Best Snorkeling Locations in Minnesota

Minnesota is an excellent place for snorkeling with its natural resorts and historical significance. It’s a northern state of the US situated in the Upper Midwest, between North Dakota and Wisconsin, bordering the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario on the northern side. It’s also known for one of the largest and Great Lakes, Lake Superior, and called as “The Land of 10,000 Lakes”.

1. Square Lake

a woman snorkeling in deep blue seawater

Square Lake is one of the most widely known recreational sites in Minnesota for snorkeling with clear water. It’s located in Stillwater, Minnesota. This area is known for its features, such as boats that have sunk. It’s also a popular area for having picnics as well as a hotspot for tourism and fishing. People love canoeing and boating here.

The place also has changing rooms and washrooms. You can rent out or purchase gear for diving from the Scuba Center in Eagan.

2. Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park is another famous spot located in International Falls, Minnesota. It lies in the Southern tip of the Boreal Forest. You can explore more than 100,000 acres, as it covers a vast area with lots of tall trees and forests. If you’re looking for gear to go snorkeling, there are many shops nearby to get some. They have a wide range of equipment such as boats, fishing rods, and diving boards, etc.

However, you need to spend some time here to explore it all. It’s very vast and full of things to find and explore. People are usually seen canoeing and fishing there.

3. Lake Superior

Lake Superior

Lake Superior is another famous snorkeling spot in Minnesota. It’s one of the places Minnesota is known for. In addition to that, Lake Superior is also known as the world’s largest freshwater by its surface area, according to many geologists. It is the largest of the Great Lakes, which covers an area of about 82,103 km.

Lake Superior is very deep and full of clear water. Since it is rocky, it features a wide range of hidden gems, as well as various kinds of fishes such as the popular whitefish, trout, perch, lake sturgeon (being the largest fish), and walleye. The temperature there goes down and up rapidly, depending on the season. Therefore, in the summers, the temperatures can get very high, and go quite low in the winters.

4. Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area

Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area

The Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area used to be an open mining pit that was abandoned 20 some years ago. It is located in Ironton, Minnesota, and was established in 1993, covering an area of about 2,773 acres. It has clear water featuring various kinds of fishes, such as trout, northern pikes, etc.

To explore the lake, you can rent out a ferry or a boat, which can be done from the nearby places. Another thing that you must visit should be The Croft Mine, which was recently added to this area.

Cuyuna Country State Recreational Area, being one of the oldest places in Minnesota, is an excellentspot to check out for snorkeling and sightseeing.

5. Eagan Scuba Center

a diver snorkeling in the ocean

One of the best things about coming to Minnesota is also the fact that if you can’t dive or snorkel, you can learn it here. Eagan Scuba Center is located in South Minneapolis in Eagan, Minnesota. It has been operational since 1973. They teach you everything from how to swim, to dive, to snorkel, and if you’re looking for gear to buy for diving or snorkeling, you can easily get it from here.

It’s one of the oldest and commonly known centers for learning how to dive and snorkel. They also teach you courses about underwater, underwater life, and basically everything you should know about the aquatic life.

6. Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW)

photograph of a lake with trees

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness or BWCAW, is a combination of trees, forests, lakes, and streams. It’s one of the wilderness areas that come under the government’s protected areas of preservation due to its natural state and condition and its wildlife. It is located in Duluth, Minnesota, consisting of an area of 1,090,000-acre.

This area is also a tourist hub with as many as 100,000 to 200,000 people coming per year. Fishing has been a significant activity here, as it includes fish, ranging from northern pike, walleye, and smallmouth bass to occasional whitefish, panfish, white sucker, and splake. It has a variety of hiking trails if you want to go for a hike. It’s also home to wildlife such as wolves, deer, moose, bald eagle, bears, falcons, and more.

7. Sea Life

Sea Life aquarium in the Mall of America

Sea Life is an aquarium in the Mall of America, located in Bloomington, Minnesota. The aquarium is about 1.3 million gallons, which was opened in 1996. The aquatic creatures include sea turtles, stingrays, alligators, and even sand tigers, sharks, and piranhas. The best thing about this aquarium is that they let you snorkel with aquatic creatures. They have over 10,000+ sea creatures.

Moreover, the place features a tunnel-like experience for people to view the aquatic life. The staff is also very cooperative, polite, and professional. They guide you through the whole process to ensure nothing goes wrong. Safety standards are maintained at the highest priority.

If you’re seeking a thrill, this is the place to go as there are a lot of amazing creatures to check out and swim with.

8. Quarry Park and Nature Preserve

a person snorkeling with fish

One of the places people usually miss out on is the Quarry Park and Nature Preserve, which was previously known as Hundred Acres Quarry. It is located in Waite Park, Minnesota, and is about 683 acres. Moreover, it is the largest park in Stearns County Park that has two quarries for swimming and three for scuba diving.

Quarry Park and Nature Preserve opened for the public on 1st January 1998. It is an exclusive place for those who love the outdoors. One of them is 116 feet deep and is very rocky, and the other one is about 40 feet with a sandy beach. It also offers areas for having a picnic, trails for hiking, rock climbing along with separate areas for the winter sports and sightseeing. The park is open throughout the year, from timings from 8 AM to sunset about 5 PM. Vehicle permits are required at the park. Regular permits can be obtained for 5 dollars per day and an annual permit for about 20 dollars.


Minnesota can prove to be a very eventful and affordable place for your visit. If you’re looking for a thrill, then that’s the place to go. It has many historical resorts and places one would find a great time exploring and worth experiencing. From natural resorts and its beauty to deep clear waters for canoeing and snorkeling to huge forests with tall trees and long trails for hiking and camping, Minnesota has it all.

The nature resorts are preserved and protected by the state, and hence you’ll get to experience wilderness at its finest; the wildlife is something worthy of experiencing. All in all, it’s worth checking out if you love the outdoors and looking for a good time snorkeling.