Lake Alexander, Minnesota, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Minnesota - Central -

Also known as:  Alexander Lake, Lake Alec

No place invites lakefront dreaming quite like Lake Alexander. Located in the Lincoln Lakes area of Central Minnesota, this beautiful lake has it all: vivid sunsets, nearly 3,000 acres of open water, excellent fishing and sandy-bottomed beaches. A large number of lakefront property owners share the 16 miles of heavily-wooded shoreline. Two small public beach areas and three boat launch ramps offer access to the general public. Lake Alexander is not as well-known as other lakes in the Upper Mississippi drainage area.

The waters of Lake Alexander are exceedingly clear and excellent for swimming. Only one small inlet stream enters the lake. Much of the water likely comes from underground springs. Thoroughfare Creek outlet flows to nearby Fish Trap Lake. The creek only flows intermittently, but a few muskie have managed to migrate downstream to live in Fish Trap. Several islands dot the surface of Alexander Lake, and parts of the shoreline are wetlands. The lake is an ideal place to paddle a canoe or kayak along the shore and to the islands.

Although there is no marina on the lake, all types of watersports are enjoyed by residents and visitors, including water skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, pontooning, swimming and kayaking. The lake is also a favorite of fishermen, since it is considered by many to be one of Minnesota’s top walleye lakes. Because many of the other noted walleye lakes in the state are in close proximity, anglers seldom overcrowd Lake Alexander-or Lake Alec as it is locally known. A small beach area on the west end of the lake near the outlet is maintained by Scandia Valley Township, while one at the opposite end of the lake is provided at Pinehurst County Park. A waterfront restaurant is popular for lunch and dinner.

Once the home of several resorts, only a limited number still remain. Some of the former resorts now rent a few cottages by the week or month, while others offer cottages and RV lots for sale or lease. Luckily, several lakefront property owners rent their homes on a short-term basis to vacationers. These often include docks, small watercraft and swim areas. These are in high demand with anglers and their families. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) stocks the lake regularly with walleye and muskie fingerlings, while the varied underwater terrain supports northern pike, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and a variety of panfish. Fishermen must possess a valid Minnesota fishing license and should be aware that there are ‘slot’ limits on northern pike. Rules change regularly, so a current copy of the fishing regulations should be consulted. Lake Alexander is also excellent for ice fishing.

Lake Alexander is conveniently located about 2.5 hours from the Twin Cities area. Several small towns and cities in the area are convenient for purchasing groceries, services and supplies. The Town of Randall is about eight miles south of the lake. It holds a couple of small cafes and several stores in the old-fashioned downtown area. Tiny Cushing to the west has limited facilities for visitors, while Fort Ripley is located to the east on the Mississippi River’s bank. The lake was named for Thomas L. Alexander, an officer at Fort Ripley, the training ground for the Minnesota National Guard. Numerous trails in the area provide plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities such as mountain biking, hiking and orienteering. Snowmobile clubs in the area offer maps that will put visiting snowmobiles on the path to entering the large network of snowmobile trails mapped by the state. Hundreds of acres of public hunting lands attract hunters each year. The area has many lodgings that stay open year-round to accommodate cold weather activities.

The entire area is an excellent home base for hiking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and generally enjoying nature. West of the lake, the Lake Alexander Preserve includes 1,700 acres of woods, wetlands and bogs-an excellent place to bird watch. The Preserve is home to a population of the dwindling red shouldered hawk along with wolves, black bear, deer, bald eagles, great blue heron, ospreys and ruffed grouse. Originally purchased from Fort Ripley by the Nature Conservancy, the area has been transferred to the Minnesota DNR which operates it as a Scientific and Natural Area. Access to the area is on foot; motor vehicles and dogs are not permitted. The area is only 30 miles south of the popular Brainerd Lakes, so there are plenty of festivals, fishing contests and local entertainments to enjoy in all seasons.

The Lake Alexander Property Owners Association organizes volunteers to monitor water quality and be on the look-out for invasive species. Eurasian milfoil has been identified at the lake, and association teams work each year to eradicate the nuisance plant. The group also educates property owners and visiting boat owners as to how best prevent water quality problems and avoid spreading invasive species.

Those looking to live at Lake Alexander will find real estate available in a wide range of prices and sizes. Short-term visitors will be able to reserve a private cottage or home as long as they plan in advance. RV lots can be leased or purchased at one of the local resorts. Off the lake, a number of small motels and cottage resorts are located in the area. Lake Alexander is an ideal place to enjoy lake living without heavy tourism. Come enjoy the solitude of Lake Alec.

Things to do at Lake Alexander

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Tubing
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding

Fish species found at Lake Alexander

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Lake Alexander Photo Gallery

    Lake Alexander Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Surface Area: 2,709 acres

    Shoreline Length: 16 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,252 feet

    Average Depth: 28 feet

    Maximum Depth: 64 feet

    Drainage Area: 19 sq. miles

    Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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