Top Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Minnesota

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Split Rock Light

Minnesota, USA Mid

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Lake Superior, just north east of Split Rock light.
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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.
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Lake Six, Detroit Lakes

Minnesota, USA Mid

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Silver Bay

Minnesota, USA Mid

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Lake Superior
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Mesabi Iron Mine Pits, Crosby

Minnesota, USA Mid

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10 Mile Lake, Moorhead

Minnesota, USA Mid

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Bad Medicine Lake, Moorhead

Minnesota, USA Mid

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Red River, Moorhead

Minnesota, USA Mid

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Long Lake, Zerkel

Minnesota, USA Mid

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Eagle Lake, Ashby

Minnesota, USA Mid

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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.