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Lac Vieux Desert
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Location Gogebic County, Michigan /
Vilas County, Wisconsin, United States
Coordinates 46°08′N 89°07′W / 46.13°N 89.12°W / 46.13; -89.12
Primary outflows Wisconsin River
Basin countries United States
Max. length 4 miles (6.4 km)
Max. width 2 miles (3.2 km)
Surface area 4,260 acres (17.2 km2)
Max. depth 40 ft (12 m)
Surface elevation 1,683 ft (513 m)
Islands Draper Island, Duck Island

Lac Vieux Desert is a lake in the United States divided between Gogebic County, Michigan, and Vilas County, Wisconsin. 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.

Lac Vieux Desert has a surface elevation 1,680 ft (510 m) 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 lake was named by French fur trappers, who were some of the first Europeans in the region. They translated the name into French from the term used by the Ojibwe of the area: 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 the jurisdictions of 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 or watershed of the Mississippi River. With southwest Bertrand Township and southeast Galien Township of Berrien County on the Indiana state line, it is one of two such areas in the state.


There are multiple resorts and campgrounds on the lake. Most of the shoreline on the Wisconsin side of the lake is developed, however dense forest surrounds many of the properties.


In 1919, the Wisconsin state record Tiger muskellunge was caught in Lac Vieux Desert. It was 54.0 inches (137 cm) long and weighed 51 pounds 3 ounces (23.2 kg). The record has stood longer than any other fishing record in the state.

Local activities and attractions

Women's History Month on Kiddle
Women Scientists of Antiquity
Mary the Jewess
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