Big Mantrap Lake
Big Mantrap Lake is located two miles east of Emmaville in central Hubbard County, Minnesota. It has a surface area of 1618 acres, average water clarity of 13 feet, and a maximum depth of 68 feet. About 752 acres (46 percent) of the lake is 15 feet deep or less. Mantrap is a diverse lake with numerous bays, islands, and channels and over 26 miles of shoreline, more than a third of which is undeveloped. Mantrap is well known for its muskie fishery but also supports fishing for northern pike, bass, and black crappie.
Mantrap serves as the head of the Mantrap Chain of Lakes sometimes referred to as the Mantrap Valley. The outlet at the south end of the lake flows into Upper Bottle and on to Lower Bottle, Emma, Big Sand, Little Sand, Boulder, and ultimately Lake Belle Taine.
The lake straddles four townships, the aptly named Mantrap, Thorpe, Clay and Lake Emma. Most of the known lake history dates back to the turn of the last century when the lake was leveraged to move lumber from the surrounding forests to a railroad spur that connected to Hoist Bay. The pilings are still visible. Much of that area is now the Paul Bunyan State Forest.
From there many of the camps and resorts shape the shores still today. Mantrap Camp, Fremont's Point, and Birch Highlands were some of the first. For more on the History of Big Mantrap Lake and sorrounding area visit our History page.
Though Big Mantrap Lake and Mantrap Lake are often used interchangeably, there is also a Little Mantrap Lake 12 miles west near Lake Itasca State Park.