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Minnesota ice road: $250 toll


If you want to know how passionate some Minnesotans can be about ice fishing, consider that quite a few are willing to pay a $250 toll to haul their ice-fishing sheds across frozen Lake of the Woods to a tiny corner of Minnesota that otherwise can be reached only by boat or by driving through Canada.

That wasn't a problem in the past, but when the border between the U.S. and Canada shut down in 2020, Minnesotans arranged for a 37-mile ice highway crossing the lake to Angle township, population 119, when not overrun by ice-fishers.

The cost of grading and maintaining the road is estimated at around $1500 per mile, paid for out of the tolls collected. It has a 20 mph speed limit. While the border is open again, unvaccinated people and people without passports can't use that route, and some just plain liked the ice-highway idea, so it's been created again this year.

The Northwest Angle, a resort area known for good fishing, is the northernmost point of the U.S. contiguous 48 states, and the only point sticking up north of the 49th parallel between Maine and Washington. It was created by a surveying error when the U.S. and Britain set a boundary after the American Revolution.


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