Whether you are fishing a Minneapolis lake or paddling 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

You may only use electric trolling motors on Minneapolis city lakes and you do not need a permit. However, we do not allow gas powered motors. If you have a gas powered motor on your boat, it must be propped up and out of the water.

Boat Launches

Boat Launch Locations

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

  • Boom Island
  • Lake Calhoun – At the Refectory
  • Lake Harriet – East of the Band Shell
  • Lake Nokomis – South of the main beach on the west side
  • North Mississippi - At the Camden Launch off Soo Line Ave

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

The Lake Calhoun/Bde Maka Ska Boat Launch will be closed Aug. 21-Sept. 8 for trail construction.

Boat Launch Hours

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) inspections are done May 1 - December 1 by DNR trained AIS inspectors during the following hours. The public boat launches are locked during non-launch hours.

May 1 – September 17
Daily:  6 am–10 pm

September 18 – October 9
Daily:  6 am–9 pm

October 10 – November 5
Daily:  7 am–8 pm, Inspector On-Call*

November 6 – December 1
Daily:  8 am–6 pm, Inspector On-Call*

*On-Call Program (October 10 - December 1)
FOR INSPECTIONS CALL (612) 499-3068 for Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet or (612) 499-3072 for Lake Nokomis. After the inspection, the launch will be opened to allow boaters on to the lake. Boaters must call to be let off the lake and have a post-inspection. Boaters not exiting the lake by closing time must secure their boat and return for it the next day. 

Canoe Launches

Canoe Launch Locations

  • Brownie Lake
  • Cedar Lake – Northwest corner
  • Lake Calhoun
  • 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 Lake Calhoun, 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.

AIS Inspections

All boats, watercraft and watercraft equipment entering and exiting from the public boat launches on Lake CalhounLake Harriet and Lake Nokomis require inspections for AIS. Canoes and kayaks entering the water from storage racks, or watercraft carried over the shoreline at other access points do not require an inspection. Launches are closed when AIS inspectors are not on site.

Visit the Invasive Species section to learn more about AIS in Minneapolis lakes.

Rentals

Watercraft Rental

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

Sailboat Buoys

Sailboat Buoys are available on Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet and Lake Nokomis. Sailboat buoy permits are issued annually. Visit Rentals and Permits for sailboat buoy rental information.