Cedar Island - An Epic Island on Flathead Lake, but Sketchy as Hell
Updated: Jul 20, 2020
Distance from Mt. Forge: 40 minute drive & short boat ride
This afternoon was quite an adventure. After an awesome time at Bird Island, we set out with the plan to camp for the evening on Cedar Island. After some extensive research we were able to locate the Lake County maintained Zelezney Access Point as the best place to drop our canoe into Flathead Lake to get to the island. If you have access to a larger boat, you should be able to easily find several other places to drop in to the water. Upon arrival to the location we unfortunately learned that there is no overnight parking on site. About a half mile up the road there is a snowplow turnaround with some contradictory signs (one says no parking at all, another says no parking only during snowplow season). So with the hope that we wouldn't encounter any towing/ticketing issues, I left the truck in front of the snowplow sign after we dropped the canoe.
It's a short ride from the access point to the north side of Cedar Island. We decided to do a lap around the island with the canoe to check it out. We saw Shelter Island, which houses a ridiculous mansion with insane amenities that recently sold for something like $14 million. After our loop we stopped at the north point by where we told was an old abandoned house. We hopped out to check it out. The house was unique, covered in graffiti, and full of bat droppings inside. It seemed to be holding up pretty well and not looking like it would collapse. It's interesting to see and imagine what the mansion was like in it's prime 50+ years ago. There is a boat house nearby that started to give us a bit of the creeps. It had an empty rowboat, tons of used supplies, kitchen supplies, a sleeping bag, pillows, shoes, and clothing. It gave us the feeling that someone was living there semi-permanently and very recently.
We relocated to the western shore where we saw a boat and some people hanging out before. There was signs of clear camping use so we set up our tent and hung out for a bit. After walking around we noticed a lean-to type structure that had a box full of vegetables and seemed like someone might be staying there as well. We tried to ignore the suspicion and had a couple of Western Ciders and hung out for an amazing sunset. Shortly after the sun went down, my wife had an uneasy feeling as if we were being watched, so we decided to pack up and abandon our camping plans.
The island is beautiful, unique, and an amazing place to watch the sunset. It's also rumored to be haunted. Maybe it was all in our heads, but it didn't seem like a comfortable place to spend the night. I would recommend going to check it out, and staying overnight if you dare!