Lakes

Description

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.

Sites

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.

Calhoun Summer Kiting

Restrictions in Place.
The Minnesota Kiting Community has banned kiteboarding on Calhoun during the summer months. Lake is too small, small room for error, wind is unstable, unsafe. Winter launches better near middle on ice.

Description
Calhoun is definately the local “scene”. While the wind conditions at times may not be perfect, Calhoun offers many features not found at other lakes. The social shore talk, the lycra clad scenery, and its convenience make Calhoun the lake of choice for many when work permits only a few hours on the water. Milfoil is a problem from mid June till September, though the city does do their best to keep it under control.

Kiting: Calhoun is off limits to all kiters in the summer months. The dangers are too great, to the rider in gusty winds and the bystanders along the lake shore. One accident could pose access issues elsewhere. Winter kiting on Calhoun is great for all levels of kiters. Almost any direction works. Walk out and launch away from shore in the middle of the lake ( not the windward side). It’s great for a lunch hour ride. The winds are much less gusty in the winter, due to the lack of thermals coming from the city. Respect others out enjoying the lake.

 
Sites

  • Main launches (large arrows): These sites all have beach access, parking, grassy rigging, and portapotty access. Beware of the “washboard” waves created by the walls near the sailboats and near the intersection of 36th Street and the lake.
  • Other Launches: You can launch almost anywhere around Calhoun, though be aware of dropoffs near drainage pipes.
Description
Cannon Lake, a reservoir on the Cannon River, is located approximately 45 miles due south of the Twin Cities. If winds at Waconia are generally a half meter stronger than those at Calhoun, winds at Cannon are generally a half meter stronger than those Waconia–especially southerlies. The land is relatively flat for miles on all sides of the lake, which also contributes to somewhat steadier winds than those found in the hillier regions to the north. While south winds are unquestionably Cannon’s preferred mode for high wind bump-and-jumping, the lake is always fun on other directions, as well. Even on big days, it is never crowded, and the small group of southern Minnesota regulars who congregate at Cannon are laid-back and friendly. Cannon Lake is a wonderful place to sail and escape the headaches of Twin Cities traffic, etc. Bring your bike or blades; the Sakatah Singing Hills Trail meanders along the east side of the lake then on some forty miles through forest and field to Mankato. If the wind’s not blowing, it’s a fine way to roll away a summer afternoon.

Kiting: Cannon is kitable on the same winds that work for windsurfing. For S-SW winds the best launch is on the east side mid way up the lake. There is a small pull off that is in a wind shadow from a point. A small opening in the trees lets you bring your gear through. Once in the water walk up to the point, and the shallows extend off the point to allow for drift launches. The wind will be side shore so you’re not in too much risk of getting blown in to shore. Not ideal but it works.
For N-NE winds the South park provides a much nicer rigging area, though it does get deep fairly soon off the shore. The south park can work as a upwind launch for a south wind body drag, though you most likely will need to put your kite in the water and drag out a bit before there is enough wind to launch.

Sites

  • The Cannon Lake Fishing Dock, on the north side of the lake, has space for a dozen vehicles, a small grassy rigging area, and convenient entry to the water. Good on west and southeast winds, best on south and southwest winds, the Fishing Dock is a great place to sail the southerly flow ahead of a low pressure system approaching from the plains. A typical day-before-a-low at the Fishing Dock finds most sailors on 6.0m2 sails in the late morning, then 5.0m2 or smaller cloth in the late afternoon and early evening. Big southerlies at the Fishing Dock churn up clean 2-4 foot half-pipe swells that make for major airtime on either starboard or port tacks. On marginal days, sailing upwind from the Fishing Dock can often mean the difference between planing and complaining. About a half mile upwind Cannon Lake narrows between two points; a venturi effect accelerates the wind here for steady shore-to-shore reaches. This site does not have any facilities, so if in question make a pit stop at the DQ before your session.
    Note: this park is limited to the gravel parking area. The county very generously allows us to rig between the road and the lot. Please be careful around traffic on the road. One complaint and we could see access limitations from this park. The areas adjacent to the park are also private land. Please respect these areas.
  • At the south end of the lake, the County Park provides even easier and more comfortable access to Cannon’s pleasures. Best on winds from the west to northeast, the park enables sailors to park at water’s edge, rig next to their vehicles on a large, well-maintained lawn, then take two small steps into the water. Additional amenities include toilets, sun shelters, grills and a sandy beach area for swimming.
How to Get There
Take I-35 to the Faribault/Co. Rd. 60 exit, then head one mile west on Co. Rd. 60 to the lake. The Cannon exit is marked most prominently by a newer Dairy Queen franchise–a perfect place to rendezvous for a post-session cone (summer) or cup of coffee (spring and fall).

