With over 1,300 lakes, 925 miles of streams, and 400,000 acres of wetlands to choose from, the Edge of the Wilderness is a water-lover’s paradise. Whether you’re into sailing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, water skiing, swimming or fishing, this byway has something for everyone. Come explore the delights of Northwoods sunsets, wilderness islands, unique shorelines, and abundant waterfowl and wildlife from a kayak, canoe, pontoon, boat or water skis.
Begin your water-filled adventure at Pokegama Lake, located six miles south of Grand Rapids. Pokegama Lake provides access by water to Jay Gould Lake and the Mississippi River, and has many modern conveniences designed specifically for those who like to play on the water. There are seven public accesses (five concrete, two earthen), a marina, two gasoline stations, restaurants that are accessible by boat, islands to explore, and a beautiful sand beach perfect for swimming. Enjoy the sweet aromas of the towering white spruce and pines as you sail the shining waters. Relax as your boat drifts across the tranquil, indigo lake. Swim or water ski in its clear waters, or simply enjoy the sound of crashing waves along the lake's sandy shoreline.
Drive north along the byway to play in the abundant rivers, lakes, and streams of Chippewa National Forest. Located on the northeast portion of the byway, the Chippewa National Forest offers outstanding boating opportunities on several water routes, ranging from the large, unpredictable Winnibigoshish, Leech, and Cass Lakes -- use caution when crossing these -- to the smaller, slow-moving waters of the Rice and Turtle Rivers.
View Bald Eagles, hawks, and loons as you paddle your canoe on the Bigfork River or enjoy the peace and serenity that lesser-known lakes, creeks, and rivers provide. The Bigfork River can also provide you with a whitewater adrenaline rush when you kayak its rapids. Rent pontoons, canoes, kayaks, standard boats (with or without motors), or even dock spaces at several resorts scattered along the byway between the cities of Grand Rapids and Bigfork. There are also several places to shop, eat, or find lodging along the byway.
No matter what kind of water recreation you fancy, the rivers and lakes of the Edge of the Wilderness come in all shapes and sizes and offer fantastic adventures for beginners and experts alike. Enjoy the clear blue waters along the Edge of the Wilderness, where you'll find fun water-filled activities around every bend.
- Public domain. Courtesy of Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway
- Public domain.
- Copyright © 2007 Bill McChesney.