Minneapolis, MN

5 wheelchair accessible lake tourist spots in Minneapolis

Terry Davis

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - Walking in nature is one of the nicest ways to spend time in Minneapolis in any season! There are plenty of great urban trails, lakefront loops, and wildlife-rich natural areas in the city that are accessible to all, including those who use mobility assistance.

- Lake Nokomis

The Lake Nokomis Trail is 2.5 miles long and level, making it ideal for dog walkers, families with strollers, and wheelchair users of all abilities. In the summer, a waterfront restaurant serves chili cheese fries and fish tacos near the busy main beach and playground. Aviation enthusiasts will love low-flying planes landing at the adjacent airport, while noise-sensitive people should avoid Nokomis.

- East River Flats Park

This hidden gem of a route winds along the Mississippi below the University of Minnesota campus (which, by the way, is also a great place for an urban wander). The paved path winds through thick trees and past riverside beaches before becoming a hanging catwalk above the river. In the late 1970s, the flats hosted concerts.

- Lebanon Hills McDonough Lake Loop

This extraordinarily accessible park is located near Eagan southeast of Minneapolis and features a magnificent 1.8-mile paved/wood boardwalk around and over McDonough Lake. Park in the Trailhead Visitor Center for access on a track, fireplaces, toilets, and grill-free picnic areas. Would you like to escape the city in the afternoon? Lebanon Hills also has campgrounds accessible!

- Lake Harriet

The circling track around Lake Harriet in the southwest of Minneapolis winds up at slightly under 3 miles via two beaches, a formal rose garden, stately houses, a restaurant on the lakefront, Harriet lake Bandshell, and many sailboat races in the summer. This fully paved, flat, and at least 6 feet wide trail gives all tourists a peaceful trip. Concerned about motorcycles? Don't do that, the Harriet Bike Trail Lake is entirely segregated from the footpath.

- Theodore Wirth Lake

In addition to an accessible playground, Wirth Lake offers a 1.5-mile route that circles the lake, linking paths throughout Theodore Wirth Park. The (optional) path from the beach volleyball courts to the playground has an inexplicable single step, so start your stroll on the sidewalk path near the parking lot entrance for a totally accessible route.

When you're bored on a weekend, you can take a trip to one of those lakes. All of these spots mentioned above are completely free to enter.

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