North Lower Lake East Half

DNR Lake ID: 27013302

Location Highlights:
North Lower Lake East is located southwest of Echo Bay and north of Excelsior Bay. Big Island separates this bay from its neighbor, Lower Lake South. Orono, Greenwood, and Deephaven are the three cities that have lakeshore in this area, and depending on where the home is on the bay, they are located in either the Minnetonka School District or the Orono School District. The bay features Gale Island, a small island off the city of Shorewood. In 1871, Harlow Gale, a real-estate developer, claimed the land just south of Big Island for $2.45. He built his summer home here in the late 19th century and the octagonal structure still stands today. North Lower Lake East is rich in history and is known as the final resting place for three of Lake Minnetonka’s streetcar steamboats, Como, White Bear, and Hopkins were all deliberately sunk at the bottom of the bay in the 1920s. The vessels were used to provide fast and reliable transportation for residents on Lake Minnetonka that worked in the Twin Cities. The boats ran out of commission when roads around the lake were improved, and automobile transportation became much easier.

Water Quality:
The water depth in North Lower Lake East ranges from 12 to 51 feet and has an A rating water quality by the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District. Meaning the bay is crystal clear and can be enjoyed recreationally all year round.

Boating Restrictions:

Lake Access:
There are not any boat launches or marinas directly on North Lower Lake East, but there are plenty of marinas just north in Echo Bay. Echo Bay is home to Caribbean Marina, Lindbo Landing Marina, and Tonka Bay Marina. These marinas offer easy access to Lake Minnetonka through their marine services, gas pumps, all-season boat storage, and dock slip rentals.

North Lower Lake East’s convenient location allows boaters the option to alternate between the natural Big Island Park and tourist downtown Excelsior. Big Island is known for its great location, in the heart of Lake Minnetonka. It is an ideal spot for camping, fishing, and hiking, the park offers 20 campsites, complete with fire pits, picnic tables, and grills. Big Island has a large variety of fish including Bass, Walleye, Northern Pike, Perch, and Crappie right off the shore. On the opposite side of the bay, downtown Excelsior presents an abundance of shopping including local favorites, Primp, The Maker’s Studio, and Big Island Swim & Surf Company. The public docks in Excelsior make it easy to grab a bite to eat at Lago Tacos, Tommy’s Tonka Trolley, and Yumi’s.  

Source City of Orono®  
Source MN DNR® 
Source Minnehaha Watershed District® 

North Lower Lake East Half

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