Border Life at Lake of the Woods


The Border Crossing

Lake of the Woods is such an exciting place to live. The lake itself is international as it spans two countries, the United States and Canada. The Rainy River flows from the East at Rainy Lake into Lake of the Woods which forms this incredible border.

People ask this writer all the time, “Where is it you live again?” and “What border do you live on?” and “What exactly do you do up there all the time?” At the very middle of the continent of North America is a border that separates Canada and United States. That’s the border we are talking about. Yes, I can actually see the border from my house in the center of Baudette, MN.

I count it a privilege to live on this border for the simple reason that it is first of all very unique, it presents challenges of being quite an isolated area, but the genuine-ness of hearts and the pioneer spirit still remains.

People in this locality are far from the “stay at home” types. Everyone is on the go with either their businesses or getting out into nature using all kinds of sports. This area is especially known for its excellent fishery. Walleyes are in abundance as well as other species such as: smallmouth bass, black crappies, sauger, northern pike, muskie, sturgeon, lake trout, eelpout, and yellow perch. The walleye population made this area known as the Walleye Capital of the World™.

The resort area is divided into three geographical sections. three areas of the lakeFirst is the Rainy River where all the resorts along that river are located. The second is the resorts that make up the section called the South Shore area. The most interesting area to be noted is the Northwest Angle which is a parcel of land that makes up the “chimney” of Minnesota.

Here’s what’s so interesting….one must cross the border into Manitoba, Canada and then re-enter the United States by crossing the border at Angle Inlet, the small town on the Northwest Angle.  This locality is the northernmost spot in the contiguous United States.


Northernmost point in contiguous US

The Northwest Angle is its own unique area which hosts 7 resorts, and the two islands of Flag and Oak host 8 more resorts. It features a first-class restaurant, a golf course, and a post office at the locality of Angle Inlet. An incredible feature of this area is the last one room schoolhouse of Minnesota. Youngsters get their early education here and travel in by boat or snowmobile when the lake freezes over. When they reach the appropriate age, they are then bused to the Warroad school district which may I say is quite a trek from door to door.

My hat goes off to the people who live and work at the Angle because it takes a lot of planning and creativity to live there and also operate first rate resorts.

This writer moved to the area in 1983 and soon after that winter fishing began making its entrance. Before that period of time open water fishing was the draw. Today the same holds true, however, hard water fishing has become so popular on the lake that you can actually call it another village on the lake.


Ice Fishing Lake of the Woods MN

A few thousand fish houses owned by local resorts dot the horizon on the big lake. There are also individual fish houses, portable fish houses, and wheel houses that enjoy the sport whenever possible. This border is unique as Ice Houses can remain on the lake for an extra month of fishing. That puts them available until the end of March.

The walleye season is still open so you will still find anglers using pop-up fish houses and using their ATVs an small crafts to travel the lake. Otherwise, stand out in the open sunlight, drill a hole and sit on your bucket to await that great catch. Maybe even a trophy fish. What an incredible feature of this border area!!

Jobs in this border area are in abundance with 50+ resorts that are always looking for loyal workers. They employ office workers, restaurant workers, ice workers, housekeeping workers, maintenance people and bar/ lounge wait people to serve their clients. Hospitality is an incredible industry on this border.

The city of Baudette has put out a website called Get Hooked for Life get hooked for life logothat lists features of the area as well as an elongated list of employment opportunities. Lake of the Woods County is the county seat with a well-equipped Government Center able to assist you with all of your legal county needs.  Lake of the Woods School is the one and only school in the county but it continually ranks as one of the highest in the state of Minnesota for educational excellence.

LakeWood Health Center is located in Baudette which houses a clinic, an acute care unit, a well equipped emergency room and a Long Term Care Center. This border area is very fortunate to have such a great facility in our locality. Once again, jobs are in abundance here also.

Farming and logging are still high operating careers along the border. There is also ANI Pharmaceuticals which is a big employer in the area.  Marvin Windows is 36 miles to the west of Baudette and employed over 6,500 people along the border. Further to the west is Polaris Industries where snowmobile, ATVs and motorcycles are manufactured.

Speaking of snowmobiles, Lake of the Woods has an incredible system of well groomed snowmobileand maintained trails as well as trails that have been marked and staked across the lake. Summer kayaking and canoeing are big also and hunting is a draw for many sportsmen from all areas in a 5 state area.

Service organizations, churches, and local businesses all make up the population of Lake of the Woods. As you can see…..the Border area is an amazing place to live. Come visit us or come and stay!

For more information and lodging see: www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com/lodging






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