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Gull Lake
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The Gull Lake Region is named after Gull Lake in Minnesota. Specifically, the area is located in the center of Minnesota, within Cass County. This distinction is necessary due to the fact that there are six other lakes in Minnesota that share the same name.[1] The Gull Lake Region is famous for its various lakes, which provide ample opportunities for anglers and campers to catch species such as largemouth bass and bluegills. Ice fishing, in particular, is quite famous in the colder winter months. The largest cities in the destination include Brainerd, East Gull Lake, Wadena, Menahga. None of these cities are particularly large; the Gull Lake Region is primarily defined by its natural features instead. The year-round average temperature ranges from highs of roughly 52 degrees Fahrenheit to lows of 29 degrees.[3] The city of Brainerd has the broadest range of attractions in the region, which include places such as the Safari North Wildlife Park and the Brainerd International Raceway.[5]

What Gull Lake is known for

Lying nearly directly at the center of Minnesota, the Gull Lake Region is named after one of the largest lakes in the surrounding area: Gull Lake. The lake has many offshoots and smaller reservoirs, including Roy Lake, Margaret Lake, and Upper Gull Lake. Gull Lake has the most extensive shoreline relative to the surrounding region, and there are 19 resorts that are situated nearby. Many anglers and fishers are drawn to the area for its diverse range of wildlife and many programs and businesses that making fishing more easily accessible. Gull Lake Region's fishing is unique in the sense that it is possible to do it year-round. In the winter, the lakes freeze over quite frequently, allowing for abundant ice fishing. Every year, Brainerd hosts a charity event called the Brainerd Ice Fishing Extravaganza. Over 20,000 ice fishing holes are made in anticipation of the event.[5] 

When the lake isn't frozen over, visitors frequently participate in activities like boating, riding wave runners, tubing, or swimming. In addition to the lakes within the region, there are a few state forests and other outdoor areas where people can explore nature. Huntersville State Forest and Foot Hills State Forest are two examples of those kinds of locations. Brainerd is one of the largest cities in the region, though it still only has a population of just over 13,000.[6] The city has a handful of attractions, despite its relatively small size. The Brainerd International Raceway offers off-road courses and a dragstrip. Examples of activities that take place at the raceway include autocross competitions, superbike racing, drag racing, and car shows. In August of each year, there is a drag racing competition called Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals that brings in thousands of viewers.[5] 

For [more laid-back visitors to] visitors looking to have a more relaxed and laid-back experience in Brainerd, the Safari North Wildlife Park is a viable option. It is a private zoo and strives to promote wildlife conservation. There are hundreds of species of animals in the park, including grizzly bears, kangaroos, white Bengal tigers, and giraffes.[5] The most tourist-heavy month of the year is April, though May and June follow close behind. This is likely based on the more moderate weather during those months, allowing for a more extensive range of outdoor activities.[3]


The area that comprises the Gull Lake Region spans from the township of Horton to the northwest to Brainerd, which lies to the southeast. The entirety of the destination is located within Minnesota in the United States. Similar to other areas in the central United States, the Gull Lake Region is relatively flat and contains many farmlands. Greenery dots the landscape, accented by fields and the occasional river or lake. There are two primary state forests in the territory, namely the Huntersville State Forest and the Foot Hills State Forest. Most of the eastern portion of the Gull Lake Region is covered with lakes, including Gull Lake, Pelican Lake, Lake Edward, and North Long Lake. The frigid temperatures of Minnesota's winters and the relatively small surface area of the individual lakes allow for the reasonably frequent ability to participate in ice fishing.[2] 

Annual temperatures in the area vary by the specific location, but specific data for Brainerd indicates that the average yearly temperatures are 52 degrees Fahrenheit and 29 degrees for the highs and lows, respectively. July and August are the warmest months of the year, with average highs of 80 degrees and average lows of 57. The moderate weather conditions begin to dissipate in October, leading to severely cold winter months that span from November to March. Average highs are below freezing, and the lows can average out at as low as -4 degrees. During the winter months, the Gull Lake Region receives roughly 45 inches of snowfall per year. This is nearly double the amount of precipitation that the region experiences annually, which is closer to 28 inches.[3] 

Peak tourism occurs between the months of April and September. During those months, the average temperature typically falls between 61 and 71 degrees. Weather during that time is relatively mild compared to the rest of the year, with the chances of snowfall significantly reduced. Within the waters of Gull Lake, there are over 35 species of aquatic life. Specifically, the bulrush plant helps to provide the ecological backdrop for the survival of species such as bass and panfish. Other fish species within the lake include walleyes, bluegills, black crappies, and white suckers.[1] The ability to catch fish on the various lakes in the Gull Lake Region is made significantly easier by means of a handful of resorts and geographical features that jut out into the water.


The first well-known group that inhabited what is now the Gull Lake Region were the Ojibwas—one of the largest populations of Native American peoples. As was common for most places of the United States and Canada, European settlers arrived in modern-day Brainerd in the early 18th century. The purpose of their trip was to try to find the source of the Mississippi River. As settlers began to make permanent residence, their relationship with the Ojibwas grew complicated. Various skirmishes and misunderstandings took place in the following decades.[4] 

Gull Lake was a geographic feature that existed naturally before the settlement of the Europeans, but in the early 20th century, it was altered by the creation of the Gull Lake Dam. The construction of the dam raised the water level of Gull Lake by approximately five feet. In a more archeological sense, Gull Lake is notable for containing a small handful of burial mounds. It is unclear what civilizations the mounds originated from, though it is suspected that they belonged to ancient American Indian tribes. These mounds are recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.[1]

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Isle O’Dreams Lodge On Bad Axe Lake is located on a private peninsula that stretches into Bad Axe Lake, Minnesota. It is a resort-style destination with various activities and events available for guests to participate in such as volleyball, kids crafts, movie nights, fishing, campfires, as well as spending time on the beach and in the lake. The guest accommodations consist of seventeen vacation rentals, each of which is built after a north woods cabin-style fashion. The owners are Cammie and David Steffen, and their goal is to provide a family-friendly location for guests to relax and connect with family and friends during their vacation. Nearby the resort, visitors can find recreational destinations such as the Itasca State Park, and the Two Inlets State Forest. There is also the Evergreen Gifts and Fun Park, the Character Challenge Course, and the town of Park Rapids. The resort is open from Memorial Day to the third week in September each year, with their highest occupancy season being all of July heading into mid-August.

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