The Most Popular Lake in Minnesota, Ranked

Choose the lake you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 22, 2024 06:43
Minnesota, often celebrated for its beautiful array of lakes, offers countless opportunities for water activities and scenic relaxation. However, with such an abundance of choices, it can be challenging for visitors and locals alike to decide which lake to visit next. Ranking the most popular lakes can provide valuable guidance by reflecting collective preferences and experiences. This website allows you to contribute to a community-driven effort to highlight the top lakes as voted by those who know them best. Your votes help ensure that the ranking remains current and reflective of real user experiences. By participating, you aid others in making informed decisions about where to enjoy their next outdoor adventure.

What Is the Most Popular Lake in Minnesota?

  1. 1

    Lake Minnetonka

    A large lake in the Twin Cities metro area, known for its boating, fishing, and scenic beauty.
    • Location: Hennepin and Carver counties, Minnesota
    • Size: Approximately 14,528 acres
  2. 2

    Lake Vermilion

    A picturesque lake in northeastern Minnesota, known for its clear waters, scenic wilderness, and excellent fishing.
    • Location: Northeastern Minnesota
    • Size: 40,557 acres
  3. 3

    Mille Lacs Lake

    A large central Minnesota lake known for its walleye fishing, surrounded by resorts and recreational opportunities.
    • Location: Central Minnesota
    • Size: 132,516 acres
  4. 4

    Lake of the Woods

    A vast freshwater lake sitting on the border of Minnesota, Ontario, and Manitoba, famous for fishing and boating.
    • Location: Northern Minnesota, Ontario, and Manitoba
    • Size: 1,679 square miles
  5. 5

    Leech Lake

    The third largest lake in Minnesota, known for its excellent fishing, particularly for walleye and muskie.
    • Location: North Central Minnesota
    • Size: 111,527 acres
  6. 6

    Lake Winnibigoshish

    Also known as Lake Winnie, this large lake is renowned for its walleye fishing and beautiful natural surroundings.
    • Location: North Central Minnesota
    • Size: 58,544 acres
  7. 7

    Lake Superior

    The largest of the Great Lakes and the world's largest freshwater lake by surface area, offering stunning views and numerous recreational activities.
    • Location: Borders Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ontario
    • Size: 31,700 square miles
  8. 8

    White Bear Lake

    A suburban lake near St. Paul known for its recreational opportunities, including sailing, fishing, and swimming.
    • Location: Ramsey and Washington counties, Minnesota
    • Size: 2,427 acres
  9. 9

    Rainy Lake

    A large lake on the border of Minnesota and Ontario, known for its pristine wilderness and excellent fishing.
    • Location: Northern Minnesota and Ontario
    • Size: 360 square miles
  10. 10

    Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

    A unique, glacially formed wilderness area with over a thousand lakes and streams, offering unparalleled canoeing adventures.
    • Location: Northern Minnesota
    • Size: Over 1 million acres

Missing your favorite lake?

Error: Failed to render graph
No discussion started, be the first!

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular lake in Minnesota. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or lake is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 157 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each lake once every 24 hours. The rank of each lake is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Popular Lake in Minnesota

Lake Minnetonka
Rank #1 for the most popular lake in Minnesota: Lake Minnetonka (Source)
Minnesota, known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," boasts many beautiful bodies of water. Among these, one stands out as the most popular. This lake draws visitors from near and far, offering a variety of activities and stunning views.

The lake's clear waters are perfect for swimming. Families flock to its sandy shores during the summer. Children build sandcastles while parents relax under the sun. Lifeguards ensure everyone's safety, adding to the lake's appeal.

Boating is another favorite pastime here. The lake's size allows for many types of watercraft. Sailboats glide gracefully, while motorboats zip across the surface. Kayakers and paddleboarders enjoy the quieter areas. Boat rentals make it easy for anyone to join in the fun.

Fishing enthusiasts find the lake a prime spot. Its waters teem with various fish species. Anglers cast their lines from boats or the shore. Many catch impressive fish, creating lasting memories. The lake hosts fishing tournaments, drawing competitors eager to test their skills.

Hiking trails surround the lake, providing scenic routes for walkers and joggers. These paths wind through forests and open areas, offering glimpses of wildlife. Birdwatchers often spot eagles, herons, and other birds. Benches along the trails invite visitors to rest and take in the views.

Picnic areas dot the lake's perimeter. Families and friends gather for meals in the open air. Grills and tables make it easy to enjoy a barbecue. Nearby playgrounds keep children entertained, making the lake a great spot for a day out.

In winter, the lake transforms into a snowy wonderland. Ice fishing shacks appear on the frozen surface. Skaters glide across the ice, and snowshoers explore the trails. The lake remains a hub of activity, even in the cold months.

Local businesses thrive thanks to the lake's popularity. Restaurants offer lakeside dining with fresh, local fare. Shops sell souvenirs, fishing gear, and boating supplies. Lodging options range from cozy cabins to luxurious resorts. Many visitors return year after year, drawn by the lake's charm.

Events and festivals add to the lake's appeal. Summer concerts bring music to the shore. Art fairs showcase local talent. Fireworks light up the sky on holidays, creating a festive atmosphere. These gatherings foster a sense of community among visitors and locals alike.

The lake's history adds to its allure. Indigenous peoples once lived along its shores, leaving behind artifacts and stories. Early settlers recognized the lake's beauty and potential. Over time, it became a beloved destination for recreation and relaxation.

Efforts to preserve the lake ensure its beauty remains for future generations. Conservation programs protect its waters and wildlife. Volunteers clean up litter and maintain trails. These actions reflect a shared commitment to the lake's health and longevity.

The lake's popularity is no surprise. Its natural beauty, variety of activities, and welcoming atmosphere make it a top destination. Whether for a day trip or a longer stay, visitors find much to enjoy. The lake stands as a testament to Minnesota's rich natural heritage.

Share this article