Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes, and for good reason. Our beautiful state actually boasts over 11,000 lakes. And living in Maple Grove means you’re just a quick drive away from a local park with an amazing and fun-filled waterway. There are so many great places to choose from, which is why Crème de la Crème of Maple Grove compiled this list of seven of our favorite lakes and ponds in and around our hometown.
Fish Lake Regional Park
“Kids running into water at lake swimming beach” licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr by vastateparksstaff
At Fish Lake Regional Park, located in Maple Grove, your family can enjoy fishing off the shore or on your favorite watercraft (motorized boats included!). Take advantage of Minnesota’s bitter-cold winters with some ice fishing, too. Head out on a kayak, canoe, or standup paddleboard, or just go swimming in Fish Lake’s designated swimming area. Watch the kids splash around from a cozy spot on the beach. This awesome waterway also offers a beautiful backdrop for other activities, like taking your pooch to the off-leash dog park or hiking and biking the 3.3 miles of paved trails.
Baker Park Reserve
Baker Park Reserve in nearby Maple Plain is 2,700 acres of pure fun. Here you have access to Lake Independence, which is perfect for boating, fishing, and swimming. There’s a paved boat launch at Lake Independence, and there are two smaller lakes with boat access: Spurzem Lake with an unpaved launch and Half Moon Lake with a carry-in launch, perfect for kayaks, canoes, and paddleboats.
If you’re looking for good fishing spots, there’s a pier on the south end of Lake Independence’s beach or at Half Moon Lake. And in the winter, you can go ice fishing on all three lakes. Splash around in the water at one of the two swimming beaches at Lake Independence. But keep a close eye on the little ones near and in the water; there’s no lifeguard on duty.
There’s so much to love about Lake Minnetonka, which is about 30 minutes southwest of Maple Grove. At Lake Minnetonka Regional Park, you can use the public boat launch and get out onto the gorgeous, 14,000-acre lake. Take your motorized boat, kayak, or canoe. You can catch sunfish, crappie, muskie, pike, and walleye on your fishing trip, or just enjoy the view.
There’s also a swimming pond that reaches just 6 feet in depth and is full of filtered and chlorinated water from the lake. You can set up an umbrella, a blanket, and snacks for a beach day with the family. You can even bring your children here for swim lessons, too. In order to access the swimming pond, you need a daily or seasonal swim pass.
Lake Rebecca Park Reserve
Lake Rebecca is in nearby Rockford, Minnesota, and it’s well worth the visit. It has over 250 acres of water to explore. The park allows electric motorized boats, kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards onto the lake. But you can also take your non-motorized watercraft onto nearby Crow River, which has carry-in access.
If you want to go swimming, you can get in the water at the beach on the north shore of Lake Rebecca. This area provides amazing views of the whole lake and the surrounding park, perfect for a relaxing trip to the beach. Near the swimming beach and on the northwest side of the lake, you’ll find two fishing piers. Both are ideal locations for catching muskie, largemouth bass, walleye, and panfish.
Rum River South County Park
Over in nearby Anoka County, you’ll find Rum River South County Park. You can enjoy the babbling river with a hike or biking trip along the trails that hug the waterline. Or, you can pick a beautiful spot near the water or at one of the pavilions for a picnic. Get out on the water and explore by launching your canoe or kayak at the boat launch. You can even fish off your watercraft or from the shore. Try catching walleye, smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and Northern pike.
Bryant Lake Regional Park
Bryant Lake Regional Park is 170 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and grasslands on the eastern side of the 178-acre lake. The park is known for its 18-hole disc golf course and nature hiking. But the lake itself welcomes a variety of watercraft, including kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards, paddleboats, and rowboats. Enjoy your time on the water with some fishing, or cast your line from the pier near the boat launch. You can catch Northern pike, walleye, largemouth bass, muskie, and panfish.
There’s also a swimming beach for families who need a place to cool off during the hot summer months. You can bring your own food for a picnic or enjoy snacks from the concession stand on-site.
Hyland Lake Park Reserve
South of Maple Grove in Bloomington is Hyland Lake Park Reserve. This park is packed full of year-round fun, though it’s well-known for its winter activities, including skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and sledding. However, there’s plenty to love in the spring, summer, and fall months before the snow falls.
The 64-acre Hyland Lake is great for fishing. It’s only 12 feet deep at its deepest point, making it the perfect spot to catch fish species like black bullhead, bluegill, sunfish, largemouth bass, yellow perch, and walleye. You can cast your line from the fishing pier located near the visitor center, or you can fish right from your motorized boat. Head out onto the water in your kayak, canoe, rowboat, or paddleboat, or rent one at the park. And while the water at Hyland Lake is beautiful, there aren’t any designated swimming areas.
Since Minnesota is home to thousands of other lakes, there are many more waterways around Maple Grove and in other counties that are perfect spots for water-based family fun. Explore other areas of Minnesota to find wonderful day trip spots, long weekend getaway destinations, and your family’s most favorite waterway.
So there you have it, seven of the best waterways in and around Maple Grove, Minnesota. Did we miss any of your family’s favorite destinations for swimming, boating, kayaking, or fishing? If so, let us know and we’ll be sure to add yours to our list!