- Lake Byllesby, a reservoir on
the Cannon River, is located approximately 40 miles SE of the Twin Cities.
This lake is the hidden jewel of Minnesota. The sailing on Lake Byllesby is
different from any other lake in Minnesota. When the winds blow strong from
the West, Lake Byllesby becomes a magic carpet ride, with some of the smoothest,
gracefull rollers you'll ever experience. Byllesby only works from the west
so don't bother if it is any other direction. If you know the wind is going
to shift, go to Waconia or MilleLacs instead.
The secret to Byllesby are the
bluffs on the south side. The wind builds across the five miles of lake
and is funneled into the narrow East end. When I say narrow I mean narrow.
Not unlike the Hatchery in the Gorge, the width of the lake is around 1/2
mile. Well worth ever inch..
The sweet spot on Lake
Byllesby is about 200 yards upwind of the park launch on the northern side
of the lake. If you plan your jibes right, you can ride the face of the
rollers downwind for a few hundred feet of pure bliss.
Kiting: Byllesby is kitable on west winds though the launches
are very challenging. For the experienced kiter only. There is a launch
midway up the lake that could work for body drag launches or riding, though
at this point it is unexplored.
- The county park on the East end
of the lake provides one of the best rigging areas around. You can park and
rig on plush grass behind a perfect natural windbreak. There are new toilet
facilities and other standard park "things"... you know grills, swings and
such. There is also new black top throughout the park which in '98 will be
ideal for Inline skating.
There is also a launch on the North side of the lake. Westerlies are side
shore here, and you avoid having to work upwind as you do from the park launch.
Be carefull of the wind shadow on this launch.
- How to Get There
- There are a few ways of getting
to Lake Byllesby. From the Twin Cities you head south on 52 as you would for
Pepin. Just before you get to Cannon Falls there will be a sign for the lake.
As soon as you turn off 52, there will immediately be another sign and turn
for the lake. Follow the rest of the signs to the lake. If you're coming from
the West you can go through Northfield on Highway 19, through Stanton, at
which point 19 joins 56 going North. Highway 19 will turn east (to the right)
though you will want to stay on 56 ( straight). After 2 miles you'll cross
the Cannon River and come to a stop sign. Turn right and follow the road around
the lake and turn into the park at the sign.