Chippewa National Forest

Star Island

One of the unique features of the Cass Lake area is right in the middle of the lake: Star Island - accessible only by boat, but well worth a visit.

pine treesNamed for its shape by the Chippewa Indians, the island boasts its own lake, Lake Windigo, which is featured in Ripley's "Believe It or Not" as "lake in the island in the lake."

The island is both public and private. There are some homes on the island under a lease arrangement with the federal government, but the Forest Service manages the island for scenic and recreation use as well.

A campground has six miles of hiking trials make the island open for all kinds of recreational uses.

The island is also part of the Chippewa National Forest's 10-section area, protected since 1902 from timber cutting. Its old growth pine trees make it a favorite with bald eagles.

According to a history of the island, Hudson's Bay Co. once had cabins on the northwestern part of the island.

Zebulon Pike visited the island in 1806, and in 1832, Henry Schoolcraft came to the island to ask Chippewa leader Yellow Head to lead him to the source of the Mississippi River.

The Indian village on the island was reportedly wiped out in the 1890s, when a smallpox epidemic also took a heavy toll on the mainland population.

In 1909, the federal government granted the first permit to a private citizen to build a vacation home. Until a few years ago, the island was served by the Postal Service - by boat.

Information drawn from the © US Forest Service

Links of Interest

Chippewa National Forest

Chippewa snowmobile