Nisswa is a small quaint community surrounded with outdoor adventure and indoor fun. Originally the growing community was called Smiley Township in honor of Ernest Smiley, who was responsible for the first post office in the community. In 1908 a Mr. Leon Lum suggested that the township of Smiley should be renamed Nisswa, a word derived from the Ojibwe word "nessawae" which means 'in the middle', or 'three'. This is a very appropriate name as Nisswa and Nisswa Lake are surrounded by three interconnected lakes.
Nisswa has become one of the star attractions in the north country. Not only does the area cater to tourists, it also supports a large number of seasonal residents. The city is surrounded by lakes full of fish; Gull Lake Chain, Cullen lakes, Clark Lake, Lake Hubert and more. Don't care to fish? Why not rent a boat and cruise the lakes, do a little water skiing, swimming and if you have a pontoon find a sandbar and light the BBQ. The infamous Paul Bunyan Trail runs right through Nisswa at mile marker 14.8 giving you access to parking, bathroom facilities, bike shop, food and shopping . The trail caters to biking, roller blading, cross country skiing, snowmobiling and walking! key element to the success of downtown Nisswa. There isn't much you can't find as you walk through the numerous one-of-a-kind shops.
If you time your vacation right you are bound to arrive during one of the many festivals and unique outdoor fun. Just to name a few: Nisswa Winter Jubilee, Nisswa City of Lights and Fireworks, Majestic Pines Art Festival, Gull Lake Frozen Four, Jaycess $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza and don't forget the Turtle Races held in downtown Nisswa every Wednesday from June thru August! Virtually anything you would like to do on your next vacation you will find it in Nisswa. Bring the kids and come up north with legendary golf courses, and fishing year 'round!
Nisswa was first called Hill's Crossing because the Leech Lake Trail and a logging road crossed here at Webster Hill's homesite, which was settled in 1886. The name was changed to Smiley in 1898 to honor Ernest Smiley, the man responsible for the settlement's first post office. The growing community was finally renamed Nisswa in 1908. Derived from the Ojibwe word "nessawae", meaning "in the middle" or "three", the town site and Lake Nisswa are the middle of the three interconnected lakes. Surrounded
by lakes and wildlife, Nisswa, Minnesota has much to offer
visitors including fishing, boating, resorts, golf courses, shopping, and so much more!