How A Mapping Error Left This American City Completely Controlled By Canada

Due to a mapping error in 1783, a part of Minnesota is completely cut off via land travel from the rest of the United States called Angle Inlet, MN up at the Northwest Angle.  Is the NW Angle completely controlled by Canada as the story this week at suggests?

The NW Angle, it’s residents and businesses have had to put up with hurdles other Americans have not for years.  Since COVID and the Canadian border being shut down, travel to the Angle has become even more difficult.  Resorts and area businesses have been missing their guests who would otherwise be vacationing and helping out the area economy.

Thankfully, travel restrictions through Canada have eased some.  First off, the border is open.  Second, the need for a COVID test was dropped as of April 1st, 2022.  This is all good news.

Currently, to travel through Canada to the NW Angle, a traveler must…Travel by road through Canada to NW Angle

-Not have a DUI (as it is considered a felony in Canada)

-Have a Passport, Passport Card, Enhanced Driver’s License or a Government issued ID combined with a birth certificate.

-Have received at least 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine accepted for travel, a mix of 2 accepted vaccines or at least 1 dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

-Use the ArriveCan App as part of the check in procedures.

There are other ways to reach the Angle due to necessity.

-Boat across the lake.  Lake of the Woods, specifically Big Traverse Bay is big water.  One must have the right boat that can handle big water.  One must be able to hold off on traveling if it is a windy day and the waves are big.  One must have the right crew who can handle traveling across big water.  One must be a good mariner, skilled at making good decisions, able to follow GPS navigation, and an understanding on how to drive a boat in rough waters.  Lake of the Woods Passenger Service

Lake of the Woods Passenger Service.  This service will boat you across Big Traverse with licensed charter captains in big charter boats.  Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Lake Country Air.  This fly in service will fly you from various locations and land right on the water near your favorite NW Angle resort.  Easy, fast and enjoyable.

Why make the effort?

Angle Inn LodgeMaybe this question deserves a question with a question, “Why do people keep coming back?”  There are so many reasons to go up to the Angle.  The fishing is world class.  The scenery is incredible.  It just smells different up there.  You feel different when you are up there.

The NW Angle is the northernmost point of the contiguous United States.  It is where the 14,552 islands of the lake begin.  There are 15 resorts both on the mainland and on islands that take great care of guests, providing them an incredible trip with a backdrop that is jaw dropping beautiful.

World Class Fishing

Huge Lake of the Woods MN WalleyeThe Angle is really the start of the Canadian shield in this area and provides a wide variety of fishing spots.  Islands, neck down areas, reefs, points, rock to sand to mud transitions, saddles off of islands, and the list goes on.

In addition to the most sought after fish, the walleye, anglers target a world class fishery for muskies, smallmouth bass, pike, yellow perch and crappies.

Area fishing guides will show you a day on the water that is very special.  This might mean traveling amongst thousands of islands on the Ontario side of the lake.  It might mean a shore lunch where the fresh walleye just melt in your mouth.

An Explorer’s Dream

Perhaps some history, looking at the petroglyphs (carvings by the natives into the rock cliffs showing messages or directions), interior waterfalls or abandoned gold mines?

Lake of the Woods Explorer App, Joe LaurinThere is actually a smartphone app one of the people in the video, Joe Laurin, has put together that provides info and shows on a map where much of this history is throughout Lake of the Woods on both sides of the border.  The Lake of the Woods Explorer App is available in both the Apple Store and in the Android Play Store.

For $20, this app shows you where Fort St. Charles is, the site of a fort where early explorers set up camp.  Maybe some well known fishing spots to get you started if you are fishing on your own.  How about Cheerios beach where many of the stones look like Cheerios!

If you haven’t been up to the NW Angle, it is worth the trip.  There is this very incredible part of the earth and often discussed historical mistake right in Minnesota.  As the past couple of years have taught us, don’t put it off!


Learn more about the NW Angle

NW Angle Lodging

Lodging around Lake of the Woods



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