03 Oct Canoeing the Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis
Minnesota isn’t called the “Land of 10K Lakes” for nothing—in fact, there are actually more than 10,000 lakes throughout the state. Also, Minnesota has more shoreline than Florida, California and Hawaii combined! All of this means that growing up in Minnesota equates to spending the summer at the lake, or as much time there as possible. Even though our summer season is short, we know how to take advantage of the warm weather. This is definitely evident when heading to the lakes anywhere in the state, but especially the Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis. The first hint of summer draws people outside in hoards, and the lakes and nature throughout the city become alive with energy.
The Chain of Lakes span through Minneapolis and includes four of the largest lakes in the city: Lake Harriet, Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, and Cedar Lake. All of the lakes are connected by 13 miles of paved walking and biking paths along the shoreline, and all but Lake Harriet are connected with water throughways. Motorized boats aren’t allowed on the city lakes, but you can head out on watercraft with electric trolling motors or non-powered options such as canoes, kayaks, sailboats, and stand up paddleboards (SUP).
Both Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun offer rentals through Wheel Fun Rentals for activities such as canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, paddle boating, and biking. So, when our last camping trip of the year got rained out, we decided to head to the city lakes for some canoeing with our friends and camping buddies, Ryan and Kristen.
Micah and I typically head out on the water with kayaks, but since our friends own a canoe, we decided to give canoeing a try, as well. We weren’t used to stabilizing canoes, so right away, it was a bit of a challenge learning how to balance! Tipping into the cold water with our camera and phones was not high on our list of priorities, and thankfully, we got through the day dry.
We started out on the busy Lake Calhoun and paddled on through to Lake of the Isles to meet up with our friends. Making our way around the lakes, we paddled all the way to Cedar Lake and back again with plenty of scenic stops along the way. Again, we decided to head out in the morning hours, and were welcomed with peace and quiet.
When we were heading back to the docks two hours later, we met strings of others just getting out on the water—I was glad that we went out exploring in the morning when it was quieter!
The Minneapolis skyline is visible in the distance from many of the lakes—I always love seeing skylines and it’s fun when you can catch a glimpse when out exploring in nature. One of my favorite aspects of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area is the accessibility of nature and outdoor activities within the city and suburbs. Stay tuned for many more nature activities throughout the beautiful Twin Cities area!
Have you ever been canoeing? What is your favorite water activity?