Discover Lake of the Woods

Located in the pristine wilderness of northern Minnesota and Ontario, Canada, Lake of the Woods is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Spanning over 1,700 square miles, this breathtaking lake boasts more than 14,000 islands and 65,000 miles of picturesque shoreline, making it a haven for fishing, boating, and exploration.

Discover secluded bays, crystal-clear waters teeming with fish, and a rich diversity of wildlife, including bald eagles, moose, and black bears. Whether planning a serene fishing retreat, a thrilling water sports adventure, or simply seeking tranquility amidst nature’s beauty, Lake of the Woods offers something unforgettable for every traveler.


Best time to visit

Top 3 Facts about Lake of the Woods


Island Paradise

Lake of the Woods is renowned for its staggering number of islands. With over 14,000 islands scattered across its waters, it offers endless opportunities for exploration and secluded adventures.


International Waters

Straddling the border between Minnesota in the United States and Ontario in Canada, Lake of the Woods is an international gem. Its expansive waters are shared between the two countries, offering a blend of cultures, cuisines, and experiences that enrich any visit.


Fishing Haven

Anglers flock to Lake of the Woods for its world-class fishing opportunities. The lake is home to diverse fish species, including walleye, northern pike, muskie, and smallmouth bass.


Must See Attractions

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Northwest Angle

Geographic Oddity

The Northwest Angle is a unique geographic oddity, accessible only by crossing the Canadian border into Manitoba and then back into Minnesota. This remote area offers unparalleled fishing opportunities, serene wilderness, and a chance to experience life off the beaten path.

Kenora, Ontario


Nestled on the northern shores of Lake of the Woods, Kenora is a charming town known for its scenic beauty and outdoor recreation. Explore its picturesque waterfront, visit local art galleries and museums, or take a boat tour to discover nearby islands and hidden coves.

Oak Island, Minnesota


Located on the American side of Lake of the Woods, Oak Island is known for its secluded beaches, hiking trails, and historic sites. Explore the island’s natural beauty, visit the Oak Island Lighthouse, and enjoy camping or cabin stays with stunning lake views.

Annual Events and Festivals


Kenora Walleye Open

Held in July, the Kenora Walleye Open is a premier fishing tournament on Lake of the Woods.

Anglers compete for prizes while enjoying the scenic beauty and abundant fishing opportunities the lake has to offer.


Sioux Narrows Arts Festival

Held in August, this festival celebrates local artists and artisans with exhibitions, workshops, and performances against the backdrop of Sioux Narrows’ scenic beauty.


Oak Island Bass Classic

Held in early August, this tournament attracts bass anglers to compete in the pristine waters around Oak Island, with opportunities for fishing and enjoying the island’s natural beauty.

Top Hiking Trails

White Moose Trail (Sioux Narrows, Ontario)

The trailhead is located near Sioux Narrows Provincial Park

This moderate trail offers stunning views of Lake of the Woods and leads hikers through lush forests and rocky outcrops.

It’s known for its wildlife sightings and serene atmosphere.

Zippel Bay State Park Trails (Williams, Minnesota)

Zippel Bay State Park Campground

Zippel Bay State Park offers several hiking trails that traverse through woodlands, along the lake shoreline, and to scenic overlooks.

Trails vary in length and difficulty, providing options for both casual walks and longer hikes.

Beltrami Island State Forest Trails (Baudette, Minnesota)

Beltrami Island State Forest

This expansive state forest features a network of trails that cater to hikers, offering opportunities to explore diverse habitats, including forests, wetlands, and prairies.

Trails range from short loops to longer, more remote routes.

Best Golf Courses

Oak Harbor Golf Course

2805 24th St NW, Baudette, MN 56623

Located near Baudette, Oak Harbor Golf Course offers a scenic 9-hole course with views of the Rainy River Valley.

It’s known for its well-maintained greens and challenging layout.

Beauty Bay Golf Course

Site 148 Comp 1 RR #1, Essex Rd, Kenora, ON P9N 3W7

Situated near Kenora, Beauty Bay Golf Course offers a challenging 18-hole course set amidst the natural beauty of Northwestern Ontario.

It features rolling terrain, water hazards, and scenic vistas of Lake of the Woods.

Kenora Golf & Country Club

99 Golf Course Rd, Kenora, ON P9N 3X7

Established in 1922, Kenora Golf & Country Club is one of the oldest golf courses in Ontario.

It offers an 18-hole course with tree-lined fairways, strategic bunkers, and views overlooking Lake of the Woods.

Water Sports


Known for its excellent fishing opportunities, Lake of the Woods attracts anglers from around the world. Popular catches include walleye, northern pike, muskie, bass, and crappie.

Whether you prefer fishing from a boat or ice fishing during winter months, Lake of the Woods offers year-round fishing excitement.


The expansive waters of Lake of the Woods are perfect for boating enthusiasts. Whether you’re into sailing, powerboating, or cruising, there are numerous bays, channels, and islands to explore.

