Update as of July 2021: This location is now a public beach known as Cedar Lake East Beach.
Though Hidden Beach has undergone a number of changes over the years, it has remained a popular haunt for Minneapolitans to escape and catch some rays. Located on the east side of Cedar Lake, the beach gets its name for the winding pathways one must take in order to finally find the place. For this reason, Hidden Beach was once a secluded getaway for those of Minneapolis’ alternative culture who wanted a beach with a different atmosphere than one of the city’s more popular summer destinations.
Notably, Hidden Beach was once the Twin Cities’ only nude beach. In recent years, the city of Minneapolis has made efforts to improve Hidden Beach’s former, more subversive image by cracking down on alcohol use. However, the beach continues to attract a colorful cast of characters, from reggae musicians to skaters to tattooed twenty-somethings.
Another distinguishing feature of Hidden Beach is its very own mud pit. Located east of the beach, visitors have the opportunity to slather themselves in the stuff and rinse off in the lake. According to local rumors, a regular known as “The Mud Man” will greet visitors hoping to get a little dirty.
Overall, Hidden Beach affords a welcome opportunity to those wishing to escape the sometimes oppressive nature of your usual beach experience, where people-watching is often just as enjoyable as laying in the sun. Plus, the beach is kid and dog friendly.