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Travelling north through the great state of Minnesota, many folks are immediately struck by the remote, unexpected and savage beauty of this land. While many parts of the continental United States have been over-developed to the point of commercial saturation, northern Minnesota has been able to resist such development, retaining its pristine forests, lakes and streams along with an accompanying wild spirit of the American frontier. Continue travelling to the northeast corner of the state and you will encounter one the most spectacular examples of this beautiful wilderness in the Lake of the Woods and its surrounding area. While most of the Lake of the Woods' acreage is located in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba, the Minnesotan side of the lake provides a spectacular gateway to a land of walleye fishing, hiking, water sports and ultimate relaxation.
At over 300,000 acres, the Lake of the Woods provides ample opportunities for walleye fishing and other aquatic recreation. Locals affectionately refer to the Lake of the Woods as the 'Walleye Capital of the World'. Lake of the Woods collects the waters from Shoal Lake, Kakagi Lake, the Rainy River and numerous other smaller rivers and creeks. From there, the Lake of the Woods drains into the Winnipeg River, ultimately flowing into Lake Winnipeg. At its end destination, the waters of Lake of the Woods empty into the Hudson Bay. As an interesting geographical aside, the Northwest Angle, the northernmost point of the lower forty-eight states and home of the town of Angle Township, can only be reached by boat from the mainland of Minnesota. Visitors can also travel through Canada to reach this sliver of northern Minnesota. The five Great Lakes are the largest freshwater lakes located at least partially in the United States. Lake of the Woods is the sixth.
As mentioned, walleye fishing here is an extremely popular sport. While walleye is certainly the most famous, Lake of the Woods also provides a habitat for panfish, perch, crappie and bass. Before heading out for the day, make sure you check on fishing and boating regulations on the lake, as these are international waters and certain species are afforded extra protections as a result of their dwindling population numbers. Lake sturgeon is one such species. In fact, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has been undertaking an extensive effort to revitalize the population of lake sturgeon on the Lake of the Woods. This fascinating species is sometimes referred to as the "dinosaur" of the fish world, can live over 100 years and occasionally grows to a weight of over 200 pounds. With their lengthy life spans, lake sturgeons take many years to reach reproductive maturity, slowing down the population growth efforts. On average, lake sturgeons mature fully after seventeen to twenty-five years. Recent studies indicate short term population goals for lake sturgeon have been met, increasing the chances for a full recovery of the sturgeon population. In addition to the plentiful stock of fish, Lake of the Woods provides a nesting habitat for a wide variety of birds including white pelicans and other waterfowl. Several hundred pairs of the quintessential symbols of the United States, bald eagles, also make their home here along the shores of Lake of the Woods.
Camping is a great way to experience the Lake of the Woods; immersing yourself in untouched wilderness. Whether you are looking for a place to drive to, or a remote campsite for back-packing, sites are plentiful around Lake of the Woods. If you have ever considered a rustic camping trip, but lack the necessary supplies and equipment, never fear. Outfitters along Lake of the Woods specialize in selling or renting all of the equipment and supplies you might need for a trip out to remote areas of this pristine lake. Be sure to ask for advice on how to properly respond to the local wildlife as the area is quite populated with all sorts of animals including bears, deer, moose, elk, raccoons and various biting insects.
If you happen to be the type of person who likes the idea of camping and the great outdoors as long as you can crawl into a comfy bed after a hot shower at the end of the day, never fear. Lake of the Woods is home to some extraordinary lake homes, cabins and lake lots for sale, featuring a wide array of choices in luxury, price and amenities. If you are making your first trip to Lake of the Woods and would like to check things out before committing to an extended rental or large residential purpose, try a shorter stay at one of the many resorts located along Lake of the Woods shoreline and the surrounding region. Minnesotan communities neighboring Lake of the Woods include Wheeler's Point, Angle Township, Hackett, Roseau, Warroad and Baudette.
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