Wabana Lake, Minnesota, USA

Also known as:  Wabana Chain of Lakes

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

Topics we cover in this article:

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All About Wabana Lake

Trilling their distinctive call, loons glide across the surface of Wabana Lake, dodging in and out of the mist rising from the exceptionally clear water. They share the early morning with anglers searching for the walleye that make their home in this Minnesota lake. Connected to the Wabana Chain of Lakes, both birds and boats can float around 35 miles of shoreline without visiting the same place twice. With more than two-thirds of the lake’s 2,133 acres surrounded by the Chippewa Nation Forest, the hidden coves, tree-lined inlets and bays are perfect places to explore by canoe or kayak. Whether it’s a quiet early morning paddle, an afternoon jet skiing and sunbathing, or the quest for the “big one,” Wabana Lake is a northeast Minnesota destination sure to delight the entire family.

Wabana Lake in Itasca County is part of the Wabana Chain of Lakes which includes Trout Lake, Bluewater Lake, and Little Trout Lake. The lakes were formed from ice-block pits left behind by glaciers. Little Wabana Lake is the smallest of the lakes and has a surface area of 105 acres with a maximum depth of 57 feet and an average depth of 30 feet. Covering 1,659 acres, Trout Lake is the second largest lake in the chain. It has a maximum depth of 160 feet, making it the deepest of the four lakes, with an average depth of just over 45 feet. Both Trout Lake and Little Wabana Lake have year round residential development and vacation rentals along with public access from concrete boat ramps.

Bluewater Lake has 370 surface acres of water with a maximum depth of 100 feet and an average depth of 60 feet. It has lakefront homes and cottages but no public access. It is, however, connected to Wabana Lake, and Bluewater Lake can be reached by boat through Wabana Lake’s Wakeman Bay. Two concrete boat ramps provide access to Wabana Lake. This natural lake was dammed in 1872 and has a maximum depth of 115 feet and an average depth of 27 feet. Wabana Lake has a sandy bottom and is the largest lake in the chain.

Black crappie, rock bass, largemouth bass, bluegill and sunfish can all be found in Wabana Lake. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources stocks the lake with walleye, making it the most popular game fish in the lake. Trout fishermen can navigate the channel between Wabana and Bluewater Lakes for the trout that fill the lake. Ice fishing is popular in winter. Minor fish advisories (see below) are in place for the lakes, but both are exceptionally clean and classified as oligotrophic.

Wabana Lake is 13 miles north of the city of Grand Rapids which has restaurants, shops and any amenities a visitor might need. The lake is surrounded on three sides by the Chippewa National Forest which covers 666,542 acres. The forest shares boundaries with the Forest and Leech Lake Indian Reservations. It was established in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt and was the first national forest created east of the Mississippi River. The national forest has trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding; winter brings out enthusiasts for cross country skiing, snowmobiling and downhill skiing near Wabana Lake.

Northeast Minnesota has ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, and Wabana Chain of Lakes is a fantastic place to start. Swimming, boating and four seasons of fishing combine to make Wabana Lake a getaway with something to please everyone.

Things to Do at Wabana Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Birding
  • National Forest

Fish Species Found at Wabana Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Walleye

Find Places to Stay at Wabana Lake

If you’re considering a Wabana Lake 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 Wabana Lake Vacation

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

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.

Wabana Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Surface Area: 2,133 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,319 feet

Average Depth: 27 feet

Maximum Depth: 115 feet

Water Volume: 58,018 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1872

Water Residence Time: 6.7 Years

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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.

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