Location: Gilstad Lake Fishing Pier

Managed by: Chippewa National Forest, U S Forest Service

Management Address

200 Ash Ave NW
Cass Lake MN 56633

“The Forest offers 21 developed campgrounds, 100 back-country campsites, 298 miles of non-motorized trails, 160 miles of hiking trails, and 20 miles of horse trails. There are 380 miles of motorized trails providing access for snowmobilers to frozen lakes and scenic woodlands. Over 1300 lakes, including three of Minnesota’s largest, provide water-oriented recreation. The Norway Beach, Cut Foot Sioux, and Edge of the Wilderness Visitor Centers are open throughout the summer and offer information and interpretive programs. The Forest boundary encompasses about 1.6 million acres, with over 660,000 acres managed by the Chippewa National Forest. The remaining lands are state, county, tribal, and private. The Leech Lake Indian Reservation is also within the Forest boundary. The forest supervisor’s office is located in Cass Lake, Minn., with district offices in Blackduck, Deer River and Walker.” As reported by https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/chippewa/about-forest


Gilstad Lake, reaching a depth of 55 ft, offers anglers a varied species list from which to fish including Walleye, Perch, Northern Pike, Crappie, Sunfish and Bullhead.  The floating wooden dock extends over a wetland area prior to jetting out onto the lake.  The access to the pier used for fishing is so long it possesses a passing area.  The pier is similar to others found in Minnesota having two cut out areas where the top railing has been removed with vertical posts added to stop users from falling in the lake.   The pier is very long encompasing a long gang plank prior to the pier.  Users will have to navigate a high lip transition from the metal plate between the gravel and wooden dock see pictures above.  

The parking area does not include an accessible parking space or an access route to the pier and is constructed of sand, gravel and clay.  No major washouts were noted and for the most part the area between where you would park and the pier is flat.  As with another pier the Service manages it was noticed that the gangplank does not seat well with the ramp giving the user a change lip greater than one half inch to navigate over. 

The area this pier is located at is fairly far from any main roads and cell phone coverage may be sporadic or difficult so users should be cautioned to inform others where you are going and when you will be coming back in case you have any difficulty. 

The site also has a boat landing as well as a vault toilet but again there is no access route leading to the facilities and the distance from the approach to the concrete slab is greater than a half inch.  Since it is only usable for persons without major ambulatory disabilities the interior was not evaluated.  If it had an accessible route it would have been.    


Location Info » For directions, click the marker in the map. »

5 miles south of Blackduck, from Co Rd 24, E to lake on Chippewa National Forest Rd, pier on SE Shore.


Bemidji is the closest large community offering big box shopping while area smaller communities and villages offering smaller store shopping. Blackduck is the closest town.


The area surrounding this pier is dotted by many resorts, motels, hotels, and camp grounds offering many types of accommodations.