Beltrami Lake, Minnesota, USA
Also known as: Turtle River Chain of Lakes
Lake Beltrami is a sparkling body of water situated snugly in Minnesota’s Northwest Tourism Region. This crystal clear lake is a part of the Turtle River Chain of Lakes, along with eight others: Deer, Campbell, Movil, Big Turtle, Little Turtle, Fox, Three Island and Turtle River Lakes. The entities are all close in proximity and connected to the Turtle River, a northern tributary of the Mississippi.
With a surface area of 543 acres and an average depth of 50 feet, Lake Beltrami is ideal for recreational activities like swimming and angling. Stocked every three years, Lake Beltrami offers some truly fantastic circumstances for fishing. Common catches include walleye, largemouth bass, bluegill, northern pike and crappie. Fishing enthusiasts should note that a northern pike regulation is in effect for all Turtle River Chain lakes – mandating that pike between 24 and 36 inches long are catch-and-release only; although every angler is entitled to keep one sole catch measuring 36 inches or greater.
Other pastimes near Lake Beltrami include horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking Beltrami County’s extensive trail system, a network that is constantly being revised and augmented. The county’s newest project has been to incorporate ATV riding into its existing trails, along with dog sledding. The twisting, precipitous pathways of the Meadow Lake Trail System are highly conducive to extreme sports, and also to vigorous hikes on foot.
Lake Beltrami’s facilities include picnic areas and a concrete boat launch on the southern end of the lake, just off of Highway 71. Many real estate properties and vacation rentals are available along the lake’s craggy, irregular shoreline.
Numerous other bodies of water can be found near Lake Beltrami, including Turtle River Lake, Upper Red Lake and Lower Red Lake. Lake Bemidji is a glacial body of water consisting of an impressive 6,000 acres. The lake was named “Bemidjigamaag” (lake with cross waters) by its original Anishinabe inhabitants, and today provides a vital source of hydroelectric power. Boating, camping, fishing and candlelight skiing are some of this immensely popular lake’s claims to fame.
Also just a short distance from Lake Beltrami, Lake Bemidji State Park consists of beautiful bog walks, tranquil picnic areas, and refreshing swimming beaches. Conveniences like a fishing pier, marina with canoe access, and regulation volleyball court are available to the public. A seven-mile paved bike path connects to the Paul Bunyan State Trail, a summer hiking trail stretching 15 miles farther through serene pine, hardwood, and aspen forest. Camping amenities include drive-in, pull-through and electric sites, as well as showers, flush toilets, and a dump station.
Minutes away from Lake Beltrami you’ll find the 1.6 million-acre Chippewa National Forest. During the winter, try your luck at ice fishing, snowmobiling or cross country skiing. Here, bird and wildlife watching is unparalleled: bald eagles, hawks, ospreys, red squirrels, weasels, and countless other species dwell in the aspen, birch, fir and maple trees populating these thick woodlands. The Chippewa National Forest is home to some of Minnesota’s rare primary forests (2% of the state’s trees that have never been logged), with some centenarian trees thought to be 350 years old. A 144-acre plot of land known as “The Lost Forty” was mistakenly mapped as a part of Coddington Lake back in 1882 – as a result of this fortuitous error, these lands were forever spared from logging.
Eight miles southwest of Lake Beltrami lies the city of Bemidji, home of the Beltrami County History Center. Located in the Great Northern Depot, which was built in 1912, the museum is run by the Beltrami County Historical Society. History buffs will adore various exhibits featuring novelties like vintage wedding gowns, manuscripts, photos and historic maps. Other notable excursions near Bemidji include a golf course, winery, and the Paul Bunyan Playhouse.
Close your eyes and imagine yourself on your next vacation at Lake Beltrami, reading a book or watching mischievous squirrels tumble among the treetops from your rental cabin’s cozy lakeside porch. Lake Beltrami combines the gorgeous sunsets and panoramic views that are typical of the countryside with all of the cosmopolitan advantages that towns like Bemidji have to offer. Don’t miss out – come experience Lake Beltrami has to offer.
Things to do at Beltrami Lake
- Ice Fishing
- Cabin Rentals
- Cross-Country Skiing
- Dog Sledding
- Horseback Riding
- Wildlife Viewing
- State Park
- National Forest
Fish species found at Beltrami Lake
- Black Bass
- Largemouth Bass
- Northern Pike
Beltrami Lake Photo Gallery
Beltrami Lake Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Not Known
Surface Area: 543 acres
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,344 feet
Maximum Depth: 50 feet
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