Paddle out from the canoe dock, then bear right towards the channel. On a nice summer day, the channel is usually lined with people fishing. Paddle through a narrow passage under two bridges, and come out into Lake of the Isles.
Lake of the Isles began life as a swamp, and tries its best to revert to its natural state. The murky, shallow water is filled with weeds and often overgrown with algae in the hot summer months. Despite the poor water conditions, the lake is very picturesque. It's lined with big old trees and stately mansions. You'll share the water with ducks, geese, and the occasional turtle. Bear to the left, and paddle along Isles' southern shoreline towards the channel that leads into Cedar Lake.
Cedar is a bigger, cleaner lake than Isles, with several public beaches and picnic areas. This is the best place to stop for a picnic and a swim. A small portion of the shoreline belongs to private homes, so take care that you don't disembark in someone's back yard. The public beaches are easy to see from the lake.
If you feel really ambitious, continue on through Cedar to little Brownie Lake, which is to the northwest through another narrow channel. The Brownie shoreline is completely undeveloped and there is no public access except by boat.
The complete round trip is about 5.5 miles, and will take you most of an afternoon to complete.
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August 8, 2008
November 12, 2001
From journal Minneapolis Parks and Lakes