North Long Lake, Minnesota, USA

Also known as:  Brainerd Lakes

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at North Long Lake.

If you’re considering North Long Lake vacation rentals, we’ve made it super easy to explore accommodations and nearby hotels using the interactive map below. Simply click on a listing to compare similar properties, best rates and availability for your dates. Or keep scrolling to read our North Long Lake guide!

North Long Lake visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - Midwest - Minnesota - Central -

Covering almost 6,000 acres, North Long Lake is one of the largest and most popular of the Brainerd Lakes. North Long Lake is located in the Central Region of Minnesota and is heavily developed with real estate and vacation rentals along its shores as well as some resorts and campgrounds. Recreational activities are abundant and include fishing, boating, swimming and camping.

North Long Lake was formed by melting glaciers thousands of years ago, and consists of three oval and oblong sections that stretch from east to west. Native Americans made their home around the lake during the 1800’s. Led by Chiefs Hole-in-the-Day I and II, the Native Americans held council meetings in the large hard maples groves, or sugar bush as they called them. The maple groves can still be enjoyed today as they can be found located in sections around the lake. The early 1900’s saw much building along the shoreline of North Long Lake, as visitors decided to take up residence in the lake area. Seasonal and permanent homes were built along with fishing and recreational resorts.

In 1959 the North Long Lake Association (NLLA) was established to support the residents and guests of North Long Lake. In 1961, a dam was installed in the Sugarbush Creek outlet to help maintain the water levels of the lake. The North Long Lake Association works hard to keep the waters of North Long Lake well stocked with fish and actively tests the lake monthly to keep water problems at bay.

Visitors do not have to own real estate on North Long Lake to enjoy the recreational opportunities. There are several public accesses that provide boat ramps and swimming areas for everyone. Anglers know North Long Lake as one of the best fishing spots of the Brainerd Lakes. Game fish species include a large population of walleye and largemouth bass along with a good number of pan fish, black crappies and northern pike.

Nearby in Brainerd visitors will find the start of Paul Bunyan Trail which is the longest bike trail in Minnesota. The 110 miles of paved trail offers perfect terrain for biking, hiking and roller-blading in the warm months, while the cold snowy months are great for snowmobiling. The trail winds around the western tip of North Long Lake as it meanders its way north.

North Long Lake offers overnight accommodations to suit anyone’s taste. Families can stay at one of the many campgrounds that provide primitive settings along with RV and electric hook ups. While sleeping close to nature, visitors may spot white-tailed deer sipping water along the shores or spot eagles soaring overhead. For those who rather stay a bit more comfortable will find many vacation rentals and restores that offer a host of amenities. Visitors who enjoy North Long Lake so much may want to call the lake home. Real estate is abundant and potential buyers can purchase a vacation home or even a full time home. Whether visitors stay a week or decide to speed a lifetime, there is nothing like relaxing on a deck with lakeside views. The peaceful waters of North Long Lake will ease away any stress and leave visitors feeling refreshed.

It is not hard to find something to enjoy about the beautiful North Long Lake. With all the recreational activities so close it is no wonder many visitors decide to make North Long Lake home. For those who like to have a little getaway, will enjoy a leisure day on the beach or have some fun boating on the open waters. Lakeside enjoyment is limitless along the shores of North Long Lake.

Custom North Long Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at North Long Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Snowmobiling
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding

Fish species found at North Long Lake

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

Best hotels and vacation rentals at North Long Lake

The North Long Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

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North Long Lake photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

North Long Lake statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 5,998 acres

Shoreline Length: 19 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,199 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 1,196 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 1,204 feet

Average Depth: 8 feet

Maximum Depth: 97 feet

Water Volume: 96,098 acre-feet

Water Residence Time: 16684

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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