Mille Lacs Lake Loop Professional Review and Guide
"When the first human beings stood on the shore of Mille Lacs Lake, they must have stared in awe. The lake is 22 miles long and 14 miles wide, and early settlers and Indians probably felt as if they stumbled upon an inland sea. The lake was known as Spirit Lake by the Indians; early French explorers called the area Mille Lacs, which means "1,000 Lakes." The region features a long, rich history that continues to evolve. Lured by the bounty of fish and wild rice, people have lived along the lake for 4,000 years.
Hundreds of years before the Europeans arrived, the Dakota lived in what is now Mille Lacs Kathio State Park and the tribespeople became known as the Mdewakanton, or "Those Who Live by the Water of the Great Spirit." In the eighteenth century the Ojibwe began moving in from the east, and soon thereafter the Dakota left the area. A great forest of white and red pine originally covered the region, extending many miles to the south. Today Mille Lacs has become one of the most popular fishing lakes in Minnesota and is best known for walleye, the state fish."