Information on this page generously provided by a familiar face at Cannon, Dr. Bill Sonnega. Thanks, Bill

Weather the best up to the minute weather comes from the seaplane airport station near the sailing sites. The number for the automated service is 218.720-4886.

Description The biggest water within a days trip, Duluth offers all the wonders of real windsurfing, massive shorebreak, head-on ramps, and rolling gigantic swells. Superior stays cold through summer so bring a drysuit. The bay offers great sailing as well.

How to Get There About 2 1/2 to 3 hours from Minneapolis, straight up 35W. Take I 35 to the canal park exit and go across the lift bridge (there is only two lift bridges like this in the world, kinda cool). Several blocks after the lift bridge the road makes a S curve, and there is a little park/beach access on the lakeside. This is good when the wind is out of the northeast, big rollers can come in. If the wind is out of any other direction, continue down this road to Park point, a park at the very end of the road (but before the seaplane airport, there is a restricted area on the water there for the planes). After you enter the park, bear off to the bayside on the right and there is a nice grassy area for rigging. You can also launch on the lakeside here, but entails a walk over the sand dunes. Bayside works well for almost any wind direction, but winds out of the west are a bit iffy. You can also go to BarkerÍs island on the Superior WI side of there are strong northeast winds and you donÍt want to break you equipment/back on the big lake.

Thanks to Chris Delp for the site info.

DescriptionGreen is the cleanest lake in the state and one of the cleanest in the country. It’s so clean they transport the ice for the Ice Castle in St. Paul in from Green each winter. Close to two hours from the Twin Cities, this big blue lake is well worth the drive. On big days the breaking swell is awesome, on slalom days the beauty of the water is breathtaking. Well into the flat western half of the state, the winds on Green can be higher and less gusty than the eastern lakes. If you don’t want to risk Mille Lacs on South wind, Green is a really good second option for big bump and jump.

 

Sites

  • Northwest Public Access: One of the best sites for south and southeast winds, this site does not have much to offer. It is basically a driveway to the water. If you care about your equipment, rig it in the grassy culvert along the road. Don’t forget to look back and find a landmark on your first ride out. The site can be hard to find from the water.
  • The county park and beach on the northeast corner of the lake has great facilities, beach access, and works well on south and awesome on southwest winds.
  • The other sites indicated are either public boat launches/parks or beaches. No other information is known at this time.

How to Get ThereFrom Minneapolis there are several routes. You can head up 94 and head down on 23 at St. Cloud, you can follow 55 out to 23, or you can take 12 out, and head north on 4 after Atwater. I would only recommend the last option if you were considering Lake Washington as well because you pass right by it on your way out. Otherwise 12 has far too many small towns and farmers “enjoying the ride” to the field. The other two options take about equal time depending upon your vehicle

Description
Some of the best slalom sailing in Minnesota can be found on this lake. A sandy bottom and shallow water make this an ideal lake for beginners and intermediates working on waterstarts. More advanced sailors will enjoy the flat water for intense speed runs and on a west wind the sand bar kicks up a big line of ramps that makes for great B&J. The flat prairie that surrounds the lake ensures a steady flow of air.
Kiting Washington
Lake Washington is great spot for kiting. The eastern third of the lake is quite shallow, though it does get deep near shore on the far east side. On west winds the NE launch provides great sideshore conditions. Second only to Malmo on Mille Lacs for ideal learning conditions. (Depending upon wind direction).

 

Sites

  • For south to west wind go to the Dassel Sportman’s Club on the NE side of the lake. This is by far the best launch in the state. There is a large lush green lawn, easy water access, picnic tables for watching and large shady trees. You park on the lawn and rig next to your vehicle. There is also a satellite toilet and boat launch. It is a private launch maintaned by Dassel Rod and Gun Club and has a $20.00 annual fee (purchased in Dassel) This is now strickly enforced. You need to have a sticker in your windshield. The club welcomes us if we register and respect their property. Let’s do our best to honor their wishes.
  • South DNR Boat Launch: Best for WNW to NE winds, the site has a small grassy rigging area, satellite toilets, and a large parking lot similar to Waconia. Difficult launch through channel in cattails and weeds make this site less than ideal for North winds, but still sailable.
How to Get There
West on 12 through Dassel. To get to the sportsman club take 708 Ave. south to the first road to the right. It may seem like you’re going through a farmyard, but follow the road down to the lake and park on the lawn to the left. Follow the map to the south site.

