We hear it all the time; people talk about memories of going to “the lake” near Alexandria as a kid. There are more than 350 lakes in Douglas County so that lake experience is different for each person who makes the comment. Douglas County is 21% water, making it a vital part of what makes it memorable for visitors. In its early history, Alexandria was primarily a place to fish, but that has long been equaled by all of the leisure boating and various water sports. Don’t get me wrong, following the fishing opener in mid-May, we have another summer and fall filled with great fishing. As an example, over the first weekend in June, the Alexandria Chain of Lakes will be the host site for the W.A.M. (Women Anglers of Minnesota) Open Water tournament. Throughout the year visitors and locals alike will make many trips to their favorite fishing spots, as well.
Water sports have really expanded with the many watercraft dealers in the area. One of them, The Faction, focuses heavily on wake boats. Personal watercraft from Ollies Service and Paul’s Small Engine are not only great fun on their own but are also used to pull tubers. A business thriving on getting people out on the water is HanglooseMN. They’ve taught thousands of people to wake surf, e-foil, stand-up paddleboard, and more.
On land, just recently my granddaughters visited and we went to Lake Brophy County Park. The finishing touches are being made to a beautiful shelter and picnic area. One of the jewels of the park is the enormous playground. One granddaughter said as she ran through it, “this goes on forever.” The park is next to Lake Brophy, a great place to put in your kayak or paddleboard. Launching from the enormous beach area, you can connect to a number of smaller lakes and eventually the Chain of Lakes. It’s also home to all kinds of gravity trails for mountain biking. Another new section of trails was added in 2022. The 55-mile paved Central Lakes Trail runs right through the park. On top of all that, they’re adding three big outdoor concerts as part of “Summer Sounds by Brophy.”
Two other County Parks are Kensington Rune Stone Park (with its 304 acres of wooded, gently rolling land with trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding), and the new Pilgrim Point Park on Lake Ida (featuring an amazing beach on a sandy point in the middle of one of Alexandria’s premier lakes).
We haven’t even mentioned all of the golfing, the shopping, the wineries, breweries, distilleries, amusement parks, theatre options, museums, and so much more.
To make new memories, begin by booking your stay at a lakeside resort, or VRBO, or relax at an area bed-and-breakfast, or unwind at an area hotel.
Start your planning your next trip at ExploreAlex.com.