Whether you want to fish a Minneapolis lake or paddle down Minnehaha Creek, we offer boat and canoe launches and canoe racks throughout the park system.

MN Watercraft License

While you do not need an MPRB permit for your watercraft, all bona fide boat owners are required to have a current Minnesota Watercraft License from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Visit the MN DNR website to register your watercraft online or find registration locations.

The waiting period for licenses is 3-4 weeks.

Trolling Motors

We do not allow gas powered boat motors on Minneapolis city lakes. If you have a gas powered motor on your boat, it must be propped up and out of the water. You are allowed to use electric trolling motors and you do not need a permit to do so.

Boat Launch Locations

Public boat launches provide the public easy boat and watercraft access to many of our lakes and the Mississippi River.

  • Mississippi River – Boom Island
  • Bde Maka Ska – Northeast side of the lake
  • Lake Harriet – East of the Bandshell

  • Lake Nokomis – West side of the lake
  • Mississippi River – West side of River on Soo Avenue North in North Minneapolis

View a map of boat launch locations [PDF] throughout the park system.

Boat Launch AIS Inspections

All watercraft and water-related equipment that uses the Bde Maka Ska, Lake Harriet, and Lake Nokomis boat launches from May 1 to December 1 of each year must undergo an aquatic invasive species (AIS) watercraft inspection. The boat launches are locked and not available to the public when the inspectors are not onsite.

Canoes and kayaks entering the water from storage racks, or watercraft carried over the shoreline at other access points do not require an inspection.

More information about AIS, including the boat launch hours, can be found on the MPRB AIS page.

Canoe Launch Locations

  • Brownie Lake
  • Cedar Lake – Northwest corner
  • Bde Maka Ska
  • Lake of the Isles
  • Minnehaha Creek (designated launches*):
    • Humboldt Ave. and West Minnehaha Pkwy. on the SW bank (south of Lynnhurst Community Center South bank)
    • Lake Longfellow Lagoon (Minnehaha Parkway and Longfellow Gardens)
  • Lake Nokomis
  • Canoes can also be set in the water at the boat launches.

Canoe and Kayak Storage Racks

Canoe and kayak storage racks are located on Bde Maka Ska, Lake Harriet, Lake Nokomis, Lake of the Isles, Cedar Lake and Brownie Lake. Canoe rack permits are issued annually. Visit Rentals and Permits for canoe rack rental information.

*Thanks to the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District for funding the canoe dock improvements in 2008. For more information about canoe opportunities on Minnehaha Creek visit www.minnehahacreek.org.

Watercraft Rental

Paddleboats, canoes, and kayaks are available for rental at Bde Maka Ska, Lake Harriet and Lake Nokomis. Visit Rentals and Permits for watercraft rental information.

Rent Sailboat Buoys and Canoe/Kayak Storage Racks

Visit Rentals and Permits for information on annual permits and locations for watercraft storage.