Lake Calhoun is part of Minneapolis's Chain of Lakes in the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway. It's one of the prettiest of the Chain, surrounded by parkland, and has a beautiful view of downtown Minneapolis. The lake is 422 acres, so has plenty of room for outdoor activities.
Activities at Lake Calhoun vary with the seasons, with a variety of activities during the summer and winter. Here's what sports and recreation are available in the summer at the lake.
Canoeing and Kayaking
Wind Surfing and Sailing
Walking, Jogging, Biking and Skating
As the name "Chain of Lakes" suggests, Lake Calhoun is connected by canal to the Lake of the Isles on the northeast, Cedar Lake on the northwest, and Lake Harriet on the south. It's possible to canoe or kayak from lake to lake. Watercraft can be rented at the lake.
Lake Calhoun is home to the Calhoun Yacht Club and the Lake Calhoun Sailing School who organize racing and offer lessons on the lake.
Lake Calhoun is considered the windsurfing lake in Minneapolis. Equipment can't be rented at the lake, but nearby store Scuba Center rents windsurfing equipment.
There are three sand beaches with good swimming at the lake. Calhoun North Beach is on the north side of the lake, Calhoun 32nd Beach is on the east side and Calhoun Thomas Beach is on the south side. All three are very crowded and form a local Muscle Beach on summer weekends. Parking is next to impossible on sunny weekends, although the beaches are much less crowded during the week.
A 3.2 mile paved bike and skating trail circles the lake, and there is a 3.1 mile jogging and walking trail for pedestrians.
There are two fishing docks at the lake to enable casting into the deeper waters. Both docks have wheelchair access. Fish in the lake include Bluegill, Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Yellow Perch, Carp, and Bullhead.
The fun at Lake Calhoun doesn't stop once it has frozen over. Here's some popular winter activities at the lake.
As soon as the ice is thick enough, portable ice houses spring up along the shores of Lake Calhoun. The west and north shores are most popular for catching fish like walleye, and small perch. Fishermen go out in the afternoon and evening, but beware local evening parking restrictions which may necessitate moving your car if you are out late at night.
What do the windsurfers do when the lake freezes? They go snowkiting, of course. Snowkiting is kitesurfing on a frozen lake. The Scuba Center rents snowkitng equipment and has referrals for snowkite lessons.