Thanks to “the armchair speedster” Ian McTavish for supplying info for this page. Ian has been known to lure innocent victims to this lake and eat them for lunch as he screams past them on his Tiga, wickedly chuckling to himself.

Description
The “Gorge of the Midwest” Lake Pepin is one of our state’s finest. When the winds line up with the river and flow in the opposite direction, Lake Pepin lives up to it’s nickname. The venturi effect of the bluffs magnify the wind and the size of the swell increases with the flow of the current. The 1 3/4 hour drive from Minneapolis is beautiful and well worth it if the winds cooperate. Best directions are SE, SSE and E. If the wind could shift south don’t risk it because south winds are extremely gusty and full of downdrafts from the bluffs. West and Northwest winds can be sailed from the town of Pepin on the Wisconsin side. Because of the venturi effect slalom sails are usually a meter smaller than in the cities if the direction is right. Pepin is sailable before most of the lakes thaw, but look out for floating debris in early spring.

Kiting: Most launches are pretty difficult. Any problems and you could end up way down river. Fly with caution.

 

Sites

  • Roadside Park: Coming from the north the first sight of the lake is near a road side park. This launch works better if the wind has more of a southerly component. The facilities are brand new and the park is well maintained.
  • The point in Lake City: Pepin at its best. At the end of the point that juts out from the marina is a small parking lot 15 feet above the water. On the outside the swells can be awesome, on the inside the glassy water on the leaward side of the point make for smooth drawnout jibes. There are no facilities on the point but the town is only a few blocks away. Upwind of the point and the marina the swells grow another notch and make for big airtime. Works with S, E and NW winds
  • The Marina in the Town of Pepin, WI. Cross the river at Red Wing and work your way down the east side of the lake. There is a nice rigging area and launch. Works with W and NW winds.
How to Get There
Lake City-Take 52 south of the cities to 61. Take 61 east through the Red Wing to Lake City. If going to the east side cross the river at Red Wing and at the first main intersection head south.
Description
Mille Lacs is by far the best sailing in the state of Minnesota. The water is clean, the lake is huge, there are sandy shallows around the majority of the lake. When it “goes off” it compares to the Holy Land (da Gorge). Mille Lacs can be sailed from almost all directions though can be a crap shoot whether or not a southerly will make it that far north. Any wind with a northerly component usually means sheer bliss; rolling glassy swells, steep ramps, and steady winds. Even a slalom day Mille Lacs is incredible, the wavelength of the swell aligns perfectly with the rocker in most slalom boards. No more banging into chop. Of course, these conditions can also give way to cloud-high floaters– yes even on slalom boards. Mille Lacs is like the Gorge in that, depending upon the location, the wind and the waves can change significantly. If you don’t like what you see when you arrive at your first launch, you may want to check out others that would work for the same wind direction. Close to 2 hours away but well worth it. If it’s uncertain, bring your bike and enjoy the back roads surrounding the lake or hike around Father Hennepin State Park.

Kiting: The steady winds and sandy bottom on Mille lacs make it an idea kite lake. The numerous launches allow you to ride almost any direction. Malmo and Reddy Creek are the best in the state for learning kiting. The shallow sandy bottom extends for 100s of yards out into the lake, perfect for body drags, down winders, etc. Choose the one with best side shore conditions and ride till sun hits the water. The waves at Reddy on a South wind are great for boosting and riding. Father Hennepin’s launch is a bit more difficult but provides the experienced kiter with incredible swell on a NW wind. Eric S. and Jerry discovered Rum Creek this year on the SW side of the lake. A few miles south of the Casino on 169 this spot offers sandy shallows a ways out and nice swells near the river outlet. If you are coming up from the south it is just before the river. This site works for any winds with East in them. Parking is a bit iffy.

