Lake Elmo Beach may be the most popular destination at Lake Elmo Park Reserve. It is a man-made, chlorinated swimming pond, so you get the feel of a real beach with the cleanliness of a pool. Most of the pond is shallow enough for older kids to touch the sand bottom, though there are a couple spots where it maxes out at about 6 feet. Lifeguards are on duty daily, weather depending, Saturday of Memorial Weekend through Labor Day.
Anne's Pro Tip: If you're able, arrive early to snag a shady spot under one of the large beach umbrellas.
Free Life Jackets at the Swim Pond
In the summer of 2018, the park and Washington County Sheriff’s Office partnered to make child-sized life jackets available to visitors to borrow for free. The life jacket loaner station is located in a locker near the beach concession stand. The life jackets are stocked in multiple sizes, and parents can find instructions on how best to fit a life jacket on a child at the station.
Lake Elmo Beach Rules
Families should know that despite the fact that it is a guarded beach, all children must be supervised by an adult and accompanied by an adult in the water. Other rules to be aware of include.
- Swim diapers are required for children who are not toilet trained.
- While Coast Guard approved life jackets are allowed, no other flotation devices are permitted.
- Safety breaks are taken every hour between noon and 8 p.m. Please listen for lifeguard directions.
Lake Elmo Beach Prices
Lake Elmo Swim Pond is free to use, but Washington County Parks require a vehicle fee. Vehicle permits cost $7.00 per day (paid at the gate) or $30 per year and are good at any Washington County Park and reciprocal at Anoka and Carver County parks. To learn more about vehicle permits here.
The Playground at Lake Elmo Park Reserve
Lake Elmo Park Reserve has a large play area that is close to the beach, though not close enough that you can keep one eye on both the water and the playground. You'll be hiking back and forth, so you can expect everyone to sleep well after a day at Lake Elmo.
No Dogs Allowed on the Beach!
Dogs are not allowed on the beach at Lake Elmo. They are also not allowed in picnic areas or campsites. They are allowed on hiking trails but must be leashed. It is probably best to leave the pup home for this outing.
Updates to Lake Elmo Beach
Constructed in 1985, the beach is over 30 years old. Washington County recently updated the beach building and the nearby playground, adding more shaded shelter, and update the filtration and pump systems in the beach.
4 More Washington County Beaches:
- Big Marine Park Reserve, Marine on St Croix
- Point Douglas Park and Point Douglas Regional Trail
- Square Lake Park, Stillwater
- St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park, Hastings