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Granite Lake is an awesome natural treasure situated on the western edge of Minnesota's Metro tourism region. Composed of 353 acres of surface area and a four-mile shoreline length, the freshwater lake and its surroundings provide a diverse range of recreational activities for both visitors and residents alike. Granite Lake is also a part of the North Fork Crow River Watershed - an area covering 949,087 acres.
With an average depth of 18 feet and a maximum depth of 34 feet, Granite Lake offers plenty of opportunity for both boating and water sports. Sailing, water skiing, and fishing are some of the most popular activities here at the largest lake in the Township of Albion.
Wildlife watchers delight in Granite Lake for its serene atmosphere and prolific wildlife. Eagles soar mightily overhead in flocks of six to ten, while owls hunt deep in the thick forests at night. The body of water inhabits large populations of beavers, as evidenced by its majestic and intricate natural dams. The most impressive beaver embankment is on the northeast corner of Granite Lake, an organic structure that controls drainage from Libby Lake. The animals have created a sort of holding pond into which sediment settles before coursing into Granite Lake.
Anglers love trawling Granite Lake, a fishing haven that has been stocked since 1919. Northern pike ranging from 17-34 inches are frequently reeled in, as well as largemouth bass ranging from 9-18 inches. Other game fish like black crappie, yellow perch and bluegill can additionally be found at Granite Lake - along with smaller species like bullhead, sunfish, and carp. Before consuming, fishing enthusiasts should keep in mind that the lake is on the EPA list for high levels of mercury.
Lake Maria State Park is easily considered one of the best day trips from Granite Lake. Known for its camping and phenomenal wildlife watching, the lake is home to nesting eagles and ospreys, as well as the threatened Blandings turtle (known for the brilliant yellow dots along its carapace). Trails stretching one to two miles in length wind through rare oak, basswood and maple forests. A stunning boardwalk twists about the preserve's rich marshlands - a habitat for over 205 species of bird including egret, loon and goldfinch. Careful observation may also lead to mammal sightings: woodchuck, pocket gopher, muskrat, fox and white-tailed deer.
Just minutes from Granite Lake, the city of Albion is an historic place that was founded in 1856 by Canadians Thomas G. Holmes and B.E. Emery. Interestingly, Albion is the oldest known name for the island of England - the word Albion means "white cliffs." Located just 45 minutes from the Twin Cities, the entire area is known as "the Heart of Lakes" due to 26 major bodies of water within a 10-mile radius - including Maxim Lake, Swartout, Ramsey, Maple and Albion Lakes.
Golfers can sample three courses within minutes of Granite Lake, while families might take a stroll through Wright County's Robert Ney Memorial Park Reserve. Over 375 acres of swamps and woodlands comprise this nature center, along with the Wright County Parks Environmental Education Center. Facilities include picnic tables, access to Lake Mary, 3.5 miles of hiking trails and a memorial chapel. Just a few minutes north of the nearby town of Cokato, Wildlife County Park features canoe campsites, picnic areas and waterway access.
With such great natural beauty, it is no wonder that Granite Lake is a desirable place to live and spend vacations. Real estate properties and vacation rentals are readily available for visitors, or for those looking to make Granite Lake a permanent home. This charming lake is nothing short of magnetic, and guests flock here year-round for winter cross country skiing, fragrant spring wildflowers, fresh summer sunshine and breathtaking autumn leaves.
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