Springtime Cruising Across The Whitefish Chain

The laughter of friends, the call of the loon, and nature’s finest scenery, are all a part of your
journey across the Whitefish Chain. There is so much to see and explore as you navigate through the lakes and channels that make up this sprawling 14,000+ acres of beautiful, clear water in Crosslake, MN. Take a springtime cruise and see what you find on your way across the lakes. Here are a few things to know about cruising the chain to help you plan your adventure.

The Whitefish Chain is a massive series of 15 freshwater lakes located in north central Minnesota. In total, these lakes have a combined shoreline of over 110 miles and from the mouth of the Pine River to the eastern tip of Little Pine Lake, the journey is about 10 miles. These pristine waters are fed by the Pine River and eventually empty into the mighty Mississippi River east of Crosslake. Each of these lakes has their own unique character and opportunities to enjoy so be sure to see them all.

The West

The west section of the Whitefish Chain is where the Pine River meanders out from the marshland and spills into the Upper Whitefish basin near the cities of Pine River and Pequot Lakes. Along the south shoreline you will find Lower Hay Lake, which offers a public water access point. The entrance to Arrowhead Lake is on the other side of the lake along the north shoreline of Upper Whitefish Lake.


As you enter into the Central portion of the chain, you encounter Lower Whitefish Lake near Bertha Lake and Clamshell Lake, which also has a public water access point. Enjoy the scenery as you pass some shoreline points and islands along the way. As you make your way across the Lower Whitefish basin, the entry to Pig Lake will be along the south side while the inlet to Big Trout Lake is on the north side, which has its own access point as well. From the far east shore of the main lake you can enter Island Lake and then into Loon Lake.


The eastern section of the Whitefish Chain is accessed through a channel from the eastern shoreline of the main basin and enters into the island-filled Rush Lake and Hen Lake. Further east from there another channel takes you into Cross Lake that sprawls over four miles through the Crosslake community including the downtown. From the north eastern shoreline of Cross Lake, yet another channel takes you to the easternmost lakes of the chain, Daggett Lake and Little Pine Lake.

The Minnesota DNR has a wealth of information and maps available for all of the lakes in the Whitefish Chain on Lake Finder.

It is fun to explore the Whitefish Chain in a boat. You are likely to see an eagle soaring over the water or a mother duck and her fuzzy companions picking along the shoreline. The return of the loon is a springtime ritual that reminds us all of what is to come. Load up the family and friends and idle your way across the lake. No matter which side of the lake you are on or where you are headed, enjoy the ride. A slow cruise across the Whitefish Chain is the perfect way to reset your clock to WALA time.

With nearly 50 lodging options throughout the Whitefish Chain, visit whitefish.org to book your space today.