Dam at Whitefish Chain

Lay of the Land

Two people fish on a speedboat


All of the things

The Whitefish Chain offers the classic Minnesota vacation experience you remember. That means four seasons of fun and opportunities to have an adventure and discover, learn or experience something new.


Dam: it’s a good story

The damming of the Pine River in 1885 changed everything. Prior to it, Loon Lake didn’t exist. Arrowhead Lake was known as Mud Lake and was so much smaller. And Big Island on Whitefish was not even an island, but part of the shoreline! 

A Taste of History, a comprehensive book of Crosslake area history compiled by the Crosslake Historical Society, tells us that at the time the dam was built it was made completely of untreated wood that had to be quickly replaced. In 1905 the dam was rebuilt of concrete and looked much how it looks to this day.

Damming the river and creating the Whitefish Chain as we know it today allowed for water to be stored up and released to raise water levels on the Mississippi River as needed, allowing for boats to travel or for lumber to be washed downriver.

Today, recreation drives the beautiful Whitefish Area. The Army Corps of Engineers does its very best to maintain a relatively consistent water level that’s optimal for recreation. Now, the many lakes connected on the Whitefish Chain are one of Minnesota’s most popular destinations.

Animated illustration of a man riding elk while swinging a cowboy hat.

Hoof it to the Whitefish Chain!

Ready to play the Whitefish way? Then giddy up north and go buck wild exploring the great outdoors without spending a lot of doe.