I recently visited the city of Crosby Minnesota, and talked to some folks around the area while I was there. They asked me, "Do you know why they call Serpent Lake, Serpent Lake?" I said, "No...I don't.  Do you?"

The answer

So I thought I'd look into it more.

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According to the cities website, there are rumors that the waters of the Cuyuna Lakes are inhabited by a mythical sea serpent.

There is a statue of a sea serpent in Crosby Memorial Park on Serpent Lake, named Kahnah'bek, the Ojibwe name for serpent.  Through further investigation though, I read in a book called "Mysterious Creatures: A Guide To Cryptozoology" by  George M. Eberhart, that the Ojibwe term for snake, used in this manner, was really meant for a man who was committing adultery and was exiled. (I have a feeling that this isn't exactly what they meant to name the lake after).

Although there are rumors of the mythical serpent in the lake, I haven't seen any evidence that this creature ever really existed.  In the book Weird Minnesota , some say that the Serpent swims below along the shores of the lake, and nibbles at vacationers who visit.  Hmmm...Maybe that wasn't a fish that was nibbling on your bait; maybe you got lucky that  Kahnah'bek didn't take more than your leech.

Stories like these are the kinds that children's imaginations dream about.


In all reality, it's much more likely that the reason for the lake being called Serpent Lake, is because of the shape of the lake itself. If you look at Google Maps, you'll notice that the lake doesn't necessarily look like a twisty winding snake, but it does seem to have a large open mouth at one end. You can even see it's fangs.

Google Maps

Do you have some great stories about a lake near you? Have you heard stories about Serpent Lake in Crosby when you were growing up? I'd love to hear your stories and share them with everyone. Send your stories to


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