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Sitting atop a brightly-colored towel and looking across Siseebakwet Lake's crystalline, vividly blue waters might bring up images of the Caribbean or Mediterranean. This Minnesota lake, however, is much easier to reach and boasts both winter and summer activities. From partying atop a pontoon boat, grilling outside of your lakeside vacation rental, to downhill skiing and sled dog racing, there's always plenty of fun at Siseebakwet Lake.
Siseebakwet Lake has 1,209 acres of some of the clearest water in Itasca County, located in northeast Minnesota. The lake, which is commonly referred to as Sugar Lake, received its lengthy name from its early inhabitants, the Ojibway tribe, who called it "Ziinzibaakwad." This term means "sugar." Siseebakwet Lake has an average depth of 44 feet and a maximum depth of 105 feet. Groundwater is the majority of the water source which enters the lake, followed by precipitation and two small streams. Water exits along the lake's eastern shoreline. Siseebakwet Lake is connected to its much smaller sister lake to the south, called South Sugar Lake. This 82-acre lake can be accessed through a narrow canal, which only small boats can pass through.
Siseebakwet Lake is populated with a resort, lakeside vacation rentals, cottages and real estate opportunities that sidle alongside the lake's forested 7.7-mile shoreline. A wide, white beach area is available for sunbathing, swimming, and building sandcastles. Those grilling outside of their cabins can peer through the trees while watching sailboats float quietly by in the summer breeze, some of them beginner sailors being taught by local instructors.
Motorboats are allowed on Siseebakwet Lake and can be seen tugging an inntertube filled with passengers screaming happily or wakeboarders attempting new tricks. Kayakers and canoeists take to the waters in a slower fashion, lazily exploring new sections of the lake in hopes of spotting a deer dipping its head in for a drink. Anglers typically come out before the lake fills up with other water enthusiasts, taking to the waters first thing in the morning or later in the day, as the evening fills with crickets chirping their songs. Walleye are the primary species in the lake, with catches averaging 15 inches, followed by northern pike, with catches averaging 22 inches. Yellow perch, bluegill and tullibee are other species that can be snagged within the lake.
Visitors or locals seeking out nightlife have a number of dining choices nearby Sugar Lake, as the local resort offers a fine dining grill experience. However, the City of Grand Rapids is only 11 miles to the northeast, which offers cuisines from tiny bistros to big burger joints, Mexican meals and five star dining spots. Once you're satiated by the local food, the city has much more to offer. Grab your family and check out interactive children museums or the performing arts center.
Whether you're exploring Siseebakwet Lake by boat, foot or kayak, there are always more things to be done. Play a game of volleyball or bocce ball with another visiting family or sit back and relax in your vacation rental. During the winter, catch your breath after spending a day skiing or snowboarding on the slopes. Whatever you decide, Sugar Lake will leave you wanting to come back to experience it all again and again.
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