Gray’s Bay Geographic Info
Gray’s Bay is geographically located on the farthest east side of Lower Lake Minnetonka between the cities of Wayzata, Minnetonka and Woodland. The bay’s waters flow out of the lake on it’s eastern side forming the headwaters and source of Minnehaha Creek, making Gray’s Bay the lowest point on Lake Minnetonka’s watershed. This is also the location of the Gray’s Bay Dam, which is used to regulate and stabilize the water levels of Lake Minnetonka. Gray’s Bay is defined on it’s western side by the Bushaway Road Isthmus, dividing it from the connecting Wayzata Bay, and it is connected by channel with Libb’s Lake to the southeast. Gray’s Bay houses one of Lake Minnetonka’s 11 public boat launches.
Gray’s Bay History
Gray’s Bay was the first part of Lake Minnetonka experienced by non-native Americans, with the 1822 voyage of Brown & Snelling up Minnehaha Creek into forbidden Dakota Indian territory. At the time, parts of Gray’s Bay was known to be aquatic fields of wild rice –a sacred plant and food of the Dakota tribe. Years later, the burgeoning milling industry that began the first settlements of Lake Minnetonka (at what was then called Minnetonka Mills) was proximal to Gray’s Bay. The bay got it’s name from Amos Gray, a millwright, carpenter, store owner and one of Lake Minnetonka’s first settlers.