National Park

Rainy Lake is close to International Falls and Rainer, two major gateway cities. Tourists and locals alike go to the lake every year. 

The local Native American culture is a great thing for visitors to explore. In addition to trout, walleye, and northern pike, the lake is home to a wide variety of other wildlife.

Minnesota, Home to Voyageurs National Park
Minnesota, Home to Voyageurs National Park. Image: Pexels

Lake Minnetonka, 10th Largest Lake in Minnesota

Lake Minnetonka, one of the largest lakes in Minnesota, can be found near the state’s center. It’s a great place to get away from the busy city life and go there to go fishing, sailing, or camping.

A boat tour around the lake is a must to get the most out of your trip. Several companies provide this service, and with little planning, you can see all the top attractions around the lake.

lake-minnetonka
Lake Minnetonka, 10th Largest Lake in Minnesota. Image: Pexels

Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota’s Second-Largest Lake

Lake Mille Lacs is the state’s second-largest lake. The name of the lake is derived from the French words mille, meaning thousand, and lacs, meaning lakes. Lake Mille Lacs is bordered by a pine tree forest, making it a perfect spot for boating and fishing.

Although walleye fishing in Mille Lacs Lake is incredibly productive, it also provides an opportunity for other types of prize fishing. Take to the ice in the dead of winter for a frenetic walleye bite, a few tullibees, and the chance for a big northern pike.

Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota's Second-Largest Lake
Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota’s Second-Largest Lake. Image: Pexels

Grand Marais Reservoir, Only Man-made Lake in Minnesota

The only man-made lake in Minnesota is Grand Marais Reservoir. It’s a terrific area to take the kids to because it’s in the southwestern section of the state. The reservoir is a sand-bottomed lake that spans 2,500 acres. The water’s clarity is unmatched, and the temperature is perfect for swimming. 

The natural contours around the reservoir make it possible for the water’s surface to remain flat and the water’s temperature to remain stable.

Since the early 1800s, the lake has been a tourist destination. At that time, recreation on the reservoir included fishing, boating, and even swimming. The lake’s wonderful beach is a popular spot for sunbathing and tubing. 

Grand Marais Reservoir, Only Man-made Lake in Minnesota
Grand Marais Reservoir, Only Man-made Lake in Minnesota. Image: Pexels

Largest Lakes in Minnesota: Closing Words

It doesn’t matter what part of Minnesota you’re in; you’ll find something interesting to look into. The largest lakes in Minnesota include some well-known tourist destinations. As a result of their impressive size and aesthetic appeal, they are frequently visited by tourists from all across the country. 

However, if you’re looking for somewhere else to travel, we make that simple, too! Please have a look around at our Travel section right now.

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