Archive for September, 2017

Fall Activities in Leech Lake

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Leech Lake Fall Activities Guide

It’s that time of the year ago, where the days are shorter, the nights cooler and the leaves start to change. That doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the flag and start your winter hibernation quite yet, there is still so much to do here in Leech Lake in the fall. Who doesn’t love sipping a warm apple cider, while walking through the leaves and enjoy the fresh crisp fall air? Here’s how to can enjoy these next couple of months before the snow flies.

Hiking

  • Heartland Trail: Near to Walker, the Heartland Trail is northern Minnesota’s oldest paved trail. The trail is 27-miles long and travels from Walker to Park Rapids. The segment southwest of Walker is praised not only for its beautiful rugged lakes and forest scenery, but also its frequent wildlife, native flowers, and beautiful fall colors. In this part of the trail, you can connect to Chippewa National Forest’s Shingobee Recreation Area. Thia trail also offers about 21 miles of unpaved glory connecting to the Paul Bunyan trail, before crossing the historic railroad trestle at very beautiful Kabekona Narrows on Leech Lake.
  • North Country National Scenic Trail: Fortunately for Leech Lake Area visitors, the Cass County portion of the North Country National Scenic Trail is complete. The entire trail, when finished, will be a magnificent 3,200 miles long walking trail connecting the Lewis & Clark Trail in western North Dakota with the Appalachian Trail in upstate New York. It will be the longest continuous footpath in the United States. Here, though, it is ready to be enjoyed. This path also meets up the Paul Bunyan’s Recreation Trail and Shingobee Recreation Area.  This trail offers pristine, wilderness lakes and wetlands, and through glorious, hundred-year-old stands of white and red pine forest.
  • Lake Country Scenic Byway: Highway 34 southwest from Walker through Park Rapids and on to Detroit Lakes was recently added to the list of Minnesota Scenic Byways. The drive takes in the north woods lake country along the way, and a spur about midway leads to Itasca State Park.

Fishing

It may not be summer anymore, but the fish are still biting here on Leech Lake! Pack a lunch, put some cocoa in a thermos, bundle up, grab your pole and head out to catch some fish! Fish bite year round here on Leech Lake!

Shopping

  • Christmas Point Wild Rice Co: If you are looking for an eclectic shopping experience ranging from home décor to wild rice and everything in between, you must take a trip to Christmas Point Wild Rice Co. Here you will find a wide variety of native Minnesota wild rice products, cabin friendly and up north style, home décor, food, Leech Lake branded clothing, jewelry, women’s clothing and much more! Christmas Point really does have something for everyone and you are sure to leave with something wonderful.
  • Reeds Family Outdoor Outfitters: If you love the outdoors Reeds Family Outdoor Outfitters is a must. This large local outdoor store has something for any outdoor enthusiast. With high-end rods, tackle, and many more fishing items you will want to stop at Reeds before you hit the water and start casting. However, fishing gear is only a small part of what Reeds has to offer. It also has a massive selection of Men’s and Women’s outdoor and active apparel, firearms, footwear, water sports equipment (Skis, Kayaks, Tubes, SUP’s Etc.) and so much more we can’t even list it all here. Any trip into Walker requires a stop at Reeds.
  • Walker General Store: The Walker General Store offers a beautiful interior, unique candies, old-fashioned sodas and many other treats. It also offers clothing, toys and more. Walker General Store truly has something for all ages, it is the perfect place the whole family can visit and everyone can find something for themselves. If the whole family is with you Walker General store is the perfect location, and don’t forget to pick up some great Leech Lake Souvenirs while you’re here.
  • Jenny & Company: For the chef or cook in your life Jenny & Company will be heaven.  Offering an astonishing variety of kitchen gadgets, bake-ware, accessories, gourmet foods, spices, teas, freshly roasted coffees and more. If you love to cook or know someone who does, we guarantee you will find some wonderful gifts for them or yourself here. Don’t forget to get to grab a cookbook to match your new cooking supplies and try a new recipe!
  • Green Scene: Well now that you have a cookbook you may want some local and or organic food from the Walker area, look no further than the Green Scene. Offering local vegetables and fruits, grass-fed beef, and a wide variety of other local produce, you can be sure to eat well in Leech Lake. The Green Scene also offers a small deli with fresh ready-made items for a quick, but delicious meal, and don’t miss out on a delicious wood-fired pizza available Thursdays at the Walker Farmers market. A foodies dream.

