This cozy lake, of twists, turns and inlets (and of course islands) is located in South West Minneapolis. Close to the heart of downtown and just a few blocks from Uptown and the Walker Art Center, the lake provides an oasis of nature within an urban Minnetropolis. Isles is a favorite of city dwelling recreational enthusiasts. A paved path for cyclists and rollerbladers circles the street level of the park, and a foot path circles the lake. Canoes and kayaks are also an entertainment to paddle around the small islands. Benches to rest and ponder abound, with calm views of the lake, surrounded by trees wildflowers and wildlife.

Isles is one fourth of the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes, connected by water way to Cedar Lake and Lake Calhoun, and by paved path to Lake Harriet to the south (via Calhoun). While Calhoun and Harriet are larger and offer additional amenities, Isles possesses an aura of tranquillity. Cedar Lake is serene as well but also is less accessible.

The area of the lake is approximately 3.1 miles. Wild flowers (Goldenrod, Daffodils, lilies, daisies...) remain as reminders of pre-urbanization. Old oaks and weeping willows hang gnarly branches over the water, brushing the surface with their leaves. Numerous birds and wildlife occupy the lake; ducks, Canadian geese, terns, herons, muskrats and squirrels thrive in the park. In the early morning filled with dewy fog, carp breach the surface, while sunny afternoons bear the sounds of Northern Pike preying on unsuspecting crappies and the occasional duckling.

I love Isles, circling on my bike, resting on my bench, finding animals in the clouds, wind scenting my body with pollen. Enjoying the sounds of the water and buzzing bees, escaping the city within. It brings me peace.

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