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Nisswa Lake Park

The Nisswa Lake Park & Recreational Area (NLPRA) is a lakeside park close to downtown Nisswa providing nature-based recreational opportunities and regional access and connectivity to water for residents and visitors alike. The 2.1 acre park is adjacent and north of the MN DNR’s public water access on Nisswa Lake, and accessible through the tunnel under 371 from downtown Nisswa.

The Recreational Area currently offers amenities, such as a walking trail, observation areas, a picnic pavilion, benches, boat docking facilities, and an outdoor classroom.  Future development is projected to include restrooms, access road, and a parking lot.

The park is also slated to be a trail head facility for a new regional Gull Lake Trail, a 21-mile route connecting the cities of Lake Shore, East Gull Lake and Fairview Township to the State Paul Bunyan Trail and downtown Nisswa. 
To become involved or learn more, contact the Nisswa Parks & Recreation Director at

Recent Amenities: Next Steps:
  • Building restrooms and a parking lot
  • Creating a boardwalk path along the waterfront
Friends of Nisswa Lake Park: Friends of Nisswa Lake Park (FONLP) is a group of citizens committed to the fundraising efforts to support the park. Federal and state grants and donations from area organizations are anticipated to cover the majority of project costs, but individual donations help to generate the necessary “cash match” required of many grant projects. Contributions may be in the form of individual or business donation, “in memory or honor of”, or a planned give from your estate. 

Donations to FONLP are tax deductible through a partnership with Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation, a 501 c-3 non-profit organization. Simply send a check of support made payable to the Foundation with a notation of “Friends of Nisswa Lake Park” fund and mail to: 
Friends of Nisswa Lake Park
c/o Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation
PO Box 262, Nisswa, MN 56468
For more info, contact one of the co-chairs of the Friends of Nisswa Lake Park Committee
  • Brian Lehman (218) 838-4158
  • Lee Seipp (218) 821-0362
History and Background:
  • 2007:   Lakefront land becomes available. City develops conceptual drawing. Friends of Nisswa Lake Park is formed.
  • 2010:   Land is purchased. Through the support of more than 170 individuals, businesses and organization, the Friends of Nisswa Lake Park raised $95,000, over an 18-month period, to help support the land purchase for the Nisswa Lake Park in the fall of 2010. These dollars were coupled with a $500,000 Parks & Trails Regional Legacy Grant (awarded in conjunction with the Minnesota DNR) and a generous matching pledge contribution of $300,000 from Arnold & JoAnn Johnson.
  • 2011:   The Friends of Nisswa Lake Park continue fundraising to support the creation of a land survey and maps. 
  • 2013-14:  Tunnel is built under Hwy 371 during the road’s re-construction. 
  • 2014:   Nisswa Lake Park and Recreational Area (NLPRA) Steering Committee, comprised of 20 Nisswa residents, staff, business owners, and professionals, is formed. Hires University of Minnesota Center for Rural Design to develop design concept for the park land. 
  • 2015:   NLPRA Steering Committee hosts an open house. Download a PDF of the power point (/media/Document_432.pdf), the brochure (/media/Document_413.pdf) or the survey results (/media/Document_430.pdf) from the open house.  Working from this input and a concept design developed from the University of Minnesota Center for Rural Design, Widseth Smith Nolting (WSN) created a schematic design in October of 2015. 
  • 2017:   Friends of Nisswa Lake Park fundraising continues. Major donation triggers development of trail.
  • 2018:   Trail cleared and picnic areas added, including picnic tables, BBQ pits, benches and garbage cans. Additional donation prompts creation of pavilion. Docks are donated from DH Docks and Tracks to support slips for 4 boats.  Grant received from Essentia Health/St Joseph's Foundation for the construction of a bike shelter and bike racks.
  • 2019:  Donation from Nisswa Lions to build an Outdoor Classroom for use by Nisswa Elementary.  Donation from the Ted and Mary Dullum Family Memorial received to install a flagpole, benches and some landscaping.  Additional docks donated by Wayne Cornish, creating accommodations to hold up to 10 boats.
5442 city hall street • PO box 410 • Nisswa mn 56468phone: 218.963.4444Fax: 218.963.3108