Finger Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage Northeast, 90 rods, to Finger Creek
  • Bushwhack South, 2½ miles, up the Hustler River, to Posse
  • Portage West, 9 rods, to Thumb


  • Fisher F-16, Loon, Lac La Croix, Nina Moose Lakes
  • McKenzie 13, Lac La Croix


  • DNR Lake No. 690348
  • Lake Map No. B0256
  • Lake Table No. 2A
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality
Finger Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Finger Lake is a relatively deep, moderately sized lake at the head of Finger Creek in the Lac La Croix drainage basin, 14½ miles ENE of Crane Lake and 31 miles NNW of Ely. Its 287 acres are formed into three arms (or perhaps, fingers) with a maximum depth of 60' in the south arm. Out of the northeast arm flows Finger Creek, dropping some 30' over a series of rapids in the first quarter mile before leveling out and broadening for the mile long paddle to Pocket. A 90 rod portage on the left bank bypasses the rapids. A marshy area at the end of the south arm conceals the mouth of the Hustler River while a short channel on the west side, bypassed by a 9 rod portage, connects Finger to its Thumb.

The forest off the northern shore of Finger Lake dates back to the major stand replacing fire of 1864. The forest ringing the remainder of the lake is of somewhat more recent vintage, having last burned in 1894. The oldest forest by far is the remnant on the large island, portions of which may have been growing relatively undisturbed, for over 350 years. This region of the BWCA escaped damage in the 4th of July windstorms of 1999, which caused such extensive tree loss to the south and east.


Finger supports four established campsites, two on the big island of old trees, and one on the smaller island opposite. The fourth sits on the northwestern shore.

Planning Considerations

Finger is the southernmost point of the arc of the Snow Bay/Pocket Creek route, which drops south and east out of Snow Bay on Lac La Croix through a string of lakes (North/South, Steep, Eugene, Little Beartrack, Beartrack, and Thumb) before turning northeast at Finger to Pocket, returning to Lac La Croix at the mouth of Pocket Creek. Finger also provides bushwhacking opportunities to the south, up the Hustler River and into the Weeny Lake Primitive Management Area, to Posse or Hustler, or up the Rangeline Creek tributary of the Hustler to Lucky Finn and Rangeline, as far south as Achundo.

Finger is included in Beymer, The Boundary Waters Canoe Area, vol. 1, The Western Region, routes 5, 11, 14, 15, 16, and 19.


Finger supports populations of Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris), Shorthead Redhorse (Moxostoma macrolepidotum), Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieui), Tullibee (Cisco) (Coregonus artedi), Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments

Finger, along with adjacent Thumb, constitutes another lake name pairing, not unlike Fat and Slim farther to the west.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004