Freshwater Fun in Central MN

It’s officially feeling like summer in Central Minnesota which means 2 things: it’s hot, and it’s humid. And it also probably means that you’re looking for the best way to keep cool on these steamy days. Fortunately, we live in the land of 10,000+ lakes, so there are many places to take a dip. Here is a list of some of the best local public beaches around the Greater St. Cloud area to keep you feeling fresh and having fun!

Avon Beach

Middle Spunk Lake – Avon Beach

426 Stratford St. West, Avon, MN 56310

Located right off of the Wobegon Trail in Avon, MN, Middle Spunk public beach is a family-friendly, fun option that is only about 25 minutes out of St. Cloud. With a mixture of sandy shores and grassy shaded areas sprinkled with picnic tables, this beach can accommodate many different groups. There are also public restrooms located onsite for visitors. Plus, both Fisher’s Club and PJ’s Supper Club are located right next to the beach, so you won’t leave the lake hungry!

Thein Lake – Richmond Lions Park

Co Rd 71 & 222nd St, Richmond, MN 56368

Located in the Richmond Lions Community Park on Thein Lake, this beach has many amenities including an adjoining playground area, a shelter for rental, and access to a sand volleyball court. Entrance into the park and beach is free! Really want to make a day of it? Start with a round of golf at Rich Springs Golf Club, followed by a great meal at Shady’s Long Shots, the clubhouse restaurant before your visit to cool down at Thein Lake. Sounds like a perfect summer day to us!

Cedar lake

Cedar Lake

1736 Abaca Road, Burtrum, MN 56318

This beach is one that visitors tend to remember, and the 39 mile drive from St. Cloud is worth it – we promise! Located in the Cedar Lake Memorial Campground, this long stretch of beach perfect for youngsters, because water depth is generally lower even as you walk out farther. And if you get too water-logged, there are canoes and paddle boats available for rental, as well as a playground and volleyball and basketball courts! Day passes are $5 per vehicle.

Quarry park beach

Quarry Park & Nature Preserve

1802 County Road 137, Waite Park, MN 56387

Dive into a different kind of fresh water swimming fun at Quarry Park, located right outside St. Cloud. This 683 acre park is home to miles of hiking paths and twenty different retired granite quarries, many of which are swimmable (as well as fishable or snorkel-able!)  Quarry #11 has a sandy beach that is perfect for relaxing, or if you’re more daring, you can cliff-dive from the surrounding rocks! Day passes are just $5 per vehicle, and you will want to plan on spending your whole day here!

Schroeder Park

Schroeder Park

9201 Ireland Ave NW, Annandale, MN 55302

Fishing, hiking, picnics and swimming – what more do you need! Visit Schroeder Park in Annandale, located 22 miles southeast of St. Cloud, and experience it all. There is also a volleyball court for visitors to use, as well as clean restrooms and showers. Hey adults – if you’re feeling really adventurous, pack a change of clothes and make sure to stop by Spilled Grain Brewhouse on your way out of town for a flight of local brews!

Warner Lake

Warner Lake

1485 County Road 143, Clearwater, MN 55320

Warner Lake County Park spans 264 acres, 30 of which are along beautiful Warner Lake in Clearwater. A 20 minute drive from St. Cloud, this park has hiking trails, a picnic area, play areas, a fishing pier, and of course, a swimming beach! There are public restroom facilities for visitors to use, as well as volleyball posts (must bring net and ball), horseshoe pits, and an open air shelter for relaxation and casual dining. Pro tip: we would recommend coming prepared with a bag of Clearwater Travel Plaza donuts to keep you and your swimmers full! Sorry not sorry, beach bod.

Lakeside park big lake

Big Lake Lakeside Park

101 Lakeshore Drive, Big Lake, MN

There is something for everyone at Lakeside Park, located just 30 minutes south east of St. Cloud. Playgrounds, fishing piers, picnic areas, walking paths, and even a skate park, not to mention a beautiful sandy beach! Day passes are $5 per vehicle, and get this: the park has free WiFi for guests to use! And when you’ve had your fill of fun, make sure to get your fill of food, too at Brick Yard Bar & Grill in Clear Lake on your way back to St. Cloud.

Two Rivers Campground and Tubing

5116 145th St. NW, Royalton, MN, 56373

Have a different kind of water fun on the water in Royalton. Bring your friends just 20 miles northwest of St. Cloud for an unforgettable adventure as you flow down the banks of the Platte River on a rubber inner tube. The campground provides the tubes and shuttle service to the beginning of the tubing experience, and the trip ends back at the campground before the river opens up into the Mississippi. Tube rental is $12 and includes the shuttle fee. For those who prefer to stay on the dryer side, canoes and kayaks are also available for rental. Whatcha waiting for, go with the flow!


Hopefully that is enough to get you started on your way to a summer of cool, refreshing fun. Wherever the summer heat takes you, share your experiences with us on social media with #VisitStCloud.