Whitefish Lake, Minnesota, USA

Also known as:  Upper Whitefish Lake and Lower Whitefish Lake, Whitefish Chain of Lakes

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

If you’re considering Whitefish Lake MN 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 Whitefish Lake MN guide!

Whitefish Lake MN visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - Midwest - Minnesota - Central -

The natural beauty of Whitefish Lake will leave visitors spellbound and ready to leave the cares of the world behind. Nestled in the Central Region of Minnesota, Whitefish Lake is part of the Whitefish Chain of Lakes which includes Upper Whitefish Lake, Lower Whitefish Lake, Big Trout Lake, Clamshell Lake, Hen Lake, Island Lake, Little Pine Lake, Arrowhead Lake, Bertha Lake, Cross Lake, Daggett Lake, Lower Hay Lake, Pig Lake, and Rush Lake. With 13,660 surface acres of water and 119 miles of combined shoreline, the Whitefish Chain is the largest chain of lakes in the Brainerd area, and it provides dozens of recreation activities which include boating, fishing, waterskiing, swimming, hiking and bird watching.

The 14 lakes in the Whitefish Chain of Lakes are all natural lakes. In 1884, the US Army Corps of Engineers constructed a dam on the Pine River, a tributary of the Mississippi River. Before constructing the dam, Pine River was a creek connecting Cross Lake with Upper and Lower Whitefish Lakes. The Pine River Dam raised the water level, making channels between the lakes which aided logging operations in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Reconstruction of Pine River Dam took place between 1905 and 1907, and another major renovation took place from 1998-2003.

Whitefish Lake has become a popular vacation destination. With the shoreline zoned for general development, lake resorts, restaurants, cabins, campsites as well as expensive lake homes line the shoreline. Lake access can be found on the east shore of Upper Whitefish Lake. However, lake visitors are not limited to Whitefish Lake for public access. Pig Lake, Clamshell Lake, Cross Lake, Big Trout Lake, and Lower Hay Lake have public access as well. A swimming beach with a picnicking and playground area can be found at the Cross Lake Recreation Area, also known as the Ronald Louis Cloutier Recreation Area. It is located on Cross Lake about 22 miles north of Brainerd. The Cross Lake Recreation Area also offers camping with electric and non-electric campsites.

Another place of interest and intense beauty is Big Island, cradled in the waters of Upper Whitefish Lake. The Island is most noted for its 35+ acres of old-growth maple and basswood forest. The Island has been designated as a county Scientific and Natural Area to preserve its natural beauty. Although picnicking is not allowed in the forest, the Island also offers some sandy beach areas where picnicking and camping are allowed. An interpretive trail though the forest provides information to help visitors appreciate the natural beauty around them.

Golfers can enjoy close to 25 golf courses within 30 miles of the Whitefish Chain of Lakes. For those who enjoy a good drive, the National Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway weaves its way around the Whitefish Chain of Lakes. Nature lovers may enjoy a visit to the nearby Big Stone Wetland Management District which contains 3,000 acres and provides important habitat for waterfowl.

Fishing is still an all-time favorite pastime at Whitefish Lake which specializes in northern pike, largemouth bass and bluegill. Other fish caught at Whitefish Lake are smallmouth bass, crappie, walleye, and whitefish. In the winter when Whitefish Lake freezes over, ice fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling are popular sports.

So whether visitors like to fish, camp, or just get away for a relaxing retreat, they will find what they are looking for at Whitefish Lake. With all the natural beauty that the Whitefish Chain of Lakes has to offer, it is no wonder that these lakes are becoming a very popular vacation destination.

Custom Whitefish Lake MN house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Whitefish Lake MN

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Birding
  • Playground

Fish species found at Whitefish Lake MN

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Walleye
  • Whitefish

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Whitefish Lake MN

The Whitefish Lake MN 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.

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.

Whitefish Lake MN photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

Whitefish Lake MN statistics & helpful links

divider

Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: US Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 7,370 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,253 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 1,253 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 1,254 feet

Average Depth: 47 feet

Maximum Depth: 140 feet

Completion Year: 1884

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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.

Advertise your Whitefish Lake MN vacation rental

LakeLubbers will soon offer homeowners and property managers the opportunity to to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily for accommodations. If you’d like additional details, please contact our advertising team here.

divider

Looking for the Whitefish Lake MN 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 and Instagram!

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