Many resorts and marinas offer boat rentals, making it easy to get out on the water and enjoy the scenic views.

Water Skiing & Wakeboarding

The calm waters of Lake of the Woods provide ideal conditions for water skiing and wakeboarding.

Many resorts and outfitters offer equipment rentals and lessons, making it accessible for both beginners and experienced enthusiasts.

Winter Activities

Cross-Country Skiing

Many resorts and parks around Lake of the Woods maintain groomed cross-country skiing trails.

Glide through peaceful forests and along the lake’s shoreline, enjoying the tranquility and beauty of the winter landscape.


The extensive trail network around Lake of the Woods and throughout the surrounding region offers exhilarating snowmobiling opportunities.

Trails wind through forests, across frozen lakes, and past scenic vistas, providing hours of exploration and adventure.

Ice Fishing

Lake of the Woods is renowned as one of the best ice-fishing destinations in North America. Anglers come from far and wide to fish for walleye, sauger, northern pike, and perch through the ice.

Ice fishing houses dot the frozen lake, providing shelter and comfort during the cold winter months.

Where to Eat

Boathouse Lakeside Grill (Kenora, Ontario)

$$ – $$$ • Canadian, Seafood, Steak

Rocky’s Pizza (Baudette, Minnesota)

$$ – $$$ • Pizza, Burgers

Big John’s Bar & Grill (Sioux Narrows, Ontario)

$$ – $$$ • Seafood, Pasta, Burgers

Where to Shop

Willow Bay Books & Gifts

Bookstore, gifts, souvenirs

The Cedar Chest

Home decor, gifts

Nestor Falls Bait and Tackle

Fishing gear

Where to Sleep

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Casa Lago 5 Bed Waterfront House

3746 Ferretti Ct, Innisfil, ON L9S 0N6, Canada
Number of Guests 10
Bathrooms 5
Bedrooms 5
Sq Footage 3,000
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Smoke detectors
$1,000.00 / day
sparkles New

Mason Street Getaway

555 Mason St, Saugatuck, MI 49453, USA
Number of Guests 5
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 2
Sq Footage 1,165
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$475.00 / day
sparkles New

JP Rest House

V262+C5P, Manikganj, Bangladesh
Number of Guests 4
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 4
Sq Footage 2,400
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$300.00 / day

Tips on Renting a Vacation Home on Lake of the Woods

Book Early

Lake of the Woods is popular, especially during peak fishing and summer vacation seasons. To secure the best options, including location and amenities, it’s advisable to book your vacation rental well in advance.

Research Locations

Lake of the Woods spans a large area with various towns and resorts. Research different locations around the lake to find one that suits your preferences, whether you prefer a quiet retreat, access to fishing spots, or proximity to town amenities.

Read Reviews

Before booking, read reviews from previous renters to get insights into the property’s condition, cleanliness, and responsiveness of the owner or property manager.

Communicate Special Requests

If you have specific requests or requirements (e.g., pet-friendly accommodations and child safety features), communicate these with the property owner or manager before booking to ensure they can accommodate your needs.

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Going Deeper: History and Cultural Significance of Lake of the Woods

Lake of the Woods, straddling the border between Ontario, Manitoba, and Minnesota, holds significant historical and cultural importance.

Indigenous peoples, including the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) and Dakota nations, have long inhabited its shores, relying on abundant fisheries and forests for sustenance and trade. European exploration of the region began in the late 17th century, with French and British fur traders establishing routes that traversed the lake.

During the 19th century, the area became a hub for the fur trade, and settlers were later drawn by timber and mining opportunities. The lake’s strategic location also played a pivotal role in developing trade routes and transportation networks, influencing the growth of communities such as Kenora and Warroad.

Today, Lake of the Woods continues to be cherished for its natural beauty and recreational opportunities, and as a place where Indigenous traditions and settler histories intersect, making it a rich tapestry of cultural heritage and natural wonders.

Frequently Asked Questions about Lake of the Woods

Lake of the Woods is in North America, straddling the border between Ontario, Canada, and Minnesota, USA. It also extends into Manitoba, Canada.

Lake of the Woods covers approximately 1,727 square miles (4,472 square kilometers), making it one of the largest freshwater lakes in North America.

Popular activities include fishing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, hiking, snowmobiling (in winter), and birdwatching. The lake is also known for its scenic beauty and opportunities for wildlife viewing.

The best time to visit depends on your interests. Summer (June to August) is ideal for fishing, boating, and enjoying outdoor activities. Winter (December to March) is popular for ice fishing and snowmobiling.

Entry points include towns such as Kenora (Ontario), Baudette (Minnesota), and various smaller communities along the lake’s shoreline. There are also remote access points for wilderness adventures.

Yes, Lake of the Woods is renowned as a premier fishing destination, attracting anglers worldwide for its trophy-sized fish and variety of species available year-round.

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