Sites

  • Garrison: the road runs real close the lake just south of Garrison. You can launch there or follow the the bend past Garrison. A small road takes you to a free camping area and miles of shallow sandy beach. The swell pitches nicely when it blows. Southeast, South and East work.
  • Reddy Creek: Located about 5 miles west of Malmo on the North side, this spot has become a favorite on southerlies. Many times the wind is stronger here, more than Malmo or sites to the west. There is a small paved lot just off the road and then a sandy road that reaches back quite a ways along the shore. The sandy shallows extend 100 yds out. Head down the sandy road for a short distance and you are away from the road and in an ideal place to sail or just hang out. Works on Southwest, South, Southeast.
  • The little town of Malmo on the northeast corner works well for south and southwest winds. Malmo Memorial Park, just south of town provides a huge grassy rigging area out of the wind, shade and easy water access. The shallows extend out a considerable distance.
  • Hunter’s Point on the east side is close to heaven. The sandbar that runs from point to point makes for easy slalom launches and awesome shorebreak on big days. Sailable from SW to North, wind with a western component is preferred. A sign on 47 indicates the turn off. Just follow the road right to the water. Hunter’s Point is a resort and respect of their land and patronage of their bar/grill will ensure that we can continue to sail from this great spot.
  • Father Hennepin State Park is unique to Mille Lacs for a few reasons. One, it provides a great place to spend the day for those non sailors that may be with you. Secondly the water that flows into the bay in the lower SE corner of Mille Lacs is some of the deepest on the lake. Hence, the swell that rolls into that bay is large, glassy, and the best this side of Hawaii. The section is only about 300 yards wide but can easily become the best play ground for an entire day. Of course, there is the other usual great Mille Lacs sailing from this site as well though once you sail in “the zone” you may never leave. There is a small pile of rocks just under the surface to the right of the lauch about 300 yards and out about 100 feet. The rocks break the eveness of the swells so they are hard to miss. To find the launch once inside the park just keep turning right. There is a small parking lot with some stairs down to a beach. If you want the zone, the wind has to be directly from the NW. UPDATED 8.2.13 – EXPERT LAUNCH/LAND swimmers beach.
  • Isaty’s Resort: Wind with any northerly component works well from Isaty’s. Straight westerlies work, though the big swell is out there a bit. There are some obstacles in the water though they have buoys out. As with Hunter’s respect and patronage is encouraged.
How to Get There
There are two main routes and it depends on which side of the lake you may end up on and where you are when you start. The more western route is to take 94 west to 101 near Elk River, north to 169 . Take 169 all the way north to the southern end of the lake. Continue on 169 to Garrison then 18 across the Northern side or follow 27 around the south side of the lake to the others. The eastern route to the lake zooms up 35 to 18 just past Sandstone. Highway 18 West takes you to the east side of the lake.
Camping
There are two main routes and it depends on which side of the lake you may end up on and where you are when you start. The more western route is to take 94 west to 101 near Elk River, north to 169 . Take 169 all the way north to the southern end of the lake. Continue on 169 to Garrison then 18 across the Northern side or follow 27 around the south side of the lake to the others. The eastern route to the lake zooms up 35 to 18 just past Sandstone. Highway 18 West takes you to the east side of the lake.
Description
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:
  • 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 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 end.

 

Sites

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:

      • 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.
    •  Rush 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.

 

How to Get There


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 Brew


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.
 Local Newspaper Motels
The Great American Think-Off

Contact Dennis Cornhill, cornhill@acm.org , for more information about sailing in these lakes.

DescriptionSituated on the south side of Worthington, Okabena is a very charming lake. Excel Energy constructed a series of huge wind generators not far from here, because it blows…a lot!
Each summer the shores of Okabena become the home of the Worthington Windsurf Regatta and Unvarnished Music Festival. Musicians and windsurfers flock to this lazy little town for a weekend of fun. The lake ignites with color as windsurfers and kiters enjoy the clean wind and smooth water. The local community puts on quite an event that leaves everyone smiling.

 

SitesLakefront Park Located on the NE side of Lake Okabena, it is closest to the town, has a low profile to the water level and a nice staging area next to the lake. This is the official Windsurfing beach for the Regatta. Centennial Park Located on the north side of the lake, it has a low profile to the water level, ample parking, a bathroom, shelterhouse, playground, volleyball court and open area for frisbee etc. Vogt Park Located on the west side of the lake, it is very small, it has a medium high profile to the water level, and very little parking.

 

How to Get ThereFrom Minneapolis there are two alternative routes. 1) Highway 35 to Albert Lea, West on 90 to Worthington or 2) Highway 169 to Mankato and then Highway 60 to Worthington For further information, check out the Worthington Chamber of Commerce site

DescriptionSituated about 35 minutes from downtown Minneapolis, Waconia is a great lake to escape to for the day, an afternoon or an evening session. The lake is surrounded by picturesque farmland. On the south side the little town of Waconia is nestled onto the hillside. Lake Waconia offers the entire spectrum of sailing from lightwind slalom to great bump and jump. Typically sails are.5m to 1m smaller than in the cities.

