Lake Kabetogama (Minnesota): FAQs For The First Time Visitor

This article will answer all your questions for visiting Lake Kabetogama in Minnesota’s Voyageur National Park. 

Where Is Lake Kabetogama?

Lake Kabetogama is located in the Northwoods of Minnesota in Voyageur National Park. 

The lake can be accessed through Kabetogama or Ash River communities via county roads 122 and 123. 

It is located within the town of Kabetogama. 

How To Get To Lake Kabetogama

Lake Kabetogama is located in Kabetogama, Minnesota which is in Saint Louis Minnesota. 

The lake is located just 3 miles from US 53 just past the Lake Kabetogama Visitor’s Center located at the southwestern edge of the park.  

The lake is completely inside Voyageur National Park located at:

Voyageurs National Park Headquarters

360 Hwy 11 East

International Falls , MN 56649

You can reach Lake Kabetogama from the south by following US 53 N to Kabetogama. 

It is located about 4 and a half hours north of Minneapolis. 

History Of Lake Kabetogama

Lake Kabetogama is located inside Voyageur National Park, the only National Park in Minnesota established in 1971.

The park is named for the Voyageurs, the French Canadian fur traders who hunted for furs in the area. 

They were known for transporting the furs in canoes along the complex waterways of this region. 

By 1790 the Oijbwe people became the primary residents of this area. 

Logging began in the 1880s and 90s and two mills were established in the area. 

Later the area was part of a gold rush that resulted in the establishment of the Little American Mine. Ruins of the mines can be seen at 13 sites within the park. 

Lake Kabetogama contains over 200 islands and the structure of the land has been impacted by volcanic activity and geologically recent glacial activity. 

The glaciers helped carve the deep spaces in the rock that are now filled with water. 

Size Of Lake Kabetogama

Lake Kabetogama is 15 miles long and has 78 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 80 feet. 

It also contains over 200 islands. 

How Big Is Lake Kabetogama?

Lake Kabetogama is 25,760 acres in area. It has a maximum depth of 80 feet and is 15 miles long. 

How Deep Is Lake Kabetogama?

Lake Kabetogama is 80 feet deep at maximum depth. It has a mean depth of 29.9 feet.  

How To Fish Lake Kabetogama

Lake Kabetogama is an excellent place for fishing. All visitors and residents must possess a fishing license from Minnesota.

Fishing within the park follows the state laws regarding fishing in Minnesota. 

Live bait is permitted in main fishing areas. 

Boat rentals are available as well as other fishing gear. 

There are over 30 species of fish in Lake Kabetogama and there are regulations for collecting 4 species that are found there. 

Walleye, Sauger, and Northern Pike have limitations on how many can be possessed and their size.  

The Department of Natural Resources lists all current species observed at Lake Kabetogama in this list. 

The best fishing is in the spring and fall, but fishing is possible in the summer as well from the dock. 

Lake Kabetogama is a home to a lot of resorts and cabins with extensive docks that are appropriate for fishing. 

Fishing is prohibited within 200 yards of occupied campsites or lodges except by those that rented the cabins.  

Are There Muskies In Lake Kabetogama?

Muskies have been reportedly seen in Lake Kabetogama, but the sightings have not been confirmed.  

They are not listed by the Department of Natural Resources and the stories of their sightings have not been confirmed. 

What Is There To Do At Lake Kabetogama

Lake Kabetogama is a very developed area with many resorts. There are plenty of opportunities for fishing, hiking, camping, canoeing, birdwatching, stargazing and guided tours. 

Lake Kabetogama is home to several historical structures that can still be toured by visitors on guided hikes. 

Lake Kabetogama is a protected dark sky park making it a great place for observing the stars and even aurora borealis.

The lake also has some unique rock collecting areas with geologically young rocks.  

The area has plentiful volcanic rock and veins of quartz. 

The gold rush in these areas was the result of a gold-containing quartz vein. 

Many of the rocks have a green tint, giving the area the nickname Greenstone Belt. 

What Kinds Of Fish Are There In Lake Kabetogama?

The most common fish in Lake Kabetogama is the yellow perch. Black crappie, yellow perch and walleye are also common. 

There are 28 reported species of fish in Lake Kabetogama:

black crappie
black crappie
bluntnose minnow
cisco species
emerald shiner
golden shiner
Iowa darter
Johnny darter
lake whitefish
northern pike
northern pike
rock bass
rock bass
smallmouth bass
smallmouth bass
smallmouth bass
spottail shiner
white sucker
white sucker
yellow perch
yellow perch

Where To Stay At Lake Kabetogama

Lake Kabetogama has over 100 miles of shoreline and there are many resorts located along the water. 

The National Park Service has 28 campsites along the water and the sites must be reserved and a permit is required. 

There are also 17 resorts along the coast of the lake. These resorts are independently owned and each have their own selection of amenities. 

Can You Swim In Lake Kabetogama?

Yes, swimming is permitted at many of the resorts located along the lake. 

Best Camping At Lake Kabetogama

Front country camping is best reserved through the National Park system. Cabin camping is available through many independently owned resorts. 

Resorts offer beach access, RV hookups, pools, bars or accessible options for camping around the lake. 

History lovers will enjoy the guided tours of the mine ruins and 20 other historically significant structures within Voyageur National Park. 

Rainy Lake Vs Kabetogama (Compared)

The parallel lakes of Rainy and Kabetogama were both formed by glacial activity and both offer excellent fishing. 

Rainy lake is one of the highest rated areas for catching smallmouth while the walleye and larger fish in Kabetogama draw trophy fishers. 

Rainy Lake and Kabetogama are located parallel to each other. Kabetogama menas lake parallel to another lake. 

The water level in Kabetogama has begun to drop while the deep waters of Rainy Lake continue to rise. 

The lakes do connect, but boaters will find a land crossing much more convenient and services are available to transport your boat between the lakes. 

How Dark Are the Skies at Lake Kabetogama?

Lake Kabetogama located inside Voyager National Park is Dark Sky Park Certified in conjunction with the International Dark Sky Association. 

The bortle score is a 2 in the park and it is possible to observe not only stars, galaxies and planets, but aurora borealis. 

Care has been taken to direct all lights downward and limit the stray light in the park. 

The dark skies in this area have been revered for many years as the viewing of the northern lights has spiritual significance for many. 

When Can I See the Northern Lights at Lake Kabetogama?

The northern lights can be seen at any time of the year on a clear night when aurora is active. 

The University of Alaska has a forecast up to a month in advance that you can check to see if the aurora is active during your visit. 

Since there are more dark hours in winter your chances of seeing the lights is slightly higher. 

Carry With You

If you are planning a hike where there will be rocks to pick through, consider packing one of the following:

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Lake Kabetogama