low map three areas

Minnesota’s NW Angle

The Northwest Angle aka “the Angle” is located on the northern side of Lake of the Woods, or when viewing a map, the “chimney”. The area is 596.3 miles, 473.2 miles of that is water. It is also the northern most point of the contiguous 48 states. The Angle is in coexistence with Angle Township and Lake of the Woods County, surrounded by Manitoba and Ontario. The reefs create a fun and unique fishing experience for all!

There are many ways to travel to the NW Angle

Drive to the Northwest Angle

This beautiful drive will have you driving through Canada for about 40 miles and re-entering back into the U.S. up at the Angle.  The NW Angle is one of four exclaves across the U.S. / Canada border.  Basically, an exclave is a portion of a country separated from the main part and surrounded by foreign territory, in this case, Canada.

Northernmost Point of the contiguous U.S. marker at the NW AngleTravelers crossing the border at Warroad or Roseau will be stop briefly to get cleared to enter Canada by the CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) border station.  A quick check, making sure everyone has proof of identity and residency (Passport, Passport Card, Enhanced Driver’s License, etc.) and aren’t bringing in anything or anyone illegal and you are on your way.

The trip up will travelers going through Sprague, Manitoba, a very small town.  Some stop at the local grocery store to pick up a few items you can only get in Canada.  Perhaps a Coffee Crisp chocolate bar, loaf of famous Canadian Rye cracked wheat bread baked at a Winnipeg bakery or some delicious Canadian jams.

The drive continues through some beautiful parts of Manitoba with incredible scenery and an abundance of wildlife.

Once you re-enter the United States up at the NW Angle, you will need to check in with U.S. Customs.  This is an unmanned border, but you still need to check in with U.S. Customs as you entered the country from another country (Canada).  You can proceed to one of the three check in stations at the Angle or do as most travelers do, check in at one of the many resorts that have a designated iPad once you arrive.  This check in normally takes less than 5 minutes from start to finish.

When you drive back south from the Angle, first check in with Canada Customs to get clearance to drive through Canada.  You can check in at the small booth at Jim’s Corner and press the button on the phone with the Canada symbol, or, simply be close to Jim’s Corner and call the 888-CAN-PASS phone number.  (1-888-226-7277)  After a few questions, such as who is traveling, license plate of your vehicle, and a few questions about what you are bringing back with you, once approved to travel through Canada, they will issue you a verification number.  Write this number down as this is your record of clearing customs to drive back to Warroad or Roseau.

driving to the NW Angle from WarroadDirections to the Angle when driving from Warroad or Roseau

From Warroad: Take MN-313 N into Manitoba, CN. After 12.6 miles, make a right turn onto MB-308 N (follow signs for Sprague just before Esso gas Station). After 27 miles, take a right onto MB-525 E (this will enter back into MN). Continue on Co Rd 330 Angle Road NW.

From Roseau: Follow HWY 310 into Manitoba, CN 10 miles. Continuing on to Main St, turn right onto Manitoba 12 S. Travel 5.9 miles and take a left on MB-308 N (turning by Esso gas station following signs for Sprague. After 27 miles, take the right onto MB-525 E (entering MN). Continue onto Co Rd 330 Angle Road NW.

Take the Lake (which keeps you in Minnesota and avoids customs)

Lake of the Woods Passenger ServiceSome choose to travel to the Angle across the lake which keeps you in Minnesota and avoids crossing the border.  When you travel across the lake and stay in Minnesota, you have not entered Canada and do not need to clear customs upon entering the NW Angle.  There are a number of options.Lake of the Woods Passenger Service bombardier

Boat to the Angle aboard a charter boat.  If you prefer to avoid customs, boating across the lake on a charter boat via the Lake of the Woods Passenger Service is one option.   These large boats will transport you and your gear to your favorite NW Angle resort and transport you back south when your stay at the Angle is complete.

Boat to the Angle on your own.  As long as you have a large boat that can handle big water and the experience on big water, boating across the lake, about 40 miles across, is a viable option.  Lake of the Woods is big water.  Even the most experienced captain with the right gear closely watches the weather, wind, waves, etc., making good decisions about when it is safe for travel and when it is not.  Having some extra time is always advantageous in the event you have to leave the next day when there is more favorable weather.

Plane at dock, Sunset Lodge, NW AngleFly to the Angle!  Whether it is summer or winter, flying across the lake is a quick 15 minute flight.  If you own a small float plane and are a pilot, many of our resort are used to catering to float planes in the open water months and planes with skis during the winter months.  There is typically a runway plowed on the ice in front of Sunset Lodge on Oak Island during the winter months.  Call ahead for details, ice conditions, etc.

Bombardier Service Across the Ice.  In the winter, the Lake of the Woods Passenger Service will transport you across the ice via bombardier!  Traveling on well groomed and staked trails on the ice, this is a fun way to get up to the islands area in the winter.

Snowmobile Across the Ice.  In the winter, snowmobile trails are groomed and marked during the winter months from the South Shore and Warroad up to the NW Angle.  A shelter is located on Garden Island about 25 – 30 miles off the South Shore if you need a break, want to warm up or need shelter from weather events. If your sled is not registered in MN, you will need a trail sticker when traveling.

