The Treaty of Paris (1783), concluded between the United States and Great Britain at the end of the American Revolutionary War, stated that the boundary between U.S. territory and the British possessions to the north would run "...through the Lake of the Woods to the most northwestern most point thereof, and from thence on a due west course to the river Mississippi..." The parties did not suspect that the source of the Mississippi, Lake Itasca, was south of that point. Consequently the Northwest Angle is the result of 18th-century ignorance of geography. In the Anglo-American Convention of 1818, the error was corrected by having the boundary run due south from the northwest point of the lake to the 49th parallel and then westward along it. When this north-south line was surveyed, it was found to intersect other bays of the lake and therefore cut off a portion of U.S. territory, now known as the Northwest Angle.
The Angle is one of only four non-island locations in the 48 contiguous states not directly connected to them by land within the country, the others being nearby Elm Point, Minnesota; Point Roberts, Washington; and the town of Alburgh, Vermont. All four are on the Canadian border with the United States. While Alburgh is bridged to New York state and Vermont by US Route 2, the only overland access to the others is through Canada.
Float or ski plane service directly to Angle Inlet is available out of International Falls.
Angle Inlet is most easily accessed through Canada by road. From the Trans Canada Highway (MB-1) take MB-308 South to MB-525 East. Stop for an interesting un-staffed US Border Crossing at Jim's Corner by phone. Very unique, bring a camera. MB-525 East becomes Winter Road which takes you directly in to Angle Inlet.
You can reach the angle without crossing the international border by crossing the Lake of the Woods. This can be done by aircraft, by boat when the lake is free of ice, or by ice road in the winter months. Since there are no automobile ferries operating on the lake, vehicles coming from the rest of Minnesota can only reach the Angle without crossing the border in winter. While the ice is forming in late autumn and breaking up in the spring the lake's surface cannot be safely crossed – at these times domestic access to the Angle is possible only by air.
Angle Inlet is easily seen on foot. No need for transit or taxis. Boats are of far more use for visiting islands and can be rented at most lodges.
- Angle Inlet School, 17606 Inlet Road NW, ☏ . One of the few remaining one-room school houses in the United States.
Sportsman's paradise: hunting, fishing, hiking, golfing, other outdoor activities.
- Northwest Angle Golf and Country Club, ☏ . Most northerly course in the lower 48 states. Community focal point. Lake of the Woods borders Holes #4 and #5. Clubhouse for sales and rentals. Tees and balls available. Golf cart rental and mini-storage located across the road. $60 for a membership/$9 per round.
- J&M General Store, 9385 Golf Course Dr, ☏ .
- Jerry's Restaurant and Lounge, 7609 Youngs Bay Dr NW, ☏ . 6:30AM-1AM. Bar and grill renovated Mar-Apr 2016, breakfast, burgers, limited menu. The only year-round restaurant on the Angle.
- North Point Bar & Grill, 17542 Inlet Road NW, ☏ .
- Angle Outpost, 8206 Dawson Road NW, toll-free: . Lodge and cabins for fishing, hunting. On Lake of the Woods.
- Northwest Angle Resort, PO Box 68, ☏ . Young's Bay Resort is a small family-owned fishing camp. Rates start at $65/night for lodging only and go up for guided tours.
- Young's Bay Resort, 7610 Young's Bay Dr, ☏ .
- Oak Island Resort, ☏ .
- Angle Inn Lodge, toll-free: . Starting at $115/day-pp.
The closest adjacent destinations in the region are:
- Whiteshell Provincial Park in eastern Manitoba (100 km/60 miles)
- Roseau (Minnesota) (100 km/60 miles)
- Kenora, Ontario (170 km/107 miles)
- Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota and International Falls (300 km/180 miles)