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It’s so far north that you must use the Minnesota-Canada border crossings to enter Canada and then cross the US border into “The Angle.” Then, cross both borders on the drive back. As it’s officially named, Northwest Angle was due to a surveying error in 1783. The Treaty of 1783 between Great Britain and the fledgling United States, the “Angle,” juts into Canada. It’s 100 miles north of any other US/Canada border point. (If you want to return to the post about all of Northern Minnesota, click or tap here.)
I’m providing you with this information so you might consider visiting here when planning your Minnesota vacation! If you have questions, please contact me.
As mentioned above, a surveying error in the late 1700s added this section to the US in the area that would become the State of Minnesota. The Angle (as locals call it) came about due to reliance on a map that misidentified the source of the Mississippi and the shape of Lake of the Woods.
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Of course, you can fly there or go by boat when Lake of the Woods isn’t frozen. That means you won’t need the Minnesota to Canada Border Crossings! In the winter, you can cross with a snowmobile or on a maintained ice road.
The Northwest Angle’s primary industry is tourism. Much of that is fishing. Here’s a link to the listing of Northwest Angle Resorts. Several of these receive 5-star reviews on Trip Advisor. For example, Young’s Bay Resort (5 reviews), Jake’s Northwest Angle (5 reviews), Sunset Lodge (168 reviews), and Angle Outpost Resort (5 reviews). By the way, the Sunset Lodge is on Oak Island in Lake of the Woods.
The Angle also incorporates Minnesota’s last one-room public school and the northernmost post office in the lower 48.
Economy & Minnesota to Canada Border Crossings for Fishing (and more)
The Northwest Angle is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts. The area is home to various fish species, including walleye, northern pike, and smallmouth bass. The local resorts and fishing guides offer a range of services, from boat rentals to guided fishing trips.
Besides fishing and historic places, the Angle maintains a golf course, biking and hiking trails, and water sports. By the way, the Angle is just now recovering from two+ years of COVID when Canada didn’t let Americans cross the border, making the Angle only accessible by air and water.
Want to see a shop for my road trip photos? You can have them printed as wall art or puzzles. They also work on coffee mugs, t-shirts and more! So, take a look. Maybe you'll see something you will like!
Above are six images from Young’s Bay Resort. It’s mostly a fishing resort. Most of their clients come for the fishing. Unlike me, who showed up for the adventure and “because it’s there!” The local people I talked with said about 95% of visitors are here for fishing or snowmobiling. And 90+% of them are men. Apparently, it’s a ‘guy thing!’ There’s also a bar/lounge called Jerry’s on the property. And there are very few places to buy supplies to bring what you need!
Canada & the US border
Canada makes up three of the Northwest Angles’ borders. The southern border lies within Lake of the Woods, which enters Canada on both the west and the east. By the way, Minnesota borders the province of Ontario on the north and east sides. The western side borders the province of Manitoba.
The 2020 US census shows a population of 149 living in The Angle. About 30 of these live on islands in Lake of the Woods. That gives new meaning to “isolated living!”
Other histories of the Northwest Angle & Minnesota to Canada Border Crossings
The Northwest Angle has a rich history dating back to the 1700s when it was used as a trading post by the Ojibwe people. It was later claimed by both the United States and Canada, leading to a dispute that was finally resolved in 1783 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. Today, as I write this in 2023, the Angle is home to a small community of around 120 people who rely on tourism and fishing for their livelihoods.
The climate in the Northwest Angle is characterized by long, cold winters and short, mild summers. The area receives significant snowfall during the winter months, making it a popular destination for snowmobiling and other winter sports.
Despite its remote location, the Northwest Angle is home to a small but vibrant community of people who have lived there for generations. The community largely depends on fishing and tourism for its livelihood, and several resorts and lodges in the area cater to visitors.
In addition to fishing, the Northwest Angle is also a popular destination for hunting. The area is home to various game species, including black bears, whitetail deer, and waterfowl. Local outfitters offer guided hunting trips and other services to help visitors make the most of their hunting experience.
Tourism is a significant part of the economy in the Northwest Angle. Visitors come from all over the world to enjoy the area’s natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities. In addition to fishing and hunting, visitors can enjoy hiking, boating, and other activities.
Of course, the local resorts and lodges offer a range of accommodations, from rustic cabins to luxurious lodges. Visitors can also find a variety of restaurants and shops in the area.
The tourism industry in the Northwest Angle is an important source of jobs and economic activity for the local community. The area’s natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities make it a popular destination for visitors worldwide.
Garden Island State Recreation Area
After taking a boat to Garden Island, here are a few pictures. The two above show the beach looking out toward Canada in the east. The top two show an emergency shelter on the island. It’s there to protect boaters caught in the storm.
The bottom photos show the beach and a picnic area. Other than these pictures, the island has hiking trails. Or you can fish from the shore or in the nearby waters from your boat. It’s a very scenic island; you can get here without going through Canada. Obviously, if you take a boat from the NW Angle, you must get there first!
A couple more pictures. The first is to prove I was there! Next, it shows an inside view of the emergency shelter. It looks humble, but if you get caught in a big lake storm, you’ll surely appreciate it!
Oak & Flag Islands
Fort St. Charles
Images from Fort St. Charles on Magnuson Island near Angle Inlet. The French built the fort in the early 1700s. The fort was headquartered by French explorers going west. The “prevailing wisdom” then suggested a Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean.
The French abandoned the fort in the 1730s when all the men there were mysteriously massacred. Finally, in the 1930s, the Catholic Church reopened the fort and operated it as a retreat house. The fort itself is a tourist attraction, and the housing still operates.
Visiting the Northwest Angle of Minnesota is a unique experience that offers a glimpse into a remote and beautiful part of the United States. While the journey to get there can be challenging, the reward is well worth it. Chiefly, the area is rich in natural beauty and wildlife, and the small communities that make up the Angle are welcoming to visitors.
Remember to check out the Northwest Angle Resorts!
One of the most notable features of the Northwest Angle is its location. The Angle is the northernmost point in the contiguous United States, and it is surrounded by the waters of Lake of the Woods. This makes it a popular destination for fishing and other water-based activities. Of course, you’ll want a link to go back to “Where the Mississippi River Begins!”
However, it’s also one of those places where you just want to say, “I’ve been there!”
Thank you for visiting Minnesota Canada Border Crossings!
Classic Rock Recollection
“A Day in the Life” by The Beatles
I read the news today, oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well, I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph
Songwriters: John Lennon & Paul McCartney (because I wanted to include this one! Even if it doesn’t fit!)
#northwest angle #lakeofthewoods #Minnesotacanadabordercrossin #northwestangleresorts #thedrivebytourist