Best Islands of Minnesota To Visit in 2018
- SWATHI RAMASWAMY
- UPDATED May 31, 2018
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Minnesota is a famous state located in the Midwest of the United States of America. Also referred to as the “land of 10,000 lakes”, Minnesota literally has 11,843 lakes that are around 10 acres or larger in size. Unlike most of the other states in the United States sporting major urban locations, the leading urban culture in Minnesota has been centered around the “Twin Cities” of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Owing to a large number of lakes in & around Minnesota, this place is home to some of the most beautiful and pristine islands.
If you are looking forward to planning a trip to Minnesota anytime soon, then do head out to some of the best islands here. Have a glance at some of them:
Located in the Fort Snelling State Park, the Pike Island is a beautiful piece of land that offers a quiet getaway from hustle & bustle of the busy surrounding areas. The Pike Island in Minnesota is located at the convergence of famous Minnesota & the Mississippi rivers. Owing to its unique rivers and natural landscape, the Pike Island is known for offering some of the most breathtaking views and amazing hiking experiences near the city area. The hiking trail at the island offers a number of options for fun-filled activities and is accessible across the year. The Pike Island is known for its famous Pike Island Loop –a hiking trail that circles the lush island.
Located towards the corner of the Northwest Angle, the Oak Island in Minnesota is yet another natural beauty. The Oak Island is a spectacular stretch of around 3 miles resort island offering amazing views and fun-filled recreational activities. The island is home to several resorts, a small store, fishing spots, and a post office. The island is surrounded by water and immense wildlife that offers a serene experience to those who visit this piece of natural beauty. If you love nature, then Oak Island in Minnesota is the place for you to be in!
Myre-Big Island State Park
This large state park in Minnesota is known for the amazing bird-watching experiences, fishing, and camping activities. The Myre-Big Island State Park is also famous for offering intense paddling experiences. The Myre-Big Island State Park is the oasis of immense natural diversity & landscape in the Oak Savanna that is surrounded by several agricultural lands. Some of the unique features of this State Park include the beautiful combination of botanic, geologic, and human history that has been prevalent in the region for ages.
This is the last true island located in St. Paul. The island is now serving as a quaint park consisting of a bandshell along with several paths across the sprawling 2 acres of land. The Raspberry Island in Minnesota is also home to the exclusive Minnesota Boat Club building. Located on the Mississippi River, the Regional Park on the Raspberry Island offers stunning views of the St. Paul downtown. Recently, several renovations were brought about to this island including a trailing path, benches, restroom facilities, planting beds, and so more.
Located near Ely, the Bear Island is a resort island situated on a large lake. Owing to its beautiful location, the Bear Island is a famous vacation spot for the local as well as foreign tourists. This island is not only beautiful & mesmerizing, but also immensely large & spacious. You will come across several other smaller islands that are located on the massive Bear Island Lake. Some of the most famous activities here include fishing, boating, skiing, and others. The tourists can have fun skiing on the Bear Island Skiing Trail that crosses the Superior National Forest.
Located in the heart of the Minneapolis downtown, the Nicollet Island in Minnesota is yet another famous tourist destination. Here, you can spend a beautiful afternoon basking in the sun or play around on the small island. You could also consider spending a memorable night at the exclusive Nicollet Island Inn. The island is easily accessible from the nearby Hennepin Ave Bridge. Moreover, the island also offers greater access to the Mississippi River wherein you can spend several hours sitting by the stunning view. The famous island in Minnesota has been named after Joseph Nicollet –a famous cartographer who had mapped the Upper Mississippi during the 1830s.
Coney Island of the West
Though this island might not be very popular, yet it has been re-glorified through several restorations of the natural as well as the man-made landscape. Once you are at this place, you will definitely love the natural surrounding and the peaceful environment which this island has to offer. The Coney Island of the West in Minnesota has risen from the ruins to become a famous private resort wherein the tourists can come up and have some pleasant vacation experiences.
This is a private island located on the Bay Lake. The Bay Lake is situated on the Bay Lake Township in Crow Wing County, Minnesota. The Malkerson private island is a sprawling 52 acres piece of land in the lake having more than 3 miles of the beautiful shoreline. The island is privately owned by the local Malkerson Family and has been in use as a perfect summer time weekend getaway for almost 5 generations of the family. Owing to its natural beauty and family lineage, this private island has been featured in the Star Tribune & New York Times.
Little American Island
The small island is home to the famous Voyageurs National Park which is a popular tourist destination in the surroundings. The Little American Island in Minnesota has a rich history of being home to the only profitable gold mine of Minnesota that had operated during the Rainy Lake “Gold Rush” period from 1893 -98. Now, only the remnants of the few pieces of equipment and shafts could be seen along the interpretive trail across the island. The rangers from the Voyageurs National Park on the island offer a detailed tour of the complete island across the few remaining vestiges from the gold mining operation. The site has been placed on the list of the National Register of Historic Places during 1975.
Malone Island is a physical feature island located in the Mille Lacs County, Minnesota. Located towards the northwest of Pete Island, the Malone Island has an elevation level of 384 meters. The island is famous for the Mille Lacs National Wildlife Refuge which is a 0.57 acre small wildlife refuge located in central Minnesota. Created on 14th May, 1915, the main aim of the Mille Lacs National Wildlife Refuge is to preserve the breeding habitats of various rare bird species. The islands here are only one out of the four breeding colonies of the rare “Common Terns” –the threatened bird species of Minnesota. Some of the other native bird species that are offered protection in this national wildlife refuge include double-crested cormorants, herring gulls, ring-billed, and so more.
Also referred to as the “Susies” –the Susie Islands in Minnesota are a group of 13 small islands located off the coast towards the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. The outermost island of the given group is Lucille. Just like Susie & Francis Islands, the Lucille Island has also been named after the member of the respected Falconer family who had once lived on the Susie Island. Back in the 1900s, the main economy here was due to the mining of the copper ore. In the current time, the Grand Portage Band of the Chippewa Tribe along with the Nature Conservancy are working in a cooperative manner towards ensuring that the given area remains intact. Moreover, these organizations are also concerned with ensuring that the rare flora & fauns of the island are able to survive.
Grey Cloud Island Township
This is a separate township located in the Washington County, Minnesota. The township is located on the island grounds and has an overall area of around 3.9 square miles. With a relatively smaller population and peaceful life conditions, this island township attracts several tourists from all over.
Though Minnesota is over a thousand miles away from either coast, it is a famous seaboard state virtually, thanks to the massive Lake Superior that is connected to the main Atlantic through the St Lawrence Seaway. Millions of years ago, the glaciers that had been flattened gave way to thousands of lakes in the regions. Thus, several islands came up and as a result, Minnesota became a famous tourist destination in the world. If you are looking forward to experiencing the United States of America in a truly natural sense, you can visit some of the famous islands in Minnesota. Have a great time!