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Lake Maxinkuckee is a vibrant 1,850-acre lake in the north-central part of Indiana and is the state's second largest natural lake. The oblong-shaped lake is 2.6 miles long and 1.6 miles wide. Like many northern lakes, Lake Maxinkuckee is glacially formed. The lake is popular in the summer for boating, sailing, water skiing, swimming, and fishing. For a unique experience, Lake Maxinkuckee is deep enough for visitors to enjoy scuba diving. In the winter, the lake is popular with ice fisherman. Visitors can also get in a round of golf nearby, or take a bike ride around the lake.
The name "Maxinkuckee" comes from a Native American word whose translation is unclear. Definitions vary, from "diamond lake" to "clear water" to "gravelly bottom". Whatever the exact meaning of the lake's name, we do know that it was formed approximately 15,000 years ago by receding glaciers. Known as a kettle lake, these lakes are depressions in the earth's crust left behind after partially buried ice blocks melt and the depression is filled with water. The first inhabitants of the Lake Maxinkuckee area were Mound Builders, as evidenced by several mounds that can be found on the banks of the lake. The largest is called "Pare Mound". The mounds were not burial in nature and were probably used as a point of reference for the native peoples. The first white settlers came in the mid-1800's after the U.S. Army had moved the Native American tribes to Kansas. With the arrival of the railroad in 1884, the area began to grow and tourism increased. Lake Maxinkuckee saw a dramatic increase in the construction of cottages and large vacation homes.
The area has managed to retain its economic vitality due in part to the presence of Lake Maxinkuckee. Tourism has always been a major economic factor for the area, and Lake Maxinkuckee has played a major role in attracting visitors. For that reason, the lake's water quality is very important to residents and much effort has been made to ensure its high quality. The Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Council was created for just this purpose. With community involvement, the council has implemented a watershed management plan to safeguard this valuable natural resource.
A big draw for Lake Maxinkuckee is its reputation for excellent fishing. Anglers will find plentiful smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, white bass, rock bass, trout, bluegill, and yellow perch. However, the lake is considered one of Indiana's best walleye lakes. Ice fishing is popular with visitors and residents alike, the most frequent catch being bluegill. Other common catches during the winter months include yellow perch, crappie, and bass. Boaters will find a marina on the south shore and public access near the southwest side of the lake.
Visitors will have no problem finding accommodations around Lake Maxinkuckee. Cottages and other vacation rentals are sprinkled along the shoreline and in the town of Culver, which is located on the northwest shore of the lake. Those looking to relocate to the area will find a small, but vibrant community of under 2,000 people. The town takes great pride in its history as evidenced by the extensive information available at the town library and online. The Culver Chamber of Commerce sponsors special events throughout the year: Winter Fest in February, Taste of Culver in June, Wine Fest in September, Fall Fest in October, and Christmas in Culver in November.
Lake Maxinkuckee is a must-go lake for vacationers in the Northern Tourism Region of Indiana. With airport access less than two hour away in Fort Wayne, this lake is the perfect getaway destination for beautiful scenery in a hometown atmosphere.
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