Lake Manitou, Indiana, USA

Lake Manitou is an oasis in the small bustling city of Rochester, Indiana. Surrounded by a park and nature preserves, the spring-fed lake covers 775 acres and provides recreation and relaxation for visitors and residents in the North Central part of the state. This charming lake, located 60 miles west of Fort Wayne, provides activities such as fishing, boating, jet skiing, water skiing, swimming, and picnicking. Visitors can also get – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Manitou! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Manitou cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Manitou! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Manitou cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Lake Manitou

Lake Locations: USA - Midwest - Indiana - North -

Lake Manitou is an oasis in the small bustling city of Rochester, Indiana. Surrounded by a park and nature preserves, the spring-fed lake covers 775 acres and provides recreation and relaxation for visitors and residents in the North Central part of the state. This charming lake, located 60 miles west of Fort Wayne, provides activities such as fishing, boating, jet skiing, water skiing, swimming, and picnicking. Visitors can also get in some golfing at the nearby golf courses or take a leisurely stroll on the various walking trails. The surrounding parks provide unique wildlife viewing and bird watching opportunities you wouldn’t expect inside the city limits.

With a rich history and beautiful scenery, Lake Manitou has been a destination for relaxation and fun for over one hundred years. With the construction of a dam in 1827, the lake started out as a source of energy. Under the terms of a treaty with the Potawatomi Native Americans of the area, the U.S. government constructed a grist mill to grind corn. The dam provided water power for the mill. The area around the lake was one of the first white settlements in what would eventually become the county seat for Fulton County. The first village was called Tiptonville in honor of General John Tipton. After the Potawatomi tribes were removed to Kansas in 1838, the village, mill and dam fell into disrepair.

The name “Manitou” derives from the Potawatomi word for both “good spirit” and “evil spirit.” The Potawatomi tribes fished and hunted in this area for 150 years. They believed that the waters of Lake Manitou harbored a monster fish or serpent with supernatural powers. Legend reports that the Serpent of the Manitou devoured all the fish after arriving from Lake Michigan, and drove away wild game by shooting out serpentine tentacles to drag the animals into the water. Native American prayers banished the serpent, and out of gratitude they named the lake after the Great Spirit.

Hotels and resorts were built along the shoreline of Lake Manitou during revitilization in the early 1900s. Thousands of people came each year to enjoy entertainment under the stars that the resorts and hotels brought to their dance halls which included nationally known big bands. Until 1937, an amusement park operated for 15 years and included a toboggan water slide, pier and diving platform. People also came for lake cruises, to sunbathe at the beaches and to swim and fish Lake Manitou.

Today Lake Manitou provides a respite for city dwellers and visitors. It is a very popular fishing destination, both in the summer and the winter, harboring good populations of many popular game fish. Species include largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, gizzard shad, golden shiner, spotted gar, and warmouth as well as large northern pike. Boat ramps on either side of the lake provide lake access, along with a handicapped accessible fishing pier near the dam. With no speed limit restrictions, the lake is also an attractive destination for speedboaters, jet-skiers, and water skiers. The lake features a ski course, which is located near the south end of the lake.

Lake Manitou has had some water quality issues however. In recent years, the lake has waged a battle against hydrilla plants that grew rampant in the lake. Hydrilla is an Asian plant commonly used to decorate aquariums, but often chokes off other plant life if left unchecked in a lake. To combat the problem, the lake was treated with chemicals. Public access to the lake was limited and boat restrictions were also put in place. In 2009, state officials stated that it appeared that the invasive plant had been eliminated from Lake Manitou, and some boating restrictions were lifted. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds boaters to self-inspect their watercraft, motor and trailer for signs of plants when removing them from the water. The lake will remain closely monitored to ensure that the hydrilla plants do not re-emerge.

Lake Manitou’s parks and nature preserves continue to flourish and provide a sanctuary for visitors. Wrapping around the northwestern edge of Lake Manitou, Lakeside Park provides a public boat ramp, pavilion, fishing piers picnic areas and a well maintained butterfly garden. Two nature preserves lie on either side of the lake for wildlife viewing and bird watching. The 162-acre, Bob Kern Nature Preserve is located on the east side of Lake Manito, and 130-acre, Judy Burton Nature Preserve is on the west side of the lake. Both preserves provide bird watching opportunities of rare birds that nest in the marsh including marsh wren, sedge wren and Virginia rail. On the southeastern side of Lake Manitou, 643 acres have been set aside for the Manitou Islands Wetlands which visitors can tour by canoe to see bird habitats and plant life in the marsh and wooded islands.

An established community of homes along the shores provides vacation rentals with lake views and private docks at Lake Manitou. For those looking to relocate to the area, some lake front property is available as well as resale of existing homes. The Lake Manitou Association is an active homeowners association for homeowners and can provide information to those interested in lake living.

With a quaint town on its shores along with nature preserves, parks and lake activities of all kinds, Lake Manitou is a wonderful place to visit in the Northern Tourism Region of Indiana.

Things to Do at Lake Manitou

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Tobogganing
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Amusement Park

Fish Species Found at Lake Manitou

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Carp
  • Crappie
  • Gar
  • Gizzard Shad
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Shad
  • Spotted Gar
  • Sunfish
  • Warmouth
  • Yellow Perch

All About Lake Manitou

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Lake Manitou

The Lake Manitou map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Lake Manitou Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Manitou Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Manitou Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Lake Manitou Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lake Manitou lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Lake Manitou Association

Surface Area: 775 acres

Shoreline Length: 8 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 781 feet

Average Depth: 11 feet

Maximum Depth: 19 feet

Completion Year: 1827

Drainage Area: 4 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

More Lake Manitou news from LakeLubbers.com

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
  • The Lake Manitou forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
  • New Lake Manitou photos coming soon!
  • You’re invited to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!
  • Share this Lake Manitou article with your fellow LakeLubbers:

Do you have a vacation rental property at Lake Manitou? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

Please get in touch with our advertising team HERE and we’ll provide you more details on this upcoming advertising opportunity.

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Looking for the Lake Manitou forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Click here to advertise your Lake Manitou vacation rental or local business.

The former Lake Manitou forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Lake Manitou photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Lake Manitou article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Lake Manitou vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

Looking for the old Lake Manitou forum group? Click Here

New Lake Manitou photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi