They are located in the windiest
region of the state
They are on high ground;
the continental divide passes just south of Rush Lake
They are on the edge of the
prairies; the surrounding terrain is wide open and flat
They are big lakes
- Otter Tail Lake and Rush Lake
are in Otter Tail County are in west central Minnesota, about 80 miles southeast
of Fargo. These factors contribute to make them great for windsurfing:
Otter Tail Lake has better access
for windsurfing. It has grassy public accesses near the town of Otter Tail
that cover all wind directions.
The the east end of Rush Lake of Rush Lake has a variety of sailling conditions.
The water is shallow which keeps the chop small and the shoreline is covered
with rushes allowing for smooth jibes behind the rush beds. On a northwest
wind, a tight section of steep ramps develop just west of the point extending
from the north shore where the deep part of the lake meets the shallow east
Otter Tail Lake: Public accesses
near the town of Otter Tail at the east end of the lake covers all wind directions.
From the intersection of MN
78 and Cty 1 in the town of Otter Tail:
to Get There
- East or south wind: go west
on Cty 1 for 2.5 miles. The public boat launch will be on your left; watch
carefully, it is easy to miss.
- West or north wind: go south
on MN 78 for 1.5 miles to a public boat launch, or continue an additional
1.5 miles to a wayside rest. The wayside rest has a better vantage point,
but rig at the far south end of the lawn where access to the lake is best.
Rush Lake: Rush Lake has three public accesses, two on the north shore
and one at the western end of the lake. However, the two on the west half
of the lake should be avoided as they offer no advantages over the better
Otter Tail Lake accesses. To enter the east
end of Rush Lake:
- If the wind does not have
a northerly component, the public
access on the north shore near the east end will put you into the
flat part of the lake. It is off Cty 14 four miles west of the Cty 14-Cty
67 intersection, about a half mile east of Oak Point Road. There is a
sign on Cty 14 indicating Rush Lake access. Weeds in the shallow water
east of the launch will bound reaches in that direction and can make this
access difficult in a southwesterly wind.
Lake Tent and Trailer Camp (218-385-3400) on the south shore is strategically
located where the shallow and deep parts of the lake meet. On a northwest
wind, a reach from their grassy beach will pass through the steepest ramps
and into the flat water of the shallow east end of the lake. The campground
is well marked by signs on Cty 54. They may charge a boat launching fee.
Rush Lake is south of Highway 10 between New York Mills (NYM) and Perham. Driving
time is about three hours from downtown St. Paul. The lake is bounded to the
north by Cty 14, to the south by Cty 54, to the east by Cty 67 and to the west
by MN 78.
From the Twin Cities, take I94
to Clearwater, exit north to Clear Lake and then turn west on Hwy 10 (there
are other routes to Hwy 10 but this one seems to be the fastest). At New
York Mills, exit south on Cty 67 and continue to either Cty
14 (aka St. Lawrence Road) or Cty 54, which pass north and south, respectively,
of the lake. Both Cty 14 and 54 end at MN 78 which passes by the lake's western
shore. Alternatively, you can exit Hwy 10 at MN 78 in Perham
and head south to the lake's western shore.
Otter Tail Lake is a few miles
southwest of Rush Lake. From Rush Lake, head west to Hwy 78 and then south
to the town of Otter
Tail which is east shore of Otter Tail Lake. Local
The Glacial Lakes Brewery is on Main Street in downtown
NYM, just north of Cty 84 (Centennial Drive). They brew hearty beers which
are sold at the NYM liquor store located next to the fire station and town hall
on N. Walker Avenue, also just north of Cty 84.
The Great American
Contact Dennis Cornhill, firstname.lastname@example.org
, for more information about sailing in these lakes.