The Iowa Great Lakes cover 15,000 acres from the Minnesota border southwest for several miles. Spirit Lake is the largest natural lake in Iowa. It was named Spirit Lake from the Indians by the mist of the bad spirits, which at one time was named Mystic Lake. Joseph Nicollet arrived on September 29, 1838 and translated the name to Lac De Espirit in French. Then John Femont, Nicollet’s guide, translated the name to Spirit Lake. Femont also named West Lake Okoboji, Okoboji Lake on Nicollet’s famous map of 1838.
Over 100,000 years ago Lake Okoboji was carved by the Wisconsin glacier. This lake covers 3,850 acres and at its deepest is 134 feet deep. East Lake Okoboji starts at the base of Big Spirit Lake and runs south for 16 miles. The Iowa Great Lakes include Iowa’s largest natural lake, Spirit Lake and five interconnected lakes: West Okoboji, East Okoboji, Upper Gar, Lower Gar and Minnewashta.
Storm Lake was named from a trapper passing through the area in 1855. Twenty families settled around the lake in 1870 when the Dubuque and Sioux City Railroad arrived. They settled on the north and southwest side of the lake. Storm Lake is the fourth largest lake in Iowa covering about 3,200 acres and offers 200 acres of parks. This lake offers trails for joggers, walkers to enjoy the beautiful lake. And in 2007, King’s Pointe Resort and Waterpark opened and is the cornerstone of a $35 million Awaysis Project, featuring several enhancements by which to enjoy the great natural resource in Storm Lake.
Today, the Iowa Lakes Corridor, from Storm Lake to the Iowa Great Lakes and beyond, is a vibrant area no matter the season, and is a great place to create excellent memories! Think of the Iowa Lakes as a great destination year round for corporate conventions and relaxing vacations. From boating, skiing to ice fishing and snowmobiling, there are many incredible things to do every season, all season long.
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