Lac Vieux Desert

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Lac Vieux Desert
LocationGogebic County, Michigan /
Vilas County, Wisconsin, United States
Coordinates46°08′N 89°07′W / 46.13°N 89.12°W / 46.13; -89.12Coordinates: 46°08′N 89°07′W / 46.13°N 89.12°W / 46.13; -89.12
Primary outflowsWisconsin River
Basin countriesUnited States
Max. length4 miles (6.4 km)
Max. width2 miles (3.2 km)
Surface area4,260 acres (17.2 km2)
Max. depth40 ft (12 m)
Surface elevation1,683 ft (513 m)
IslandsDraper Island, Duck Island

Lac Vieux Desert is a lake in the United States divided between Gogebic County, Michigan, and Vilas County, Wisconsin.[1] Fed primarily by springs in the surrounding swamps, it is the source of the Wisconsin River, which flows out of its southwest corner; the lake contains a number of small islands, especially in its northeastern lobe, including Draper Island in Michigan and Duck Island, in Wisconsin.[2]

Lac Vieux Desert has a surface elevation 1,680 ft (510 m)[3] above sea level, and a maximum depth of about 40 ft (12 m); the surface area is 4,260 acres (17.24 km2; 6.66 sq mi), of which approximately two-thirds is in Wisconsin and one third in Michigan.

Located in the Lake District of northern Wisconsin, the lake is a popular boating and fishing resort.

The name was given by French fur trappers, who were some of the first Europeans in the region, they translated the name into French from Anishinaabe language, Gete-gitigaani-zaaga'igan, meaning "Lake of the Old Clearing" or "Old Garden." At the time of European colonization, the Ojibwe (also known in the US as Chippewa) occupied extensive territory around Lake Superior, in what are now northern Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota in the United States, and northern Ontario through southeastern Manitoba in Canada.

The Michigan shore of Lac Vieux Desert is the only part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that is part of the drainage of the Mississippi River and with southwest Bertrand Township and southeast Galien Township (of Berrien County) on the Indiana state line, is one of two such areas in the state.

Local activities and attractions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lac Vieux Desert, Gogebic County, Watersmeet Michigan Fishing
  2. ^ Wisconsin Historical Society. "Lac Vieux Desert, Vilas Co". Retrieved 2008-11-04.
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lac Vieux Desert

External links[edit]