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Chain of Lakes

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Chain of Lakes

I'm in Minneapolis for a few days next month and plan to visit the Chain of Lakes.

Is it realistic to walk Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet in a single day?

Also is it necessary to walk around the whole of each lake to see all they have to offer or does each one have a more preferable side (better views for photos etc)?

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1. Re: Chain of Lakes

It wouldn't be realistic for me but it's possible. You do not need to walk around them entirely to get the experience. I prefer the north and west sides of Lake Harriet when I walk there.

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2. Re: Chain of Lakes

To give you a rough estimate - it's a little over 3 miles around each lake individually, 10miles to go around all three. Depending on how much walking you're used to doing, it's very reasonable to do in a few hours.

Another option is biking around the lakes. We have a bike sharing system called Nice Ride where you can rent bikes. That would make the trip a little faster.

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3. Re: Chain of Lakes

I should also mention that there are other Lake activities to try if you're interested - like renting paddle boards. You'll want a warmer day for activities in the water, though. We do have some warm September days so it's not out of the question.

There are sometimes concerts or outdoor movies at the Lake Harriet bandshell so that's something to check out too. You can find the schedule at https:/….

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4. Re: Chain of Lakes

Cycling won't be an option for me and since it will be October I think I'll stay out of the water! Photography is my main purpose so I'm thinking of getting a bus down to the southwest corner of Lake Harriet, walking up the west side and then moving on to Calhoun and Isles - which part of Calhoun is nicest?

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5. Re: Chain of Lakes

The west side might be nicer but the east side would bring you closer to Lake of the Isles. Also, west of Lake Harriet is the Linden Hills neighborhood with Victorian era houses and some neighborhood eateries like Zumbro cafe for breakfast, Upton Forty-Three, Tilia, and Harriet Brasserie.

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6. Re: Chain of Lakes

I'd suggest looking at Lake Calhoun on googlemaps. Use Pegman (the little yellow guy in the bottom corner) to see a streetview of Calhoun parkway. Someone also boated around the lake & posted their views as they went. Both were updated in Sept 2016, which will give you a great idea of what you'll see. https://goo.gl/maps/t4qX4i7G65C2

If you choose the eastern side, you may want to walk a few blocks over to see the Memorial Chapel at Lakewood Cemetery. It is gorgeous - modeled after the Hagia Sophia.

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7. Re: Chain of Lakes

If you're interested in photographing birds, you could stop at the Roberts Bird Sanctuary, on the north side of Lake Harriet. It's near the Lakewood Cemetary mentioned earlier. It's not the peak time of year as a number of species would have migrated south by October, but you could stop by.

There's also a lovely rose garden near Harriet but the gardens will likely be put to bed by the time you get here in October.

The Bakken Museum is on the West Calhoun Parkway. They have some cool exhibits. http://thebakken.org

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8. Re: Chain of Lakes

The west side of Calhoun is the best spot to photograph the lake as you can see all the parked sailboats on the east side and you also get the downtown Minneapolis skyline in the distance. I walk this lake several times a week and still stop and check out this great view.

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9. Re: Chain of Lakes

Thanks for all the replies - very helpful.

One other question - is seeing St Paul, Fort Snelling and Minnehaha Falls in a single day doable?

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10. Re: Chain of Lakes

Probably. So much depends on exactly what you want to stop & see. Also, will you have a car?

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