Upper and Lower Prior Lake are located in Prior Lake, Minnesota – south of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The two lakes are almost directly in the center of the city. Upper Lake drains into Lower Lake. Upper Prior Lake spans 416 acres, with an average depth of 10 feet and a max depth of 43 feet. One interesting fact about Upper Prior Lake is that the water quality is considered “impaired” because it does not meet the state water quality standards (due to high phosphorus and chlorophyll levels). They plan to fix this by reducing carp populations, reducing nutrients from upstream lakes, and managing aquatic plants.
Prior Lake was first incorporated as a village in 1891. Also, something you may not know is that the Lake (both Upper and Lower) is ranked number 80 in size of all 10,000 Minnesota lakes. Fishing and water sports are popular on the lake. Popular fish include walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegills, crappies, and bullheads. It also holds invasive species such as carp, zebra mussels, eurasian milfoil, and curly pond leaf. Zebra mussels devastatingly contaminated the lake almost a decade ago in 2010.
What To Do
If you are looking to visit Upper and Lower Prior Lake, the best public access points to take your boat to are the Sandpoint Boat Launch (on Lower Lake) and the Dewitte Public Access (on Upper Lake). Looking for public beaches to visit instead? We recommend Sandpoint Beach or Watzl’s Beach – both on Lower Lake.
Popular attractions around the lake include the established Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Little Six Casino, and Cleary Lake Regional Park – known for its fun activities such as golfing, swimming, and cross-country skiing. Likewise, prominent and beloved restaurants in the area are PLate, Edelweiss Bakery, Perron’s Sul Lago, and Minnehaha Cafe. Whether eating, gambling, boating, or swimming – you will have a fun time!