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Lake Nokomis

Lake Nokomis is one of several lakes in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is a popular destination for residents and visitors alike. Part of the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes, it is named after Nokomis, the grandmother of Hiawatha, a character in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “The Song of Hiawatha.” The lake and surrounding parkland offer a wide range of recreational activities and community events.

Recreational Activities

Lake Nokomis provides ample opportunities for outdoor enjoyment:

  • Beaches: The lake has two main beaches, popular for swimming, sunbathing, and beach games during the summer.
  • Boating: Canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding are common on the lake, with rentals available during warmer months.
  • Biking and Walking: A well-maintained path surrounds the lake, offering a great circuit for cyclists, joggers, and walkers.
  • Fishing: The lake is stocked with various species of fish, and there are designated fishing areas.
  • Winter Sports: When the lake freezes, it becomes a venue for ice skating, hockey, and cross-country skiing.

Wildlife and Natural Beauty

Lake Nokomis is home to diverse flora and fauna. It is a part of the Mississippi Flyway, making it a great spot for bird watching, especially during migration seasons. The lake’s surroundings are also dotted with native plants, enhancing its ecological diversity.

Community Events

The lake hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including the Minneapolis Aquatennial, triathlons, and the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships. The Lake Nokomis Community Center provides a space for gatherings and recreational programs.

Environmental and Conservation Efforts

Efforts are continuously made to maintain the health of Lake Nokomis and its ecosystems. This includes shoreline restoration, water quality monitoring, and invasive species management to ensure the lake remains a vibrant part of the community.

Access and Amenities

Lake Nokomis is easily accessible by public transportation, bike, or car, with parking available. The area includes picnic areas, playgrounds, sports fields, and concessions, making it well-equipped for a full day of activities.


Whether you’re seeking a peaceful nature retreat or an active day out, Lake Nokomis offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and recreational facilities. Its role in the community goes beyond just a body of water; it’s a gathering place, a sports venue, and a natural sanctuary, all within the urban landscape of Minneapolis.

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