Roosevelt Lake, Minnesota, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Minnesota - Central -

Also known as:  Crooked Lake -historical

Roosevelt Lake is the kind of place that evokes generations of memories. Located about 45 miles north of Brainerd, Roosevelt Lake is at the north end of a group of hundreds of lakes feeding the Pine River, a major tributary to the mighty Mississippi. Although many of the lakes in the Northern Lakes and Forests tourism region of Central Minnesota are well-known vacation lakes, Roosevelt Lake has matured into a quiet, heavily wooded water paradise surrounded by wildlife and birds. And, where once the nine miles of shoreline were dotted with numerous resorts and tourist cabins, now only a few remain among a large number of private homes and cottages. Many of the properties have been ‘in the family’ for several generations, with the older folk introducing the youngest family members to fishing, frog-catching and swimming on warm summer days.

Roosevelt Lake is long and narrow, with two distinct basins connected by a channel. Ordinarily referred to as north and south Roosevelt Lake, it is actually one body of water. Crooked Creek connects the entire lake to Lawrence Lake which is in turn connected to Leavitt Lake. Originally called Crooked Lake, the name was changed in 1919 to honor the recently deceased President Roosevelt. The surface is graced with several small islands that support waterfowl and provide nesting areas for loons. Sixty-six species of birds and waterfowl have been surveyed at Roosevelt Lake and the wooded shoreline echoes in song, especially during the spring. Evenings are filled with the choruses of frogs, and the haunting cries of the many loons own the dawn. This is definitely paradise to the few who find it. And those who call it home, even for a week or two, find a variety of activities to fill their days. All kinds of boating is available here, with the long ‘reach’ of the narrow lake ideal for water skiing, tubing and sailing. Pontoons, canoes and kayaks explore the bays, and fishermen cast along the shorelines and the edges of the underwater drop-offs for the many fish lurking there.

A small marina at ‘The Narrows’-the narrow channel between the two basins-offers pontoon, fishing boat, paddle-board and water toy rentals. Bait can be purchased, as can a sandwich, cold drinks and even a meal nearby. A children’s frog-jumping contest goes on at The Narrows every week for most of the summer. A public boat landing operated by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is located along the east shoreline, with another on Lawrence Lake with access through the channel connecting the two. Anglers enjoy fishing for black crappie, bluegill, green sunfish, largemouth bass, northern pike, rock bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, cisco (tullibee), muskellunge and lake trout. The Minnesota DNR stocks some varieties of game fish on an irregular basis, but is no longer stocking lake trout due to poor spawning results; it is suspected that lowered oxygen levels during parts of the year do not allow for them to spawn naturally very well. Roosevelt Lake isn’t the place to catch the prize lunkers, but its waters supply a steady catch of good-sized eating fare. The variety of panfish makes this an excellent place for children with a pole and bobber. Although the center of the lake reaches nearly 130 feet in depth, the shallows near shore offer great ice fishing, and an ice fishing contest held every winter draws plenty of participants.

Roosevelt Lake is very clear. No invasive species have invaded its waters (as of Spring 2013), a catastrophe the local lake association is attempting to prevent. A boat inspection and educational program has been instituted, and special stickers are required on all watercraft, including canoes and kayaks. The local marina works to maintain the lake’s pristine status and steam-cleans all rental boats that have been taken to outside lakes before renting them again. The Roosevelt & Lawrence Area Lakes Association (RALALA) includes Roosevelt, Lawrence, Leavitt and Smokey Hollow Lakes. They not only work to monitor water quality but are active in local zoning issues and are developing a lake management plan. They have worked closely with the few developments that have been permitted to build housing along the lakeshore and have instituted voluntary septic inspection programs to prevent possible pollution.

A bird-lover’s paradise, Roosevelt Lake harbors bald eagles, ospreys, common nighthawk, eastern wood-pewee, golden-winged warbler, least flycatcher, ovenbird, rose-breasted grosbeak, swamp sparrow, veery, whip-poor-will, white-throated sparrow, yellow-bellied sapsucker, red-eyed vireo, chipping sparrow, eastern phoebe, red-winged blackbird, American robin mallard, goldeneye, merganser, great blue heron, green heron, sharp-shinned hawk, spotted sandpiper, rig-billed gull and Caspian tern, some of which are species of concern for endangerment. Roosevelt Lake makes the ideal base camp for a weekend of bird watching and nature observance. Binoculars are a must, as is a good bird identification book.

The closest town is Outing. Outing was originally built at The Narrows as a place for resort visitors to gather. It has since expanded past the channel to the surrounding area. The resorts that were popular a century ago are mostly gone, as is the seaplane base, but most businesses here still cater heavily to both local property owners and vacationers. There is no shortage of restaurants or convenience-type stores in the area, along with the necessary car repairs, property improvement, boating-focused businesses, hair salons and antique shopping. One bed-and-breakfast serves overnight visitors at the lakefront in comfort, and another establishment offers RV campsites at the rear of their storefront property.

Nearby, the small town of Emily offers more businesses, a golf course, and more lakes. A large number of private owners rent their properties for short periods, and a couple of older-style resorts still have cabins available for families wishing to spend an old-fashioned ‘week at the lake’. Parts of the Land O Lakes State Forest are nearby as are the Washburn Lake Ski Trails. Land O Lakes State Forest holds several campgrounds, some on other lakes but not directly on Roosevelt Lake. There is no public swimming beach on Roosevelt Lake. but the resorts and most of the private rentals have excellent sandy swim areas. Because of the large amount of public land in the area, several outdoor clubs cater to special interests; an ATV club and a snowmobile club maintain trails and encourage four-season recreation, including cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snowmobiling and hiking.

Real estate is available on Roosevelt Lake, including a newer development featuring shared lake frontage and building lots with restrictions. Real estate prices here are quite reasonable, particularly on older existing homes. Less than three hours from the Twin Cities and even closer to Duluth, Roosevelt Lake is the ideal spot for a weekend getaway or year-around retirement home. Such unspoiled residential and resort lakes like this are becoming rare, even in lake-rich Minnesota. First-time visitors be warned, however; once you see Roosevelt Lake, you will fall in love.

Things to do at Roosevelt Lake MN

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Dog Sledding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Forest
  • Antiquing
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Roosevelt Lake MN

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

Roosevelt Lake MN Photo Gallery

    Roosevelt Lake MN Statistics & Helpful Links

    divider

    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Surface Area: 1,510 acres

    Shoreline Length: 9 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,271 feet

    Average Depth: 35 feet

    Maximum Depth: 129 feet

    Drainage Area: 12 sq. miles

    Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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."


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.