Lake of the Woods
|Description: Lake of the Woods is one of Minnesota’s relatively unexplored natural treasures. It is the 100th largest lake in the world. With 65,000 miles of shoreline, 10 miles wide and 14,000 islands, this lake represents Minnesota and southern Canada at their best.
The lake can be accessed on the U.S. side from several locations, including Wheeler’s Point, north of Baudette, MN; Zippel Bay State Park, near Warroad, MN; and Angle Inlet/Northwest Angle (accessed by going through Canada).
Wildlife to Watch: Lake of the Woods is renowned as a walleye and trout lake, but is also a haven for other wildlife. Look for beavers, muskrats, black bears and river otters. Particularly impressive is the lake’s high concentration of bird species. Common loons, Wilson’s phalaropes, Franklin’s gulls, Forester’s terns, and American white pelicans are all easily viewed on the lake.
Cormorants, pelicans, ring-billed and herring gulls, and common terns breed on some of the remote islands.
Bald eagles nest on many of the islands and several spots along the south shore.
Forested habitats such as that found in 3,000 acre Zippel Bay State Park are good placed to view ovenbirds, scarlet tanagers and redstarts.
Migrating shorebirds, such as semipalmated sandpipers and yellowlegs, as well as many species of gulls can be seen along the three miles in the park.
Killdeers breed at the Zippel Bay beach, and nearby cranes call from their nesting territories in the extensive marshland. Other birds include red-necked grebes, black terns and mallards.
The large lake waters are prone to storms and winds. Either a charter or a boat larger than 16’ should be used to explore this unique lake.
Bay State Park Bird Checklist
Garden Island Bird Checklist
Ownership: MN DNR & Private
Size: 1,679 mi², 68 miles x 59 miles
Closest Town: Baudette, Williams, Warroad, and Angle Inlet
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: