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Who’s up for an ice road adventure?

The sign posted alongside the Ice Road let travelers know they were on the right "path."

by Matt Ganz

With the ongoing pandemic, border crossings closed and businesses suffering, the first-ever solution for a getaway to a unique location in Minnesota arose.

In early February, Allan Knutson approached me with information about an ice road that spanned from Warroad to Angle Inlet, located in the northernmost part of the state. Normally, the Angle would only be accessible by driving 40 miles through Canada and entering back into Minnesota at the NWA (Northwest Angle) by vehicle.

With the Canadian border closed, the NWA had been cut off from the rest of the state. They have some of the best fishing in North America and that is the main source of income for local resort owners.

The NWA community pulled together to build an ice road across Lake of the Woods. It is 30 miles long and travels over 22 miles of ice and through eight miles of forest.

Erin Ganz and Allan Knutson reached the northernmost point in the Contiguous United States and posed for a photo to document the occasion.

Knutson said that he had learned about this on Facebook and from other sources and wanted to take advantage of what could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

He also added, “Who’s not ever up for an adventure?”

Knutson, myself, and my daughter Erin found a day we could all go, paid for our ice road day pass, and set our destination for Flag Island in the NWA.

Early Wednesday of this past week, we headed to Warroad, accessing the ice road just a few hours later.

The wind and drifting snow, along with a speed limit of 20 m.p.h. made for slow going until we saw the first of several plows opening up the ice road. Following a plow, we saw nothing but a white wall in front of us and clear ice beneath. . .

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