Lake Waconia, Minnesota, USA

Also known as:  Clearwater Lake (historic)

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

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Lake Waconia 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 Lake Waconia

Lake Waconia is one of the lesser-known large lakes in the Minneapolis Metro Region. At nearly 3100 acres, the lake offers plenty of play space for water lovers. The lake often gets steady winds, making it a favorite among the sailing crowd. Lake Waconia is just far enough away from the busy city to maintain a rural atmosphere, yet close enough that all urban advantages are easily accessible. Two marinas along the southern shore make this a convenient place for urban boaters to indulge in their favorite sport every weekend. A public boat launch provides ample space for smaller trailered boats, and visiting sailors can launch from the marinas for a small fee. Lake Waconia supports all water sports including power boating, jet-skiing, water-skiing, tubing, paddling and pontooning. So popular are wind-powered sports that Lake Waconia has been at the forefront of a resurgence of sailboarding, with wakeboard regattas held here. A sailing club also holds regattas and regular sail racing for members.

There are a number of homes along the shore, but Lake Waconia is mostly surrounded by farmland. The small City of Waconia hugs the southern shoreline, and the two marinas are a vital part of the business community. Not far to the east of the city, the Lake Waconia Regional Park is under active development. Efforts are underway to expand the acreage of the park, but even in its current smaller state, the park holds a very popular sandy beach with bath house, rest rooms, picnic pavilions and volleyball court. Carver County recently acquired a historic ballroom adjacent to the park and is operating it as the Lake Waconia Event Center. A sledding hill is provided in the park, and eventual plans are to acquire nearby Coney Island offshore as an addition to the park.

Fishing is a big attraction at Lake Waconia. The lake isn’t deep, so much of it is excellent fishing for black crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, muskellunge, northern pike, walleye and yellow perch. Walleye and muskellunge are stocked regularly. The DNR boat ramp is located on the northeast side of the lake, and the City of Waconia maintains a fishing pier at the small park in town. Local fishing guides can be hired to help new visitors find the fishing hot-spots on the wide expanse of water. Ice fishing is very popular, with one of the marinas renting ice fishing houses during the winter. The same marina offers bait and rental of boats and pontoons. Most winters see a small village of shanties on the ice, with virtual streets between them and a great sense of camaraderie mixed with rivalry among the ‘hard water’ fishermen. Ice fishing tournaments are sometimes held here.

Although there are no campgrounds directly on Lake Waconia, there are commercial campgrounds nearby, and some reports show primitive camping allowed at the Lake Waconia Wildlife Management Area on the north side of the lake. The City of Waconia has worked to develop activities to entertain both residents and visitors. An indoor water park shares space with elevated running track, training machines, exercise classes and children’s play area, serving as a community center. An ice arena and ball diamonds join playgrounds and local walking paths to provide exercise venues. Regularly-scheduled annual events bring many to the Lake Waconia area. A 4th of July fireworks display over the lake is hugely popular and attracts viewers from many miles around. A half-marathon and a triathlon are held here each summer, bringing in large numbers of runners and athletes. A lake association is active and works toward improving water quality and solving any problems that arise. They are actively working on plans with the DNR to rid Coney Island of a flock of cormorants, recent interlopers who degrade the lake environment and eat huge numbers of fish.

Originally called Clearwater Lake, Lake Waconia has a long history of pleasing guests. Only 30 miles west of the busy Twin Cities, Lake Waconia is one of the largest lakes in the area, and for many years received daily visitors during the heyday of large lakeside resorts. Beginning in 1886, a developer plotted cottage lots, a large resort hotel, dance hall, boat house, swim beach and marina on the island he named Coney Island of The West. Lake Waconia ferried visitors from the shore to nearby Coney Island with steamships. As the popularity of lakeside resorts diminished with personal vehicle travel, Coney Island began to fade, and the cottages and amusements fell to ruin. The island is now privately owned and likely will become a wildlife refuge as part of the Lake Waconia Regional Park when land acquisitions are finished. The former ballroom recently annexed into the park was the last of those popular lakeside attractions and served as nightclub and ballroom until the 1960s. A maritime historical group recently began surveying the lake bottom to search for possible shipwreck sites. Lake Waconia has reinvented itself into a more modern era, much loved and appreciated by residents.

Although there are no resorts along Lake Waconia, some of the local private owners rent their lakefront homes to vacationers. A few rental cottages exist in the City of Waconia, along with a bed-and-breakfast. Two larger chain hotels also provide lodging. Real estate is available, some with lake frontage or lake views. Waconia offers all of the services a visitor would desire, including movie theaters, many restaurants and cafes, including a very nice waterfront restaurant at one of the marinas. The City of Waconia and Lake Waconia have a forward-looking vision. That vision is to create a highly enjoyable water-based playground serving everyone’s needs. And it’s well on its way to getting there. Come to Lake Waconia and see what all the excitement is about.

Things to Do at Lake Waconia

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Tubing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Playground
  • Movie Theater

Fish Species Found at Lake Waconia

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

Find Places to Stay at Lake Waconia

If you’re considering a Lake Waconia 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 Lake Waconia Vacation

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

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com 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.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com 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.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

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.

Lake Waconia Statistics & Helpful Links

divider

Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 3,080 acres

Shoreline Length: 10 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 966 feet

Maximum Depth: 37 feet

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.

Shop Lake Waconia Gifts

Custom Lake Tumblers

Captain / First Mate Custom 20 oz Tumbler

SHOP NOW
Custom Lake T Shirt

Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

SHOP NOW
Custom Lake Coffee Mug - On Lake Time

On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz

SHOP NOW
VIEW ALL CUSTOM LAKE PRODUCTS

Advertise Your Lake Waconia Business or Vacation Rental

LakeLubbers will soon offer businesses the opportunity to advertise and homeowners and property managers the ability to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily. If you would like additional details, please contact our advertising team.

divider

Looking for the Lake Waconia Forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here. We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Lake Waconia Photo Gallery

New photos coming soon!

Spread the word! Share our Lake Waconia article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!