City of Nisswa Turtle Races

Nisswa Lake Park & Recreation Area 

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 newest public water access on Nisswa Lake, and just across the tunnel from downtown Nisswa.


The Recreational Area hopes to offer amenities, such as a biking and/or walking trail, interpretative signage, observation areas, a picnic pavilion, restroom facilities, benches, a fishing pier and boat docking facilities, a performance area and maybe even a swimming area.


The park is also slated to be a trailhead 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 & Rec Director. (


Recent Activities 

•   Clear paths and pave trails

   - $35,000 donation triggers development (( & Donation approved

   - Trails taking shape (

•   Establish picnic areas (picnic tables, BBQ pits, benches, etc.)

•   Build pavilion/gazebo


Next Steps

•   Building restrooms and a parking lot

•   Creating a boardwalk path along the waterfront

•   Constructing dock system for fishing and boating

•   Establishing a performance space




Leave a legacy for future generations: DONATE NOW



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 these 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. See who has already contributed. (create PDF from 2nd page of word doc attached below)


Recent Fundraising Activities                                   


Donations to FONLP are tax deductible through a partnership with Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation, a 501 c-3 non-profit organization. Make checks payable to the Foundation with a notation of “Friends of Nisswa Lake Park” fund. Download this donation form (create PDF from 1st page of word doc attached below), or simply send a check of support 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 these co-chairs of the Friends of Nisswa Lake Park Committee:

Brian Lehman (218-838-4158), Lee Seipp (218-821-0362), Reed Larson (218-820-5335)   




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 build 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.pdffrom 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 paved and picnic areas added, including picnic tables, BBQ pits, benches and garbage cans. Additional donation prompts creation of pavilion/gazebo.

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City of Nisswa

City of Nisswa
5442 City Hall Street PO Box 410 Nisswa MN 56468

Phone: 218.963.4444
Fax: 218.963.3108