Fishing, Boating, and Recreating in Canada while staying at the Angle

Lake of the Woods muskieMany guests will stay at one of the variety of resorts in the NW Angle and fish Ontario waters.  Fishing the Ontario side of Lake of the Woods adjacent to the NW Angle offers up thousands of islands and world class fishing with very little boat traffic.  Accessing the Canadian border is just minutes from Angle resorts.

Visitors who cross into Canada via boat and do not touch land, a dock, another boat, anchor or exchange goods or services, do not need to clear customs when entering Canada or returning back into the U.S.

If you plan on touching land, docking, coming in contact with another boat, anchoring, mooring or exchanging goods or services in Canada, you must call CBSA via the 888-CAN-PASS (1-888-226-7277) number before entering Canada for approval to enter.  Again, if you boat into Canada from the U.S., and don’t touch land, a dock, moor or anchor, you are not required to check in with CBSA.

When traveling back into the U.S. after touching land in Canada, travelers must check back in with U.S. Customs with one of the designated ROAM check in stations, resort iPads or mobile ROAM app.

Winter Ice Travel into Canada from the Angle.  Remember, if you are snowmobiling or ice fishing, ice equals land, meaning everyone must check in with CBSA before entering Canada and check back in with U.S. Customs when you are back in the U.S. at one of the resorts on a designated iPad or via ROAM on your mobile device.

Article:  Helpful Info on Crossing the Border via Water and Ice


Fort St. Charles located on Magnuson Island is a must see destination for visitors to the NW Angle.  It is free and open to the public.



The Optional, but easy RABC…  Remote Area Border Crossing Permit

Designed for travelers who will frequently be crossing the U.S. / Canada border in designated remote areas such as the NW Angle that doesn’t have a CBSA office, the RABC allows travelers to quickly get through the process of clearing Canada customs.  In a nutshell, this program is now easier than ever.  For around $30 CDN, this permit can be applied for and received online.  It’s intent is for frequent travelers to Canada, or those who simply want to avoid some time in the morning when calling into CBSA for permission to enter Canada and touch land.

Traveling with Pets?  Remember, vaccination papers are required for pets entering or traveling through Canada to the Angle. For more information on crossing into Canada.

Click HERE to connect to our Getting Here page for a list of shuttles, car rentals, airports and more!


Kelly Moore, NW Angle

World Class Fishing

World Class Fishing is what draws most visitors to the NW Angle.

Known as The Walleye Capital of the World, Lake of the Woods is famous around the world for it’s incredible fishery.  Walleyes, saugers, muskies, pike, smallmouth bass, crappies, lake sturgeon, lake trout, jumbo perch, and many other species keep anglers coming back.

Fishing in these parts is a year-round activity.  During the open water months, anglers fish amongst the 14,552 islands of the big lake.  During the winter months, resorts offer transport to heated fish houses set up to catch the very delicious walleyes.

Explore the Angle

In addition to fishing, this area has so much more to see and do.Minnesota's NW Angle Map

Check out the islands and mainland for even more Angle adventures. Miles of sandy beaches are another great way to spend a day on the lake.

Massacre Island, Eagle’s Rock, Penasse Island, and Fort St Charles are all great spots to learn a little history.

Birding and Wildlife are abundant in the area, as are the wild flowers, wild rice, blueberries, and raspberries.

Play a round of golf on the Northern-most 9 hole golf course in America. Take a boat tour of the lake; check out Painted Rock Island that has evidence of the area’s earliest inhabitants! Paintings dating over 1,000 years can be seen here. Late at night the Northern Lights dance across the sky.

Check out the Lake of the Woods Digital Guide App.  A local explorer, Joe Laurin, didn’t want to keep these well researched locations throughout Lake of the Woods a secret any longer.  He developed an app so visitors and locals alike could check out the many wonders of this area.  Abandoned gold mines, abandoned prisoner of war camps Canadians housed Germans, interior waterfalls, Cheerios Beach (where the rocks look like Cheerios), landmarks, lithographs (paintings on rock dating over 1,000 years), common fishing spots and so much more.

Boat and Snowmobile Tours.  Hook up with local explorer Joe Laurin and explore this area of Lake of the Woods like never before.  Petroglyphs, abandoned gold mines, abandoned POW camps from WWII, interior lakes and waterfalls, Cheerios beach, Fort St. Charles, Massacre Island and other “off the radar screen” adventures await.  Make this your main adventure or simply add a day to a fishing trip!

The Northernmost Most Point MarkerNorthernmost point buoy, Northwest Angle, Lake of the Woods

The northernmost marker is located at Young’s Bay Resort in the community of Angle Inlet, MN.  Young’s Bay was chosen as it is where the main marina is located for visitors and residents who are staying on one of the island resorts or cabins amongst the islands of the NW Angle.  It is also adjacent to the bar and restaurant of the Angle called Jerry’s is located where folks will stop in for a cold beer or a good burger.

Why is the NW Angle an exclave and why does that piece of the United States go so far north?  

To order additional information Click Here, email us at info@LakeoftheWoodsMN.com or call us at 218-634-1174.

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