City of Prior Lake, MN
City of Prior Lake, MN

Public Beaches


Recreation Main Phone
  (952) 447-9820
Angie Barstad

Recreation Manager
  (952) 447-9822
Kelsey Coy
Recreation Programmer
(952) 447-9823
Pete Young
Water Resources Engineer
(Water Quality Contact)
(952) 447-9831

Park Hours: 5 a.m. - 10 p.m. Daily


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beach comber
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 Beaches is underway for the 2019 season. All 2019 samples have indicated that Sand Point Beach and Watzl's Beach have E. coli levels within acceptable limits. Both beaches are currently open to the public for swimming.

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:

Beach Testing Fact Sheet, City of Prior Lake
E. coli information, MPCA
Beach Safety Website, MN Department of Health
Swimmer’s Itch Information, Minnesota DNR

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 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, permanent bean bag boards, a fishing pier, restrooms, boat slips and canoe racks. For more information about rental of canoe/kayak rack slots, boat slips slots and the picinic shelters at Sand Point Beach, call the Recreation Department at (952) 447-9820.

SAND POINT PARKING: Sand Point Beach charges a parking fee applicable to all park users. The Sand Point Beach Park Parking Lot has limited parking and is for vehicles only (vehicles with trailers not permitted). Parking is available on a first come first serve basis for all park users with a per vehicle parking fee charged daily May 24 - Septermber 2. The $5 daily fee can be paid by credit card only (Visa, MasterCard or Discover) at the new parking meter located in the parking lot. Season passes are also available for $30/Resident vehicle and $55/Non-Resident vehicle. Vehicle with trailer parking is no longer available in the City parking lot at Sand Point Beach. Vehicles with trailers can use the DNR parking lot adjacent to the boat access or areas around Sand Point Beach that are not designated as “no parking”.

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.