3700 Thomas Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55410

Get Directions


Phone: 612-230-6400
Water Quality Hotline: 612-313-7713

Beach Hours

7 days a week
6 am – 10 pm
Ordinance PB-3-1

Plan Your Route

Bus, bike, drive, or walk

Bde Maka Ska Thomas Beach

Part of: Bde Maka Ska Park

View Photo Gallery

  • Beach
  • Biking Path
  • Floating Swim Dock
  • Pay Parking Lot
  • Walking Path
  • Volleyball Court – Sand

Good to Know

Youth Swimming Lessons offered at Lake Nokomis Main Beach, Wirth Beach, Jim Lupient Water Park, North Commons Water Park, and Webber Natural Swimming Pool.

Parents/guardians will be notified of swim lesson cancellations through email.

Open Swim offered at Lake Nokomis Main Beach Sunday mornings, Tuesday/Thursday evenings

Did You Know?

We have 12 beaches in the Minneapolis park system. View a list of all our beach locations.

Beach Rules

  • Do not smoke in beach areas
  • An adult must accompany children under the age of 8 at all times
  • Swim only within marked areas
  • Do not use inflatable air mattresses, inner tubes, other inflated articles, or inflatable floatation equipment except by permit. See floatation ordinance.
  • You may only use U.S. Coast Guard approved lifejackets if worn correctly
  • You may use foam noodles and nerf-type balls within buoyed swimming areas
  • Do not throw sand or rocks
  • Do not bring glass to beach areas
  • Obey lifeguards at all times
  • Infants/children not yet toilet-trained must wear swim diapers
  • Riding piggyback is permitted. No “Chicken fights” or rough play
  • Do not enter the water when the air temperature is 65 degrees Fahrenheit or colder
  • Lifeguards take safety breaks during the day at beaches
  • Keep dogs and other domestic animals off the beach and out of the lake
  • Do not feed waterfowl
  • Alcohol consumption is only allowed in designated areas at restaurants(link) licensed to serve alcohol or for those who’ve obtained a special use permit (link). See alcohol ordinance.
  • No threatening, abusive, indecent language, conduct or behavior allowed. See prohibited language and conduct ordinance.
  • Do not swim across any lake or park water unless accompanied by a boat. See swimming across lake ordinance.
  • Do not swim or bathe at any unauthorized beach or park water. See unauthorized beach ordinance.
  • Do not swim in lakes or gather on beaches between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am. See beach hours ordinance.

Beach Tips


High bacteria levels generally occur right after it rains, and return to normal levels within 48 hours.

  • Avoid swimming after it rains
  • Try not to get lake water in your mouth
  • Wash your hands before eating and after changing a diaper
  • Shower with soap and fresh water as soon as possible after swimming in a lake

Swimmer’s Itch

Swimmer’s itch is a temporary, harmless skin rash that occasionally affects lake users. Small, irritating red welts typically appear after swimming on hot, still summer days. Sensitive individuals may itch for several weeks. The rash is caused by a parasite that infects birds and snails. The parasite cannot live in humans.

  • Briskly rub skin with a coarse towel as soon as you leave the water
  • Towel dry under your swimsuit, especially around the waistband and leg openings
  • Shower with soap and fresh water as soon as possible after swimming in a lake

Naegleria fowleri

Naegleria fowleri is an amoeba found in warm freshwater and soil that can causes a very rare but often fatal brain infection.

From 2005 to 2014, 31 infections resulting from swimming in contaminated water were reported in the United States. Two of those instances happened in Minnesota.

Infections occur when water with the amoeba enters the body through the nose. You cannot be infected by swallowing contaminated water and the amoeba cannot pass through the skin. To reduce your risk, the Minnesota Department of Health recommends:

  • Avoid putting your head under the water
  • Hold your nose shut or use nose clips
  • Avoid warm freshwater when the water temperature is high and the water level is low
  • Avoid digging or stirring up the sediment in shallow, warm freshwater areas

Visit the Minnesota Department of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites for additional information.

Pet Waste

Increased bacteria levels mainly come from waterfowl and pet waste in yards, streets and parks that wash into lakes either directly or through the storm sewers after a heavy rain.

  • Pick up after your pet
  • Dispose of pet waste properly

Beach Group Use Permit: Apply for a free permit to ensure we can accommodate your birthday party or group of 10 or more at the beach. Application

Special Event Permit: Apply for a permit to reserve the beach for baptisms and other special events. Application [PDF]

Testing has ended for the season

What does the E. coli level mean?

Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a surrogate measure, or indicator for fecal contamination in recreational waters. Indicator organisms themselves do not cause illness under normal conditions. Elevated bacteria levels generally occur in aquatic environments after rain events when bacteria from various sources are washed into the lakes. Potential sources of E. coli in lake water include:

  • Foreshore beach sand
  • Organic debris
  • Leaking diapers, bather defecation
  • Polluted stormwater runoff
  • Sewage spills near the beach
  • Sewer line break discharges
  • Stream inflows
  • Wild and domestic animal waste

We test beaches weekly from June through August for E. coli bacteria, which can indicate a health risk. We follow Minnesota Pollution Control Agency guidelines for beach closures. Two types of results will close a beach:

  1. Single-Sample Limit: A single result of over 1,260 organisms per 100 mL of water
  2. Geometric Mean: Five samples equally spaced over a 30-day period exceed 126 organisms per 100 mL of water

Elevated bacteria levels in MPRB lakes usually occur as a result of rain events and return to normal levels within 24 to 48 hours of the rain event.

We will re-sample, and reopen the beach only when bacteria levels are within state guidelines.

We also provide water quality information on the beach status hotline: 612-313-7713

View additional Bde Maka Ska water quality information