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Minneapolis public boat launches now open

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) opened launches at Bde Maka Ska, Lake Harriet and Lake Nokomis at 6 a.m., and began invasive species inspections.
Credit: KARE
Lake Harriet - Stock Image

MINNEAPOLIS — Those looking for more outdoor options during the Stay at Home order now have another one, as public boat launches in Minneapolis opened Friday, May 1. 

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) opened the launches at Bde Maka Ska, Lake Harriet and Lake Nokomis at 6 a.m., and began aquatic invasive species (AIS) inspections.  

All watercraft and water-related equipment using the three boat launches from May 1 to December 1 each year must undergo an AIS watercraft inspection. The boat launches are locked and not available to the public when the inspectors are not onsite. 

Here are the hours and access routes.

2020 Boat Launch Hours

May 1 – September 7

Daily: 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.

September 8 – October 12

Daily: 6 a.m. – 9 p.m.

October 13 – November 1

Daily: 7 a.m. –8 p.m., Inspector On-Call*

November 2 – December 1

Daily: 8 a.m. –6 p.m., Inspector On-Call*

*Fall On-Call Program (October 13 – December 1)

During our fall on-call inspection program please call the following numbers to get an inspection.

•    Bde Maka Ska: 612-346-5547

•    Lake Harriet: 612-346-5547

•    Lake Nokomis: 612-346-5428

Boat launches will be opened for each boater who calls for entry and exit inspections. Wait time is generally less than 10 minutes. Appointments not accepted. Boaters not exiting the lake by closing time must secure their boat and return for it the next day.

Parkway Access

Parkways serving all three Minneapolis lake boat launches currently have closures in place to allow trail users more room for social distancing. Visit the MPRB Road Closures page for maps and details.

Here's how to access each boat launch via motor vehicle while the closures are in place.

Bde Maka Ska

Access: Available northbound on E Bde Maka Ska Parkway only. Travel to E Bde Maka Ska Parkway from Richfield Road, 36th Street, 33rd Street, 32nd Street or 31st Street.

No Access: From Lake Street.

Exit: North to Lake St only.

Lake Harriet

Access: Available from William Berry Parkway only. Take a left at the intersection of William Berry Parkway and Lake Harriet Parkway.

No Access: Traveling westbound on Lake Harriet Parkway.

Exit: Go north to William Berry Parkway or west to W. 42nd Street.

Lake Nokomis

Access: Available from Cedar Avenue S only. Head east on W Lake Nokomis Parkway.

No Access: Traveling westbound on W Lake Nokomis Parkway.

Exit: West to Cedar Avenue S. only. 

PLEASE NOTE: Boat launch access is available via a section of parkway that is currently closed to motor vehicles and open to pedestrians, so please proceed with caution. 

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