Dining

  • The Boulders: Known for its delicious and diverse array of dinner entrees the boulder will provide you with a wealth of truly delicious options. From Crab Crusted Grouper, Gorgonzola Ribeye, Penne Jambalaya, Walleye, and much more. The Boulder is extremely popular with locals and visitors alike so be sure you make a reservation if you plan a meal at prime times. Prepare yourself for difficult choices when choosing what to order, there are so many great options, you will want to try them all. Casual dinner and delightful entrees.
  • Jimmy’s Family Restaurant: If you are looking for a truly filling breakfast or a Homestyle meal this is the place for you! Known for their large breakfast dishes that will fill your plate and you up. If you’re looking for Homestyle Broasted chicken and mashed potatoes or meatloaf, Jimmy’s is not to be missed. Be sure to bring your appetite, and eat like a Lumber Jack. Minnesota Home cooking from their kitchen to your table.
  • The Piggy:  Kansas style BBQ made to perfection, in Leech Lake Minnesota. With BBQ briskets, ribs pulled pork and more, the piggy focuses on one genre of food and strives to achieve perfection. Expect long waits on most occasions and don’t be surprised if they sell out of food before closing. Once you sit down though and take your first bite you will find the wait more than worth the while. Melt in your mouth BBQ, made in Minnesota.
  • 502 Resturant: Dine in style, on the shores of Leech Lake. Best known for their wild rice bread and “award-winning” Black Angus prime rib, enjoy a night out you won’t soon forget. While you’re there enjoy drinks (and a happy hour) from the area’s largest bar, where you’re sure to find your drink of choice. Lakeside dining, drinks, and deliciousness.
Best of all, fall is the perfect time to reconnect and spend time with those that matter.With school and activities in full swing and the holidays right around the corner, life can get busy, which is why a fall getaway to Leech Lake is the perfect way to decompress.
If you’re looking for lodging or other things to do make sure to check out our site! We look forward to seeing you!

About Leech Lake

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Leech Lake is the third largest lake within the Minnesota’s border, coming in at about 112,00 acres and 230 miles of shoreline. The lake is geographically located in three glacial zones and has an irregular shape with very large bays and very small bays. The lake is surrounded by the Chippewa National Forest and most of the lake lies within the boundaries of the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. The deepest part of the lake is near Walker Bay where the depths can reach around 200 feet! Much of the lake is pretty shallow and has thousands of acres of wild rice. The lake is most popular for its Walleye and Muskie fishing but also is known for its Largemouth Bass, Northerns, Crappies and Sunfish.

History

  • The Leech Lake area was initially settled by the Sioux Indians, who eventually were driven out of the territory by the Ojibwe in the 1700′s.
  •  In the last 1700′s the first European French fur traders came to the area.
  • In 1785 the Northwest Company established two trading posts and started an influx of settlers to the area in the 1800′s.
  • In 1882 the Army Corps of Engineers built the Federal Dam on the Leech River. The Dam was initially built to control the river flow, but eventually, it started to raise the water level of the lake, which made it easier to navigate into Walker Bay. This was good for floating logs to the railroad in Walker.
  • In 1896 the town of Walker was founded after the railroad came to Leech Lake from Brainerd. From 1896 to 1925 Walker supported a booming logging industry, which gave the town revenue, so hotels, camping facilities, and public launching became available.
  • In 1898 the Battle of Sugar Point happened between the U.S Federal troops and the resident Ojibwe Indians. This was the last true Indian battle that happened in the United States. Since the Indians won the battle, it began a chain of events that eventually led the government to control the national forest land and the creation of the Chippewa National Forest.
  • In the early 1900′s Walker started to see an increase in tourism, which is when resorts and cabins started to pop up all around the lake and Leech Lake became what it is today.
Any way you look at it, Leech Lake has a rich history and a lot to offer. The old centuries have followed by a new century full of lodges, hotels, resorts, campgrounds, excursion boats, roads, canals, churches, shopping and so much more. If you are interested in learning more about the deep history of Leech Lake, check out our local museums and monuments.