Upper Gar Lake is connected to Lake Minnewashta and East Lake Okoboji. Known for its 5 mph speed zone, Upper Gar offers boaters a chance to slow down the pace, putz through and enjoy the scenery as much natural shoreline exists here. The living on this lake consists mostly of condos and seasonal homes in areas such as Lakewood Park. The great thing about upper gar is that it still provides you access to all of the other lakes, and you can walk just a few blocks to the Amusement Park and the Emporium. Upper Gar offers the most affordable condo living as well. Condos range from about $200000 to $325000. Single family homes are not abundant and rarely come available.
Upper Gar Lake connects the south bay of East Okoboji Lake to Minnewashta Lake. At 37 acres, Upper Gar is the smallest of the Iowa Great Lakes chain. This lake is basically a shallow channel connecting two larger bodies of water. The average depth of Upper Gar is 3.5 feet, therefore warranting a maximum 5-mph speed limit on the lake. At its Northern end
Upper Gar Lake connects to East Lake Okoboji at the Hinshaw Bridge (near Trigg’s Resort) and at the Southern end it connects to Lake Minnewashta at the Sawmill Bridge. The Gar Lakes were named for their outlet known as Gar Outlet. This was because schools of Gars, a type of fish, were working their way upstream. Originally, there were three lakes known as the Gar lakes, forming a chain about two miles in length, and were called Upper, Middle, and Lower Gar Lakes. Around 1900, the name Middle Gar was changed to “Minnewashta,” which is Dakotah for good or nice.
Solsma's Punkin Patch began in 1999 as a way to make a little money for the Solsma kids' college education and it has continue to grow and evolve. Fireworks sales from June 1 to July 8 and in December. Pumpkin sales from Labor Day to Halloween. Fall produce of all kinds, country store, corn maze (weather permitting). Ruby Red Popcorn and Drug Free Beef available year around. Call or stop by the the store in the off season. Located 4 miles east of Sanborn, Iowa on Hwy 18. www.solsma.com 712-729-3174
The harbor is a man made inlet located on the north end of West Lake. A board walk surrounds the harbor and this is one of the most tranquil parts of the lake. Homeowners in the harbor have a more affordable way to have access to West Lake, and still get to enjoy the clean waters West Lake has to offer. Homes in the Harbor typically range from about $350k to as much as $700k.
I had the opportunity and privilege to work at Triggs for 4 years in my high school and college years. Jim Triggs and Mike May run one of the best family resorts in the Lakes Area. The resort has 48 condo style units that are continually updated and maintained immaculately. It truly is a family resort as most units are rented each week every year by the same families. People really begin to know each other and I had a great time getting to know all of the families better each year. We always looked forward to seeing them each year and catching up. Triggs offers boat/watercraft rentals, 4 gas docks, boat hoists for rent, an outdoor pool, a daily groomed beach, game room, and many more great amenities. If you are planning a vacation to Okoboji, I highly encourage you to call early and see if you can get a reservation at Triggs Bay Resort. You will not be disappointed.
Mill Creek is located on the NE corner of Okoboji Ave (Hwy 71) and 9th Street in Milford. Dine in or carry out. There's something for everybody--daily and nightly specials, too! The staff is friendly and the atmosphere relaxing. Great burgers, sandwiches, pizza and appetizers. A couple of my faves are the Fried Pickle Chips and the Kentucky Bourbon Sandwich. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 11 AM - 11 PM (grill open til 10 PM) and Sunday from 5 PM - 9 PM. Have a party in the events room with family and friends. Games for the kids, too!
Ruthven Meat Locker located downtown Spirit Lake. They offer a wide variety of quality fresh and award-winning smokes retail meats along with seasoning rubs and cheeses. You cant go wrong with the "locker trash" it definitely makes the best boat snack!
Trappers Bay is nestled along the north shore of Silver Lake. It is a nice quiet little spot to take the family for a weekend picnic or a day of fishing. Silver Lake is one of the few area lakes that has a walleye season year around. Before the big Walleye opener on the Iowa Great Lakes, you will find Trappers Bay lined with fishing the entire length, trying to land a big walleye. Trappers has many fishing spots to choose from, however, on either side of the bridge usually produces the best fishing. Make sure to get there early, or you will likely not get an ideal spot in the early spring. Try casting a twister tail, ripple shad, or use a floating jig tipped with a minnow or leach. Good Luck!
Healthy Living Program Center -MILFORD
2207 US 71
Milford, IA 51351
One of the many convenient locations offered by the Bedell Family YMCA is conveniently located in Milford, on the North end of Milford on Hwy 71. Right next to Subway and just south of Perkins.
Offered at this Center are exercise equipment, free weights for ages 14 and up. Personal Training is also offered.
Hours open are
Monday - Thursday 5 am to 11 pm
Friday 5 am to 9 pm
Saturday 6 am to 9 pm
For most leisure boaters in the Iowa Great Lakes, there are 2 main hot spots to go throw an anchor, sit back, and just relax. Sometimes this will result in numerous boats tying up to one another (you may not even know your neighbor), and sometimes it results in a little more privacy where you can chill just by yourself. Every weekend, boaters make the trek across the deepest parts of West Lake to either Gull Point (North AND South side) and Miller's Bay. Thought there are many other great areas to throw an anchor, relax, and swim, these are the two hot spots. If you aren't sure where to go on a Saturday afternoon or wonder where your friends might be, these two spots would be a good start.
Located a block East from Hwy 71 on 13th Street in Milford and a half block South on P Ave, this is a surprisingly nice and quiet little park that my kids enjoy frequenting. We like to take the dog and throw frisbees. In addition, the park offers a basketball court, swingset and other playground equipment, and some picnic tables.
Omaha Beach is on the north end of Echo Bay, extending out into Omaha Point. Known for its secluded private access from Lakeshore Drive, Omaha Beach properties are some of the most sought after on West Lake, easily fetching over $15000 per linear foot of lakeshore.
Located in the Great Lakes Mall, The Look is one of the most popular places to shop for clothes in the area. With the most stylish clothing for juniors to women, they have new styles arrive daily! This store is always up to date with the latest fashion trends, and you can always find something you're dying to have. This is my wife's favorite place to shop in the Okoboji area.