Lake of the woods

5 Facts About Lake of the Woods You Probably Didn’t Know

Lake of the Woods is and incredible body of freshwater that both the United States and Canada share. It’s one of the largest lakes in North America, coming in right behind the Great Lakes, and is known for being the walleye capital of the world. But what other fascinating secrets does this lake have? Well, we have 5 interesting facts about Lake of the Woods that you probably didn’t know.

Lake of the woods1 – Shoreline for Days

We all know that Lake of the Woods is expansive, but did you know that it has 25,000 miles of shoreline? And that’s just the shoreline around the main coast of the lake. If you include the plethora of lakes within the lake itself, you end up with over 65,000 miles of shoreline! Lake Superior doesn’t even have that much shoreline. So, if you love exploring the shores of lakes, Lake of the Woods is the place for you!

2 – Lake of the Woods Islands

Now that we know that the islands make up well over half of the overall shoreline for Lake of the Woods, just how many islands are there? At a whopping 14,522 islands, if you were to visit one each day, it would take you 39 years to make it through all of them. That’s a lot of islands!

3- Lake of the Woods Flows NorthLake of the woods

Most people think that the majority of water flows south. It makes sense when you are thinking in the aspects of how rivers like the Mississippi and others flow south. However, other than a few of its tributaries like the Rainy River, Lake of the Woods actually flows north. Its waters set course north for Winnipeg and end up hooking west from the Winnipeg river down into the Nelson River and into the Hudson Bay from there. 

4 – It Keeps Growing!

One of the most common questions is, “How big is Lake of the Woods?” And it’s about 1,700 square miles of surface area. Throughout the years, the Lake of the Woods area has seen its fair share of changes. However, one thing that continues to change is the size of the lake. Climate change has lended a hand over the years, but the main reason for the somewhat rapid growth happened over a century ago. A dam was constructed in the late 1800’s near Kenora, Ontario. Waters rose around 3 feet and the shorelines expanded considerably. The dam acted as a catalyst for the expansion of the lake that was already happening due to icebergs to the north melting over time. This is one of the main reasons that so many environmental teams have focused on the lake’s water quality and ecosystem

Lake of the woods5 – Lake of the Woods Ice

While Lake of the Woods is huge and considerably deep in certain areas, the lake freezes completely over every winter. The average ice thickness is between 25 and 30 inches. The fact the entire lake freezes to the thickness it does, you basically end up with over 1,700 square miles of landscape that wasn’t there during the warmer months. Locals take full advantage of this and create literal ice roads to traverse the lake. Winter is the only time of the year that Minnesotans living in the Northern Angle can drive to the southern portion of the state without ever touching land in Canada. 

A Unique Lake to Explore

Whether you love fishing or simply love the great outdoors, Lake of the Woods is one location that belongs on every adventurer’s bucket list. There’s even more incredible facts about this lake, but it’s far too many to list in one article. Come and discover all that Lake of the Woods has to offer for yourself! There’s so much to explore, so what are you waiting for? Lake of the Woods is waiting for you. 


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