We refer to most of Minnesota’s lakes in acres, but reference to a body as large as Lake of the Woods must be made in miles. This lasting vestige of Glacial Lake Agassiz spans more than 2,000 square miles. The lake receives its name for its many wooded islands; some have estimated as many as fourteen thousand charted islands, lying primarily in the Canadian portion of the lake. The name was passed to the French by the native Crees, who inhabited the lake’s north side, and the explorer Verendrye translated their words as “Lac des Bois” (Lake of the Woods) on the first maps.
A natural route for the early fur traders, Lake of the Woods was connected to Montreal by the Rainy River, Pigeon River, and St. Lawrence Seaway, and to Hudson Bay and the rich fur country to the northwest by its outlet, the Winnipeg River. Key birds: Double-crested Cormorant, American White Pelican, Common Goldeneye, Piping Plover, Caspian Tern, Common Tern, Black Tern. Don’t miss: Rocky Point; Pine, Currys, Sable islands (by boat). This eTrail provides information on birding strategies for this location, birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, and helpful maps.
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