Rainy Lake is partly in Minnesota and partly in Ontario. Americans, Canadians and wilderness aficionados from around the world come to experience the pristine water, seemingly endless archipelagos of unpopulated islands, nights full of loon calls and wolf howls, and the opportunity to explore a variety of protected, public lands including the Boundary Waters Wilderness Canoe Area and Voyageurs National Park on the US side.
A conservation easement on 337 acres at Bleak Bay, donated to American Friends, now permanently preserves the wilderness experience of the popular Brule Narrows entrance to Voyageurs National park.
The Bleak Bay property is an undeveloped tract of unbroken Red and White Pine forest on the mainland just north of the Ontario/US border. It spans the width of the peninsula between Bleak Bay and Seine Bay and is the sole privately-held parcel on the peninsula, entirely surrounded by protected and undeveloped Crown Wilderness Land. The Bleak Bay property is the largest privately-owned parcel on Rainy Lake and the sole unprotected parcel in a vast multi-thousand-acre forested peninsula habitat. Conservation of this property was the highest priority for protection by the Rainy Lake Conservancy (RLC), American Friends’ local partner.
The location is remote, with no private cabins on surrounding lands. Its Seine Bay frontage features several minor bays and a small inlet that affords sheltered harborage. The upland has extraordinary views of Seine Bay.
Bleak Bay has a spectacular, and rare, sand beach and an upland promontory with panoramic views of Voyageurs National Park. To the south of the promontory is a second bay which provides sheltered harborage. A woodland trail links the harbor zone to the beach.
Rainy Lake is marketed as a “fisherman’s paradise” and a place of great scenic beauty offering the values of a wilderness experience yet easily accessible by air, water or land. The Bleak Bay conservation easement is a major step toward keeping that experience for future generations.