Lake Mary, Minnesota, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Minnesota - Central -

Covering 2,371 acres, Lake Mary is one of the larger lakes in the Alexandria Lakes Area in Douglas County, Minnesota. Although certain areas of the lake are heavily developed, over half the shoreline remains untouched, making the lake a peaceful and beautiful retreat for boaters. With its sandy bottom, clean, clear water, and plenty of open space, the lake is also a great spot for swimming, water skiing, personal watercraft, and water sports of all kinds

Lake Mary, like most of the lakes in the area, was formed as glaciers carved their way through the landscape of the Alexandria Lakes Area. The biggest attraction for residents and vacationers are the number of sparkling lakes. Some of the lakes are huge and once featured small boats and paddlewheelers that took tourists from shore to shore and around the lake perimeters. Lake Mary has been a popular destination for tourists and anglers since the late 1800s. Today, the lake offers a quiet escape from life’s hustle and bustle while keeping up its reputation for great fishing.

Public access to Lake Mary can be gained by boat ramps on the northwest corner and southwest corner or the lake. With 24 miles of shoreline, fishing is a very popular pastime. There are excellent populations of walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, crappie and sunfish. Motor boating, canoeing, waterskiing, tubing, and all sorts of water related recreation are allowed. At five miles long and over a mile wide, over-crowding is not a problem like some of the more densely populated lakes in the area. Note: Although most fish taken from Minnesota lakes and streams are safe to eat, refer to the Fish Consumption Advice (link below) before eating fish caught from any Minnesota waterway.

Guests looking for lodging will find numerous resorts along the shoreline of Lake Mary. Vacation rentals of all kinds, from charming lakeshore cottages to modern, spacious log cabins, along with real estate for sale or rent can be found throughout the Alexandria Lakes Area. RV parks and campgrounds near the lake offer full hookups, lake access, dock slips, boat rentals, picnic areas, showers, playgrounds and sports fields.

Lake Mary is located only five miles from the city of Alexandria where visitors will find a friendly and historic downtown district with a wide variety of restaurants, shops, amusement parks, theaters, museums, Saturday night NASCAR racing, and many other activities and attractions. Downtown is also situated on two lakes, several parks, and the Central Lakes Trail for walking, jogging, roller skating, or bicycling. Visitors will also find a number of golf courses in the area. In the winter, the area has cross country skiing, downhill skiing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling on beautifully groomed snowmobiling trails. If a bigger city is more to your liking, Lake Mary is located 130 miles northwest of Minneapolis and St. Paul and 100 miles southeast of Fargo, North Dakota.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy use of the Central Lakes Trail which stretches for 55 miles from the town of Fergus Falls to the town of Osakis on the shore of beautiful 6,272-acre Lake Osakis, and then connects with the Lake Woebegone Trail which runs from Osakis to St. Joseph. The paved, nearly flat trail winds through unpopulated, pristine areas of woods, streams, lakes, farmland, hardwood forests, and open prairies as well as through 10 communities of varying sizes. Because the trail is built along an old railroad bed, the grade is easy for walking or pedaling. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail with the exception of snowmobiles during the winter months. The trail is enjoyed by thousands of hikers and bicyclists. Since the trail passes through so many communities (typically one every seven miles or so), there is plenty of access to water, snacks, restaurants, and parks along the way. Many of these communities provide facilities specifically for trail users.

The many lakes around Lake Mary also offer great fishing and a number of summer and winter activities. Over 300 lakes can be found in the Alexandria area, the most notable being the Alexandria Chain of Lakes. The chain is comprised of seven primary lakes: Lake Carlos, Lake Cowdry, Lake Le Homme Dieu, Lake Darling, Lake Geneva, Lake Victoria and Lake Jessie. The chain is commonly referred to as the Le Homme Dieu Chain, due to the fact that Le Homme Dieu is said to have the best fishing of all the lakes.

Whether you are looking for a weeklong vacation, or a quick get-away, Lake Mary offers guests everything from outdoor activities to antique and specialty shopping. Lake Mary offers a variety of vacation rentals, so rent a cottage on the lake, wander the Central Lakes Trail, browse the many shops and stores in historic downtown Alexandria, or just indulge in some personal tranquility. Lake Mary Lake is sure to please the entire family and become a place to return year after year.

Things to do at Lake Mary

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • Amusement Park
  • Antiquing
  • NASCAR
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Lake Mary

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

Lake Mary Photo Gallery

    Lake Mary Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Surface Area: 2,371 acres

    Shoreline Length: 24 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,368 feet

    Average Depth: 24 feet

    Maximum Depth: 40 feet

    Water Volume: 32,009 acre-feet

    Water Residence Time: 4 to 5 years

    Trophic State: Eutrophic

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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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