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No place invites lakefront dreaming quite like Lake Alexander. Located in the Lincoln Lakes area of Central Minnesota, this beautiful lake has it all: vivid sunsets, nearly 3,000 acres of open water, excellent fishing and sandy-bottomed beaches. A large number of lakefront property owners share the 16 miles of heavily-wooded shoreline. Two small public beach areas and three boat launch ramps offer access to the general public. Lake Alexander is not as well-known as other lakes in the Upper Mississippi drainage area.
The waters of Lake Alexander are exceedingly clear and excellent for swimming. Only one small inlet stream enters the lake. Much of the water likely comes from underground springs. Thoroughfare Creek outlet flows to nearby Fish Trap Lake. The creek only flows intermittently, but a few muskie have managed to migrate downstream to live in Fish Trap. Several islands dot the surface of Alexander Lake, and parts of the shoreline are wetlands. The lake is an ideal place to paddle a canoe or kayak along the shore and to the islands.
Although there is no marina on the lake, all types of watersports are enjoyed by residents and visitors, including water skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, pontooning, swimming and kayaking. The lake is also a favorite of fishermen, since it is considered by many to be one of Minnesota's top walleye lakes. Because many of the other noted walleye lakes in the state are in close proximity, anglers seldom overcrowd Lake Alexander-or Lake Alec as it is locally known. A small beach area on the west end of the lake near the outlet is maintained by Scandia Valley Township, while one at the opposite end of the lake is provided at Pinehurst County Park. A waterfront restaurant is popular for lunch and dinner.
Once the home of several resorts, only a limited number still remain. Some of the former resorts now rent a few cottages by the week or month, while others offer cottages and RV lots for sale or lease. Luckily, several lakefront property owners rent their homes on a short-term basis to vacationers. These often include docks, small watercraft and swim areas. These are in high demand with anglers and their families. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) stocks the lake regularly with walleye and muskie fingerlings, while the varied underwater terrain supports northern pike, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and a variety of panfish. Fishermen must possess a valid Minnesota fishing license and should be aware that there are 'slot' limits on northern pike. Rules change regularly, so a current copy of the fishing regulations should be consulted. Lake Alexander is also excellent for ice fishing.
Lake Alexander is conveniently located about 2.5 hours from the Twin Cities area. Several small towns and cities in the area are convenient for purchasing groceries, services and supplies. The Town of Randall is about eight miles south of the lake. It holds a couple of small cafes and several stores in the old-fashioned downtown area. Tiny Cushing to the west has limited facilities for visitors, while Fort Ripley is located to the east on the Mississippi River's bank. The lake was named for Thomas L. Alexander, an officer at Fort Ripley, the training ground for the Minnesota National Guard. Numerous trails in the area provide plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities such as mountain biking, hiking and orienteering. Snowmobile clubs in the area offer maps that will put visiting snowmobiles on the path to entering the large network of snowmobile trails mapped by the state. Hundreds of acres of public hunting lands attract hunters each year. The area has many lodgings that stay open year-round to accommodate cold weather activities.
The entire area is an excellent home base for hiking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and generally enjoying nature. West of the lake, the Lake Alexander Preserve includes 1,700 acres of woods, wetlands and bogs-an excellent place to bird watch. The Preserve is home to a population of the dwindling red shouldered hawk along with wolves, black bear, deer, bald eagles, great blue heron, ospreys and ruffed grouse. Originally purchased from Fort Ripley by the Nature Conservancy, the area has been transferred to the Minnesota DNR which operates it as a Scientific and Natural Area. Access to the area is on foot; motor vehicles and dogs are not permitted. The area is only 30 miles south of the popular Brainerd Lakes, so there are plenty of festivals, fishing contests and local entertainments to enjoy in all seasons.
The Lake Alexander Property Owners Association organizes volunteers to monitor water quality and be on the look-out for invasive species. Eurasian milfoil has been identified at the lake, and association teams work each year to eradicate the nuisance plant. The group also educates property owners and visiting boat owners as to how best prevent water quality problems and avoid spreading invasive species.
Those looking to live at Lake Alexander will find real estate available in a wide range of prices and sizes. Short-term visitors will be able to reserve a private cottage or home as long as they plan in advance. RV lots can be leased or purchased at one of the local resorts. Off the lake, a number of small motels and cottage resorts are located in the area. Lake Alexander is an ideal place to enjoy lake living without heavy tourism. Come enjoy the solitude of Lake Alec.
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