Top Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Minnesota

Ready to check out the best sites in Minnesota for scuba diving, snorkeling, shore diving, free diving or other ocean activities? Zentacle has 14 dive sites, snorkel spots, beaches, and more. Discover hand-curated maps, along with reviews and photos from nature lovers like you. No matter what you're looking for, you can find a diverse range of the best ocean activities in Minnesota to suit your needs.
Minnesota dive site map
10 Mile Lake, Moorhead

#1 - 10 Mile Lake, Moorhead

Minnesota, USA Mid

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10 Mile Lake, Moorhead is a 5.0-star rated scuba dive and snorkel destination in Minnesota, USA Mid which is accessible from shore based on 1 ratings.
Silver Bay

#2 - Silver Bay

Minnesota, USA Mid

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Lake Superior
Split Rock Light

#3 - Split Rock Light

Minnesota, USA Mid

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Lake Superior, just north east of Split Rock light.
Excellsior Bay

#4 - Excellsior Bay

Minnesota, USA Mid

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According to the lifeguard I talked to this far beach is the only beach were shore diving is publicly allowed that they knew of. Flags are required, and you are sitting shoulder to shoulder with wind surfers who also use this access. A shallow rocky point comes up and prevents boaters from getting to close to the point. Visibility is roughly 6ft in the summer dropping sometimes to 4ft. But early and late in the year when the water is cold and the wind is down it can get better. This particular beach has a nice assortment of native plants. Parking meters require coins, and the park is relatively safe and heavily used. Bottom is sand. Sunfish and occasional bass are main attractants, occasional musky. This is a fairly typical representative ecosystem for central Minnesota. Close to the cities and definitely public friendly. But I would mention that this lake has had a lot of legislation changes and is under constant change as far as rules go, so I would double check locally before using this at least once a year. It is primarily a shallow dive 10ft or less, it drops off fast out a hundred feet or so from shore, then gets deep 20ft+. Weeds are thick if you plan to move out to the outer edge. For that reason I consider this an ideal snorkeling spot more than diving. Lake Minnetonka depending on its depth fluctuates its position in the top 14 of Minnesota's 10,000+ lakes. Excellsior bay has the largest public park on the lake with two public beaches, the swimming beach is for swimming only, and has a life guard. the far beach on the other side from the point, is the only place were diving is allowed from shore.
Lake Six, Detroit Lakes

#5 - Lake Six, Detroit Lakes

Minnesota, USA Mid

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Lake Six, Detroit Lakes is a 5.0-star rated scuba dive and snorkel destination in Minnesota, USA Mid which is accessible from shore based on 1 ratings.
Mesabi Iron Mine Pits, Crosby

#6 - Mesabi Iron Mine Pits, Crosby

Minnesota, USA Mid

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Mesabi Iron Mine Pits, Crosby is a 5.0-star rated scuba dive and snorkel destination in Minnesota, USA Mid which is accessible from shore based on 1 ratings.
Bad Medicine Lake, Moorhead

#7 - Bad Medicine Lake, Moorhead

Minnesota, USA Mid

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Bad Medicine Lake, Moorhead is a 4.0-star rated scuba dive and snorkel destination in Minnesota, USA Mid which is accessible from shore based on 1 ratings.
Louise Mine Pitt

#8 - Louise Mine Pitt

USA, Minnesota

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There are several items to look for and photograph in this pit with depths ranging from 20 feet to about 100 feet. Shallow sites are a fake graveyard and sunken boat not to far out from the access entry point. At about 50 ft depth there is a platform that was or is still used for training. Below about 75 feet you can find a mermaid, a pirate and sparky the plastic skeleton holding a couple wires from an old electrical panel from when they were still mining here. From the town of Ironton take county rd 30 north 1.25 miles then turn left onto the gravel road. Follow this road (I think it is called Silkstone Dr.) for about 1.26 miles then make a left turn. There is road (I use the word road loosely for this part because they are little to no maintenance.) that goes up hill then levels out to a nice open area about .1 miles in. The Dive Shop in Brainerd is the closest one to the Mine Pitts and they have maps of the area.
Eagle Lake, Ashby

#9 - Eagle Lake, Ashby

Minnesota, USA Mid

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Eagle Lake, Ashby is a 0-star rated scuba dive and snorkel destination in Minnesota, USA Mid which is accessible from shore based on 0 ratings.
Long Lake, Zerkel

#10 - Long Lake, Zerkel

Minnesota, USA Mid

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Long Lake, Zerkel is a 0-star rated scuba dive and snorkel destination in Minnesota, USA Mid which is accessible from shore based on 0 ratings.
Minnehaha Creek

#11 - Minnehaha Creek

Minnesota, USA Mid

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This is only useable when the gates are nearly shut off, otherwise too much water flow. I've snorkeled this many a time and it can change dramatically month to month. I've seen uncountable schools of 2-4lb largemouth, 30lb musky, white suckers, and carp. Small sunfish and oddball small fish. The bottom content close to the dam is sand and rock that out farther transitions into mud. Please note that local regulations regarding public use is under constant attack, and a number of special interest groups are constantly attempting to remove and restrict all public access to this lake, so recheck the local regulations before using this site. Finally I would mention that the current can be fastest close to the dam, it drops down on the edges and farther down stream, with just snorkeling gear it is possible to walk out farther downstream or on either side farther away from the dam. The density of fish population in this site is directly proportional to the amount of water coming out during the spring floods. If the dam was open in the spring then the creek will be full with fish. If it was shut during dry low water almost zero fish will be here as this creek freezes solid during winter (all the deeper overwintering holes have filled in with road sand). Vis is roughly 4-6ft in the summer. But close to the cities and a different experience. I've done this many times with snorkeling gear and my kids love it. Gray Bay Dam is the head waters of the Minnehaha creek that flows through the twin cities. The area just down stream of the dam has public access for canoe launching.
Madiera

#12 - Madiera

USA, Minnesota

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Wreck located 200 yards off shore up against breakwater.us Shore dive - Split Rock Lighthouse
Crosby Mine Pit

#13 - Crosby Mine Pit

USA, Minnesota

beginner
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No amenities. Abandoned Iron Ore Mines. Great Visibility and stocked with game fish. Gravel bottom. Some pits are more than 400 feet deep. Shore diving and campsite. Crosby Mine Pit is also known as Ironton Mine Pit.
Red River, Moorhead

#14 - Red River, Moorhead

Minnesota, USA Mid

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Red River, Moorhead is a 0-star rated scuba dive and snorkel destination in Minnesota, USA Mid which is accessible from shore based on 0 ratings.