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Lake Minnetonka is the 9th largest lake in Minnesota. It is located nearly 15 miles west- southwest of Minneapolis and lies in between Carver and Hennepin counties. It has a water surface area of 14,043 acres, making it a favorite spot for sailors, boaters, and people out to fish.
During winter, the ice covering the lake usually has an average thickness of 20-24 inches. The maximum thickness of ice recorded is 28 inches.
The economic and recreational activities going on around the lake have made it one of the wealthiest residential areas in Minnesota.
Lake Minnetonka’s major attractions are restaurants and charter cruises and hotels that were opened as early as 1956 are still in operation today. An example is Maynards Restaurant which is viewed as the best waterfront restaurant in Minnesota, established in 1988 in Excelsior.
The lake also has three popular parks, all owned by the Three Rivers Park District. The Parks are Lake Minnetonka Regional Park, Excelsior Commons, and Big Island, Nature Park. People stream into these parks in large numbers for recreational purposes.
Other activities on the lake include boating, sailing, ice fishing, snowmobiling, swimming, and standup paddle boarding. For the boating activities, the lake authorities allow all sizes of boats, but their speed is usually restricted. The amount of noise that the boats can make is also
Historical facts about Lake Minnetonka
Lake Minnetonka obtained its official name in 1852. The man behind the name was Minnesota’s territorial governor, Alexander Ramsey. The name was derived from the word Minn-ni-tanka, which according to the Dakota language means Big Water.
To honor the governor, the first steamboat on the lake was named Governor Ramsey and was launched in 1861. It is also known that the first two Euro-Americans to have seen and visited Lake Minnetonka were Joe Brown and Will Snelling.
These two teenage boys successfully canoed from Fort Saint Anthony to Minnehaha Creek in 1822. After their discovery of the lake, not many other Euro- Americans were able to visit the lake in the three decades that followed.
The Geographical facts about Lake Minnetonka
Lake Minnetonka is a collection of kettle lakes, which are all connected by channels and marshlands. The kettle lakes along with the 18 islands located on the lake form and irregular shoreline that is 125 miles long.
The lake’s deepest point which is 101 feet deep is located in Crystal Bay. The average depth of the rest of the lake is however 30 feet. Geographers claim that the lake was formed as a result of the northward recession of the Laurentide Ice Sheet.
An interesting fact to note about the number of islands in the Lake usually varies according to varying definitions of islands there are. In 1933 for instance, the topographical maps created by the U.S Geological Survey indicated that Lake Minnetonka had 38 Islands.
Other topographical maps and indexed maps made in 1944 and 1964 pointed to the lake having 23 islands. Activity such as dredging and filling
The Hydrological and precipitation facts about Lake Minnetonka
This lake has several inlets and only one outlet. The largest inlet is Six Mile Creek, and the only outlet is called Minnehaha Creek.
The average annual rate of rainfall around Lake Minnesota’ s region is 28 inches along with 20 inches of surface run-off. The water from the rain and the streams that flow into the lake help maintain the water volume at a constant high.
The highest water level recorded in the lake was 931.11 feet above sea level. The annual evaporation rate from Lake Minnetonka, however, is 76.2cm. The rate of evaporation and that of water reception into the lake usually balance out on most occasions.
There have however been a number of droughts, in which the level of water was observed to be significantly low. The lowest water level recorded was 921.78 feet above sea level.
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