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Walker is a quaint town of 941 residents in North Central Minnesota, located on the shores of Leech Lake, Minnesota's 3rd largest lake.  With proximity to lake and trails, it is easy to see why Walker is a year-around outdoorsman's paradise!


Established in 1896

The city of Walker was founded in 1896 and is the county seat of Cass County.  Long before its formation, the area that is now Walker, was originally home to the Sioux Indians and later the Chippewa (Ojibwe).


In 1785, the Northwest Company established trading posts on Ottertail Point and Oak Point, which started the influx of fur traders and settlers to the area.  In 1882, the Army Corps of Engineers built Federal Dam on the Leech River at the opening of Leech Lake to control river flows at the lumber and flour mills in Minneapolis.  The dam raised the water level on the lake approximately four feet and made for easier navigation into Walker Bay, which was also beneficial for floating logs to the railroad in Walker. 

Leech Lake Cabin.webp


Fast Facts

  • The first National Forest East of the Mississippi River, the Chippewa National Forest was established in 1908.  

  • The forest includes 1,042 square miles of managed land that extends through Cass, Beltrami and Itasca counties.

  • Chippewa National Forest contains over 1,300 lakes and features more than 3,000 archeological sites.

  • It is home to many varieties of wildlife, including one of the largest breeding populations of Bald Eagles in the lower 48 states.

  •  Chippewa National Forest offers miles and miles of trails for a range of year-round activities including, walking, biking, horse riding, and snowmobiling.


For more information about the history of Walker and the surrounding areas, visit the Cass County Historical Society located in downtown Walker.

Walker City Panoram.webp

The city of Walker was founded in 1896 after the railroad came to Leech Lake from Brainerd.  At that time, hotels were built in the area along with a public launching area on Leech Lake.  The early 1900’s saw the beginning of tourism in the area. The early resorts and cabins that were built laid the foundation for the tourism industry that still flourishes today, with many generations of visitors continuing to make Leech Lake and Walker an annual destination.


Ojibwe: Gaa-zagaskwaajimekaag  |  French: Lac Sangsue

At 115,000 acres, Leech Lake is the third largest lake in Minnesota behind the Red Lakes and Mille Lacs and the 36th largest lake in the U.S.  Leech Lake has 195 miles of shoreline, a maximum depth of 156 feet, and 12 islands.  Leech lake is actually a reservoir, Federal Dam was built in 1882 to help control the flow of the Mississippi River.  It was the second dam built in the federal system.


Since Leech Lake freezes in the winter, fishing is essentially a year-round activity.  Gamefish found in Leech Lake include Black Crappie, Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Muskellunge (Muskie), Northern Pike, Pumpkinseed, Rock Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye and Yellow Perch.

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