Big Pine Lake, Minnesota, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Big Pine Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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Looking for Big Pine Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Big Pine Lake

Snowmobiles race through the snow-covered countryside of central Minnesota, darting between Big Pine Lake and the area’s other lakes. With the ice huts rising on the lakes like villages, it is hard to tell where the ice leaves off and the snow starts. Big Pine Lake is almost as popular in the winter as it is in the summer, and the fish bite all year long.

Covering 635 acres in Aitkin County, Big Pine Lake has a maximum depth of 78 feet and almost 6 miles of shoreline. The small island in the western half of the lake has additional shoreline to explore by canoe or kayak. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) maintains a concrete boat ramp on the southwest end of the lake providing access for boating, water skiing and fishing. Big Pine Lake is a fertile lake that supports healthy populations of black crappie, bluegill, sunfish and yellow perch. Anglers will also find abundant populations of largemouth bass, rock bass and northern pike. The DNR periodically stocks the lake with walleye fingerlings and fry.

Big Pine Lake near Garrison is not the only lake by that name in Minnesota, or even in Aitkin County. It is, however, the only one that sits just off the shores of Mille Lacs Lake. With 132,000 acres of water, Mille Lacs Lake is the largest lake in central Minnesota and the second largest inland lake in the state. It is renowned by anglers for its walleye, and like most of the lakes in Aitkin County, winter brings shanty villages full of devoted anglers intent on ice fishing.

The area around Mille Lacs Lake was originally called “Pays de Mille Lacs” or Region of a Thousand Lakes. The county is splattered with lakes, and visitors to Big Pine Lake will have hundreds of thousands acres of water within easy access. Vacation rentals on the lake make the perfect home base from which to explore it all. For visitors who fall in love with the area, there is real estate available for sale. Both Cutler and nearby Garrison have restaurants, shops and any convenience a visitor might want all within a short drive of Big Pine Lake.

A few miles east of Big Pine Lake, the Wealthwood State Forest wraps part of Mille Lacs Lake. The 15,042-acre forest was established in 1963 and is home to white tailed deer, otters, muskrats and mink. Waterfowl, including mallards, ring necked ducks and Canada geese, also make their homes at Wealthwood. Hunting is allowed in season in parts of the state forest. There are Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) trails and snowmobile trails across the state forest, joining with trails that crisscross the entire area and wrap around several of the county’s lakes.

Snowmobiles, ice fishing and hot chocolate by the fire fill winter days and nights on Big Pine Lake. Spring and summer mean days spent playing and fishing in the water and nights around campfires toasting marshmallows for s’mores. Not matter what the season, Big Pine Lake has something for the entire family. Add the thousands of acres of water in the “Pays de Mille Lacs,” and Big Pine Lake becomes an unbelievable central Minnesota getaway.

Things to Do at Big Pine Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Hiking
  • Snowmobiling
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Forest

Fish Species Found at Big Pine Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Perch

Find Places to Stay at Big Pine Lake

If you’re considering a Big Pine Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Big Pine Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Big Pine Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Big Pine Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 635 acres

Shoreline Length: 6 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,263 feet

Maximum Depth: 78 feet

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

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