The Legend of Hidden Beach

The Twin Cities' most infamous party spot has undergone a makeover—but try telling that to the regulars

The pit itself looks like a giant's spilled coffee. Twenty feet long and ten feet wide, at its deepest it reaches hip level. The "mud" is mostly clay; it feels slippery and cool. When the water level runs low, Mud Man and his volunteer henchmen fetch a bucketful from the lake. It's only seen two dry spells: once in 2000 and for a week or so last summer.

You can see how much Mud Man loves the place when he talks about his self-appointed job. His eyes light up and the torrent of phrases becomes even choppier.

"This is my 15th season!" he says. "My main duty! Is picking up bottles and rocks out of the pit! Especially on the busy days! That way, no one steps on them and gets hurt!"

Nick Vlcek
Nick Vlcek


See the photo slideshow of the Twin Cities' most infamous party spot.

Mud Man became Mud Man, he says, due to "a series of freak accidents!" that started in 1993 when floodwaters created the mud pit. The next summer people started flocking to the pit on savagely hot days to bask in the cool sludge.

"The rest! They say! Is history!"

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