Lake of the Isles

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Lake of the Isles
Lake of the Isles 4.JPG
One of the islands is in the center, while the other island is just visible on the right side (spring 2006)
Location Minneapolis, Minnesota
Coordinates 44°57′17″N 93°18′27″W / 44.95472°N 93.30750°W / 44.95472; -93.30750Coordinates: 44°57′17″N 93°18′27″W / 44.95472°N 93.30750°W / 44.95472; -93.30750
Basin countries United States
Surface area 109 acres (44 ha)
Max. depth 31 feet (9 m)
Islands 2 (Mike's Island, Raspberry Island)

Lake of the Isles is a lake in Minneapolis, Minnesota connected to Cedar Lake and Lake Calhoun. It is home to winter ice skating and hockey, as well as a New Year's Eve celebration featuring roasted marshmallows and hot chocolate. The lake has an area of 109 acres (0.4 km2), 2.86 miles (4.6 km) of shoreline with a little under 3 miles of paved walking & biking paths, and a maximum depth of 31 feet (9 m).

Some of the stately homes around Lake of the Isles.
The lake seen from the south, with birdlife sanctuary islands barely visible in both left and right frames.

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 the settlement of Minneapolis. For at one time the lake contained four small islands, but two of the islands near the south shore of the lake were converted to park land as the lake was developed and dredged to resemble it current shape and size. The two remaining wooded islands are protected wildlife refuges which contain virgin woods and exploring or landing on either of the islands is prohibited and marked by signs.

The lake was created in its current form in the early 20th century by dredging a small lake (called Wita Tomna meaning "Four Islands Lake" by the local Dakota people)[1] and marsh complex. The dredged materials—mostly peat and silt—were used to create about 36 acres (150,000 m2) of park land around the lake and the two islands in the middle of the lake. Unfortunately, the settling of these materials and the pressure of urban development has led to an unstable shoreline and reduced water quality. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is in the middle of a multi-year project to stabilize the shoreline, renovate the parkland, and put in twelve stone lake access points.


The lake contains black bullhead, black crappie, bluegill, bowfin, common carp, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, northern pike, pumpkinseed, tiger muskellunge, walleye, yellow bullhead, and yellow perch.[2] Some fish consumption guideline restrictions have been placed on the lake's bluegill, carp, crappie, largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye, white sucker, and yellow perch due to mercury and/or PFOS contamination.[2]


  1. ^ Cairn, Rich and Susan (2003). "History of Minnehaha Creek Watershed" (PDF). p. 19. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  2. ^ a b "Lake information report: Minnesota DNR". MN DNR. MN DNR. 2005-07-18.