Recreation Main Phone
Recreation Program Assistant
Water Resources Engineer
(Water Quality Contact)
Park Hours: 5 a.m. - 10 p.m. Daily
The City of Prior Lake operates two swimming beaches on Prior Lake for the public to enjoy: Sand Point Beach and Watzl's Point Beach. Each offers a sandy spot to hang out and designated swim areas. The beaches typically are open Memorial Day through Labor Day, depending on the weather.
In order to protect public health and safety, the City of Prior Lake monitors both of our public beaches (Sand Point Beach and Watzl’s Point Beach at Lakefront Park) for E. coli levels in accordance with Minnesota Rule 7050.0222. The City’s beach testing policy includes:
- Weekly water samples collected at both sites (Memorial Day through Labor Day)
- A beach will be closed if E. coli levels exceed 126 MPN/100 ml as a geometric mean of five samples within any calendar month
- A beach will be closed if more than 10% of all samples taken during any calendar month individually exceed 1,260 MPN/100 ml
- A beach may be reopened when further testing shows safe levels
The City tests for E. coli because it is an “indicator organism”. Specific disease-producing (pathogenic) organisms are not easily identified in the water and testing for them is difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. Testing for E. coli bacteria provides an indication of the possible presence of pathogens.
Water quality testing at Sand Point and Watzl’s Point is now complete for the 2017 season. All 2017 samples indicated that Sand Point Beach had E. coli levels within acceptable limits. Watzl’s Point Beach was closed starting on August 31, 2017 and did not re-open due continuing high E. coli test levels. The source of the high E. coli levels was likely the large number of Canada Geese observed frequenting the beach in late August and September.
Both beaches are now closed for the season. The buildings are closed, bathrooms are locked, and the swimming area buoys have been removed. Swimming is at your own risk at Sand Point Beach and Watzl’s Point Beach is closed to swimming – please stay out of the water at Watzl’s Point Beach and do not allow pets to swim in the water.
Please contact Pete Young, Water Resources Engineer, at 952-447-9831 for more information about the testing program or lake water quality. For more information about E. coli and general beach safety, please visit:
Dogs and cats are not allowed on the beach or in swim areas in the lake at Watzl's Point Beach and Sand Point Beach (See Ordinance 802.700). City ordinances can be accessed through the Document Center, the blue button titled "DOC CENTER" at the top left of this and every website page.
SAND POINT BEACH
Sand Point Beach is one of the most popular city parks in the summer. Located at 14349 Crest Avenue N.E., next to the most-used DNR boat access to Prior Lake, Sand Point Beach is a great destination for swimmers, boaters and families. The beach offers two picnic shelters, play equipment, three sand volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, a fishing pier, restrooms, boat slips and canoe racks for rent. For more information about canoe/kayak rack slot rental or boat slips slots at Sand Point Beach, call the Recreation Department at (952) 447-9820.
SAND POINT PARKING: Parking is limited and fees apply daily from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. Parking is also allowed on the east side of Crest Ave. from the park entrance to Cedarwood Tr. The parking fee is $5 per car and $25 for a car with a trailer (NOTE: There are only 15 car-with-trailer parking spots), available on a first-come, first-served basis. Season parking passes for cars only are available at City Hall for $30 resident, $55 non-resident. Bus parking is $20 per day.
WATZL'S POINT BEACH
Located in Lakefront Park, 5000 Kop Parkway, S.E., Watzl's Point is a popular stop for lake users. Reaching the beach requires a quarter mile hike from the parking areas in Lakefront Park and is easily accessible from the lake. There is no fee to use Watzl's Point Beach. Amenities include restrooms, boatslips, and picnic tables.
WATZL'S POINT BEACH PARKING: Parking is free at Lakefront Park, 5000 Kop Parkway, S.E.
The City receives many inquiries about the safety of the water in the lake related to swimming. Beach visitors can monitor the City’s water quality testing results on this page. Cases of swimmer’s itch are common in Prior Lake. Simple precautions may help to prevent swimmer’s itch and other reactions to surface water. Dry off as soon as you leave the water. Don’t sit around in your wet swimsuit. Rinse with soap and fresh water as soon as possible after swimming. Don’t wade or play in shallow water, especially in weedy areas with lots of snails. Swimming from a raft or pontoon can minimize potential exposure.