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Sipping coffee on the deck overlooking 220-acre Bass Lake is a gift, a chance to let the stress melt away. As the mist rises off the water, the loons let out their distinctive call, greeting the morning as they glide across the lake. Tucked away on the western edge of the Metro region near Annandale, Bass Lake offers a natural lake getaway in the heart of everything.
Bass Lake has a maximum depth of 34 feet, an average depth of 14 feet, and about 3 miles of shoreline. The lake is fertile with abundant populations of northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegill and other pan fish, although few crappie. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) periodically stocks Bass Lake with walleye, but the lake is not known as a walleye fishery. The DNR has issued a minor fish consumption warning (see report below.) Dedicated anglers can ice fish in the winter, and groomed snowmobile trails and downhill skiing round out the winter activities. Public access to Bass Lake is from a concrete boat ramp on the west shore of the lake. Boating, waterskiing, canoeing and kayaking are all popular water activities, and 3,158-acre Clearwater Lake is easily accessible from Bass Lake.
The area around Bass Lake was settled by Germans and Swedes; Wright County was established in 1855. In the "Heart of the Lakes," Annandale is about three miles south of Bass Lake with 26 lakes within a 10-mile radius. The town, founded in the late 1800's, has historic buildings and charming bed and breakfasts. Visitors can stroll down the street browsing in quaint shops before stopping at one of the area's many restaurants for a leisurely lunch. Annandale is 25 minutes from St. Cloud and 45 minutes from Minneapolis and St. Paul, putting world class museums, concerts and galleries all within easy reach of Bass Lake.
It is a short drive from Bass Lake to Lake Maria State Park. The park preserves 1,590 acres of Minnesota's "Big Woods," part of a forest that once covered almost 2,000 acres of central Minnesota. The trees grew so thick that in places the sunlight didn't reach the forest floor. Visitors can explore the park on foot, bike, and horseback during warm months, and by cross country skis during the winter. Ski-in cabins and campgrounds provide overnight accommodations. Lucky visitors might even see the Blandings turtles that make their home in the park. The endangered turtle can be identified by the bright yellow spots on its shell. Abundant wildlife lives in the Park, including almost 205 species of birds that live in or pass through during migration.
Winter days at Bass Lake are spent skiing or ice fishing with nights sipping hot chocolate snuggled in front of the fire. Spring and summer bring exceptional fishing, with mornings and evenings spent watching the loons gliding across the water. Bass Lake offers year round recreation and a restful rejuvenating vacation in the "Heart of the Lakes."
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