North Lake

Making Connections


  • Fisher F-16, Loon, Lac La Croix, Nina Moose Lakes
  • McKenzie 14, Loon, Wilkins Bay


  • DNR Lake No. 690488
  • Lake Map No. C0846
  • Lake Table No. 2B
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality

North Lake

DNR North and South Lake Names
Minnesota DNR Lake Names

Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


North is a rather small, shallow lake in the Lac La Croix drainage basin, 11½ miles ENE of Crane Lake and 34½ miles northwest of Ely. There is some rather significant disagreement among "official" sources as to just how big North is. To the US Geological Survey (USGS), North is the northwestern portion of two closely connected lakes, it's twin being named South Lake. Because the USGS information underlies all the popular recreational maps, as well as the US Forest Service data, this is the way the lake is usually known. However, to the Minnesota DNR, North is a single body of water, encompassing both the lakes the USGS identifies as North and South. (Looking at the map, and ignoring the labels, logic seems to be on the side of the DNR). The DNR then goes on to apply the name of South Lake to the smaller lake south of North which the USGS has resorted to calling Section Pond, which has come through in other sources as Section 3 Pond (because that is the section where it is located).

North is, in many ways, an extension of Lac La Croix, and its surface is at the same elevation. The lake is also supplied by several intermittent and unnamed seepages as well as by Section 3 Creek, which drops some 40' in its quarter mile course down to North/South. A 72 rod carry to the south of the creek provides portage access to Section Pond. Out of the south end of the lake (AKA South Lake) a 120 rod portage climbs steadily upward, gaining some 170' of elevation in the first 100 rods before dropping back 29' into Steep.


North Lake supports two established campsites, one on the island and one on its western shore. Oh, and a third in the south end.

Planning Considerations

North Lake is a link in the Snow Bay/Pocket Creek route, the arc of 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. It also provides access, by way of Section Pond, to the Little Loon/North route, the north/south chain of interior lakes running parallel to, but just east of the much larger lakes of the Border Route, from Little Loon, to Slim, to Section Pond, to South Lake, to North Lake.


North Lake supports populations of Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus), Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Pumpkinseed Sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus), Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris), Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004