Minnesota is known to be the "Land of 10,000 Lakes", however there are actually about 11,842 lakes in the state. In fact, cartographers have identified 28,176 different lakes, ponds and wetlands in the entire state, however 6,572 are so small they don't have recorded names. Minnesota also has 34,167 miles of rivers and streams.
Most of these lakes are located in Northern Minnesota which also features the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, a 1,090,000-acre wilderness area within the Superior National Forest. Boundary Waters Canoe Area is a popular destination for both canoeing and fishing and is one of the most visited wildernesses in the United States.
Minnesota's northeast is bordered by the Great Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes. Minnesota is also home to Lake Itasca, the source and beginning of the Mississippi River. Both lakes are naturally formed glacial lakes known for excellent free fishing for residents of the state. Out-of-state visitors will need a Minnesota fishing license.
Lake Superior and Lake Itasca are able to be fished year-round, including ice-fishing in the winter. Both lakes have species of yellow perch, walleye, black crappie, northern pike, bluegill, rock bass and largemouth bass. Lake Superior is also known for an excellent supply of coho and king salmon.
Minnesota lakes are also renowned for their walleye and trout fishing. Other popular types of sport fish to catch in several of the lakes in the state are muskie and pike. Some of the top Minnesota lakes to fish in are Lake of the Woods, Lake Millie Lacs, Leech Lake, Lake Vermilion, Lake Minnetonka, Cass Lake, and Detroit Lake.
There are several ways to get the most enjoyment out the thousand lakes to choose from in Minnesota. From camping in one of the many lakeside state parks to paddleboarding on a smooth glassy lake surface, there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained.
Two of the most popular lakeside recreations are relaxing and swimming at one of the many lake beaches Minnesota has to offer. One of the largest beaches is on Minnesota's largest lake, Lake Superior. Other well known lake beaches perfect for soaking up the sun or taking a refreshing dip are Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet, both which are located in the heart of Minneapolis.
Another popular way to appreciate the lakes Minnesota has to offer is by boating them. From speed boating, to canoeing, to kayaking, and sailing, there is a type of boat excursion to fit anyone's needs in this state! Some lakes, such as Lake Minnetonka and Albert Lea Lake, even offer steamboat cruises and paddlewheel cruise excursions.
With a state slogan of "Land of 10,000 Lakes", Minnesota is THE lake state! With over 11,000 lakes to choose from, there is more than enough waterfront lake property and recreation for every lake lubber in this state.