Kiting: Waconia is one of the best local kiting lakes with the exception of Mille Lacs. The launch is very user friendly with shallows at least 150ft out. There aren’t many docs to contend with. You can walk the perimeter if you need to walk back from a down winder. There is usually other kiters there to assist. And it is quite beautiful. Windsurfers and kiters share the NE launch. This lauch works great from most directions cept E and NE. If you are not that experienced look for SSE, S, SSW or NNW days for body drags. The west winds are directly onshore and can be dangerous if you can’t immediately shoot upwind. The south beach is another option for body drags on South winds. The wind would be offshore though would give you a longer run. This launch may also work well on a NE wind. The beach is fairly crowded on hot days so we may want to ride this site only in the offseason or cooler days.

 

Sites

  • Boat Launch: the main site at Waconia. The sandbar that runs along the east side of Waconia makes for easy learning on light wind days and great ramps on the bump and jump westerlies. When a big Northwester comes in, the line to the island is as exciting as it gets. The parking lot can fill up on a big day, so come early. We’ve struck a deal with the DNR to park only on the North side of the lot unless you have a trailer. This ensures that the boaters can park with their trailers on the south side. Please respect this.
  • The south beach is an alternative for north winds and the only site for north east winds. The facilities and rigging area are better than the boat launch and it includes a nice beach. The downside is on hot days the beach is quite full. Respect the beach goers or we could loose access.

 

How to Get ThereFrom Minneapolis there are three alternative routes. 1) highway 7 to St Bonifacius south on 92/30. 2) Highway 5 to the park just east of the town of Waconia. Follow the short road to the lake. or 3) Highway 12 to 6 west of Long Lake. Follow 6 as it zigzags to 92. Follow 92 though St Boni. to the lake.(it becomes 30)

Description
Like Calhoun, White Bear provides good sailing at a convenient location. Just NE of the cities, the lake provides sailing on most directions and has quite a local sailing community. Milfoil does pose a problem at times, but they do their best to keep it under control.

Kiting:

Summer:
White Bear Lake offers great kiting for the more experienced kiter, though gets quite crowded in the summer especially on the weekends. While Ramsey has a great rigging area and some shallow water, it only gets clean wind on a SE which is directly onshore. The concrete retaining wall, metal signs, swimmers, and congestion makes RAMSEY IS AN EXPERT ONLY LAUNCH. Bellaire does get sideshore winds on a East or West wind, though the docks and congestion pose significant risks. Mahtomedi is just too small and full of beach goers to be a safe launch for any kiter in the summer. If you are less experienced, choose another lake to develop your skills like Lake Washington or Mille Lacs. These lakes offer much safer launches and large shallow areas. If WBL is convenient for you, once experienced you’ll be able to enjoy all this lake has to offer.
Winter:
White Bear is a great lake to ride in the winter. All the launches are available. Choose the launch that will provide the longest upwind fetch or the best sideshore winds.
Sites

  • Ramsey Beach: On the northshore, Ramsey Beach is one of the best rigging areas around. The park is well maintained and great place to spend the day with the family. Work your way up wind on a South wind and you’ll be rewarded by a stronger flow through the channel.
  • Mahtomedi…Eastern side. Just west of the town of Mahtomedi, this small park is only open to sailors in the spring and fall.
  • Bellaire…Southside. This site can be sailed from many wind directions. Work your way up wind on a north wind and the funnel from the two peninsulas turbo charges the wind.
How to Get There
Ramsey- Take 61 to 96 east. Look for Ramsey County Beach on your right.
Mahtomedi.- Take Juniper west off of Mahtomedi Ave in Mahtomedi. Zig zag to the lake.
Bellaire- Take 61 to White Bear Ave. Turn East and follow it to South Shore Bvd. Turn left. Follow South Shore Bvd around the south side of the lake till you see the park on your left.

DescriptionGreat lake in the windy region of the midwest. Three hours from Minneapolis. Campground on the west shore has hot showers and large mature trees. Sailable from most directions.
How to Get ThereTake 35 to 90 in Albert Lea. Go West to Jackson and take 71 South then highway 4 West to the North side of the lake. You can also take 169 to Mankato and zigzag down to 80 just east of Jackson. The Mankato route is more scenic, the highway route is a highway route.

Live Cam from Clear Lake

Description
The flat land surrounding this lake make for steady winds. This lake runs east to west but can be sailed from pretty much any direction. The lake is shallow so even on a big day the chop never gets huge.
Directions
Just over 2 hours from Minneapolis, the route is a straight shot down 35 to Clear Lake. Depending on the wind direction, you can take any of the 3 exits. There are numerous launches around the lake.