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Norway Lake is nestled in Kandiyohi County on the southern border of Minnesota's Central tourism region. It is part of the Wilmar Lakes Area which includes 360 lakes with thousands of acres of water for fishing and boating. Norway Lake has three main basins. West Norway covers 1,389 acres with a maximum depth of ten feet. Big Norway has 905 acres and a maximum depth of 33 feet, and Little Norway is 105 acres of water with a maximum depth of ten feet. Together they make up the headwaters of a chain of lakes that feed Shakopee Creek and then the Chippewa River. Water flows through a channel from Little Norway into 529-acres Games Lake then on through Swan Lake, Henchein Lake and Lake Andrew. A dam built in 1927 at the outlet of Games Lake controls the water levels on both Games Lake and Norway Lake. The crest elevation for the dam is 1197 feet, and when water levels are at or above the dam's crest, the channel between the lakes is navigable by boat.
In addition to access from Games Lake, public access to Norway Lake is from one of the Minnesota DNR boat ramps. There is plenty of water for boating, waterskiing and swimming, and the lake is a fantastic place to fish. The bluegill and largemouth bass fishing is good, and the crappie fishing is excellent. Norway Lake is also stocked for walleye and northern pike. In the winter villages of ice houses pop up all over Norway Lake, and the ice fishing is very good. There are some minor fish consumption warnings (see link bat sidebar.)
The wooded shoreline of Norway Lake has both seasonal and permanent residences, and there are waterfront vacation rentals along with resorts and cabins. The lake is eight miles west of the town of New London, and access to restaurants and any amenities a visitor might need are within an easy drive. It is also a short drive from Norway Lake to Sibley State Park. Established in 1919 and named after Minnesota's first governor Henry Hastings Sibley, the park surrounds Lake Andrew. Miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding cross the 2,509-acre park, and in the winter there are some trails open for cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. Adventurous visitors can hike to the summit of Mount Tom and look down across the forest of oak, red cedar and aspen to the Minnesota countryside and farmland below.
Norway Lake has something to offer in every season. Whether it's boating and swimming in the summer, playing in the snow in the winter, or fishing all year round, Norway Lake is sure to please the entire family and become a place to return year after year.
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