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Knife River Beach: The Stealth Beach

Looking to explore a hidden North Shore gem?

When you are staying at Larsmont you have beach access at your doorsteps, with amenities like the sauna and massage cottage feet from the lake. Still, there are other beaches near Larsmont with their own unique features and charms. One particularly great beach is within biking distance of Larsmont.

Knife River Beach has a lot of natural features and other curiosities in a small package. This beach is only 3 miles from Larsmont and is one of the area’s best-kept secrets. The path to it is not well marked, making it easy to overlook.

From Larsmont you first start going south on the scenic drive. After you pass by the old Emily’s building and take the bridge over the river, take the first left on Church Road. When you run into the marina, make a left and a quick right. At the end of a short dirt road is the beach.

The beach is a crescent shape about half a mile long. Across about 1000 feet of water from the center of the crescent is a small patch of rock called Knife Island. The island is around 500 feet long and 180 feet at its widest.

Even from the beach, you can see the island wanted to be bigger. A visible field of flat shallow rock surrounds the island and a stretch of stones extends just under the surface toward the southern tip of the crescent.

You can walk to this tip of the crescent and stand on the rocks above or wade on the rocks in the water. To the south of this crescent is a small finger of water separating you from the land on the other side. Looking west, you can look up a narrow path of water into Knife River Harbor. During the summer you are sure to see sailboats carefully navigating out the narrow straight with engines and then hoisting their sails after reaching open water.

From the southern tip of the crescent, you will probably notice a cloudy brownness coming from the north tip. You may walk up there to see what it is. Walking north, the beach is a mixture of gravel and sand. To the left, a line of boulders protects the slightly higher ground on days when the waves are high. Eventually, the boulders are gone and the sand reaches the edge of the tree line.

Along this whole beach, there are other patches of shallow rock beneath the surface. It forms areas where you can see deep into the water.

You may decide to stop when you reach part of the beach right next to the houses. There is often driftwood to walk over. So, caution is advised.

If you keep going eventually you will reach the north tip of the crescent. Here you see why the brown cloud is there. Here is where the Knife River is flowing into the river, bring brown water into the lake. Here there is also what appears to be a broken piece of stone that must be the remains of an old breakwater.

To the left is a little bay formed by the sandbar blocking most of the mouth of the river. From this point, you can look inland and see traffic passing over the river on the Scenic Drive. Many of those who pass by may not even know this little beach of wonders is here. Now you do.

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