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Cedar Lake Park, Cedar Lake Parkway Minneapolis, MN 55416
Admission: $0.00
Cedar Lake Park has pay parking lots that can be paid by app. Scroll down for a link.
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Hours of Operation:
Mon. 06:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Tue. 06:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Wed. 06:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Thu. 06:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Fri. 06:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Sat. 06:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Sun. 06:00 AM – 12:00 AM

Cedar Lake Park is part of the Chain of Lakes Regional Park and, like the other parks in the chain, popular activities include biking, walking and swimming. In fact, it has three sandy beaches and 3.5 miles of pedestrian and biking trails that are part of a series of trails that connect St Louis Park to Downtown Minneapolis. Because these trails are off-road and naturally cooled by the lake in the summer, it is a good place for beginner bicyclists. Trails are less busy in the winter, but still maintained.

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Three girls wading at Cedar Lake Park in Minneapolis
Cedar Lake Park

Cedar Lake Park Beaches

A popular destination for Minneapolis residents in the summer, Cedar Lake Park boasts three sandy beach sites Cedar Lake Point Beach on the west shore, Cedar Lake South Beach on the south shore and Cedar Lake East Beach (also known as Hidden Beach) on the east shore. Cedar Lake East Beach had extensive improvements completed in 2007 that included a new lifeguard stand, portable toilet and picnic tables.

For more water fun ideas, check out Splash Happy: Twin Cities Guide to Beaches, Pools, Water Parks & Splash Pads.

No Lifeguards in 2023

Lifeguards will be on duty at select Minneapolis beaches beginning early June through mid-August. None of the Cedar Lake beaches are among the guarded beaches in 2023.  Beach hours from 6am-10pm daily.

Water Quality

Beaches will close when water quality monitoring detects high bacteria or blue-green algae. MPRB recommends that swimmers take warm showers and use soap after swimming at beaches.

Kids swimming at Cedar Lake Point Beach in Minneapolis, MN
Cedar Lake Point Beach

Picnics at Cedar Lake Park

This park does NOT have picnic pavilions or shelters on-site available for reservation, but it does have grills for use on a first-come, first-serve basis and the park offers a spectacular setting with plenty of space to spread a blanket for a family picnic.

More Picnic Ideas: 10 Perfect Places to Picnic in Minneapolis

Canoeing, Kayaking & Boating on Cedar Lake

If you have your own canoe or kayak, you can rent a storage rack at Cedar Lake. The canoe launch and storage is found on the south shore of Cedar Lake. Canoe and Kaya rentals are available for exploring the chain of lakes through Wheel Fun Rental at Bde Maka Ska, Lake Harriet, and Lake Nokomis. Motorized boats are not allowed on any Minneapolis city lakes, but boat ramps for non-motorized boats are located on Bde Maka Ska, Lake Harriet and Lake Nokomis.

Fishing at Cedar Lake Park

Cedar Lake offers good fishing locations both on the shoreline and a fishing pier. According to the Minnesota DNR, fishing opportunities include Bluegill, Crappie, Tiger Muskie, Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Yellow Perch, Carp, and Bullhead Catfish.

Cedar Lake Park Trails

Beyond the 3 1/2 miles of trails within the park, it is a popular starting point for bikers to connect to Cedar Lake Parkway, Kenilworth Trail and Cedar Lake Regional Trail (which follows the former path old railroad tracks from downtown Minneapolis to the western suburbs) connecting to several other popular trails. When exploring the area by bike, nearby attractions could include the Mary Tyler Moore house and birchbark books.

Walking paths for pedestrians run along Northeast Cedar Lake and provide both shady lanes for strolling and sunny benches to rest and take in the sights and sounds of nature on the shores of the scenic lake.

Winter at Cedar Lake Park

In winter, a Cross-Country Ski Trail is maintained at this park. Users must purchase a trail pass to use Minneapolis Park ski trails require.

Birthday Parties at Cedar Lake Beaches

Got a summer birthday? Families can apply for a FREE group permit to hold birthday parties or other private group events at Minneapolis beaches. The reservation holder assumes full responsibility for the conduct of their group.

Coming Updates to Cedar Lake

The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (“MPRB”) has plans to improve Cedar Lake and nearby park lands in the coming years. This was the last long-term parkland plan to be developed in the Minneapolis park system. With the plan finalized in 2023. The park board may make some safety upgrades and repairs by 2025, but will be seeking funding to implement bigger projects, and that may take awhile. The plan includes mostly environmental goals, like getting the phosphorus levels down and re-establishing diverse native plants. Natural areas to restore include marsh areas and wetlands, Oak Savanna, Prairie areas and Mesic Oak Forest. It will also seek to make the park more accessible and useable by visitors and to preserve aspects of the park that relate historically and culturally to the use of the land by indigenous peoples and railroads.

Tangible updates could include:

  • A new dock in Cedar Lake
  • Additional restrooms (with flush toilets??) at several locations, including near the athletic field on the east shore, by the canoe racks and by Cedar Lake East Beach.
  • A concert area
  • Winter recreation area

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