Burntside to Crab
The old Crab portage used to cut across private land (as noted by Marsh) - there has been a battle going on for several years over this. The private owner of the land has been spending his own money for trail maintenance and personal liability insurance and the inevitable finally happened - he can't afford to keep doing this. The portage now takes a different route (the Forest Service didn't handle this is the best way possible - but that's a little political commentary). Actual distance of the portage is unknown - we'll have to wait for next year's updated maps to come out - the last 280 rods are the same as the old portage. The new starting route feels a LOT worse then the old 40 rod start did - uphills and downhills, some of which are steep, coupled with some nasty footing through rocks and freshly cut stumps. In 5 years (or maybe more) this should be a more established portage again, and then will be a little more pleasant to take. Until then, help to beat this thing down and make it a little more pleasant. Beware - if you are double packing (and I mean one Duluth Pack on the front and one on the back when I say double packing) you will have challenges seeing your footing for the 1st part of the portage. Also, when you are part way through you will come to a clearing (there are 2 clearings, i am talking about the 1st one). Notice the impressive beaver dam - this thing must have been years in the making - it is about a 3-4 foot tall dam that is completely grown over with grasses - quite an accomplishment.
Lake after portage: Crab
Known campsites: 8+
Crab Lake is pretty - lots of good fishing and campsites and a great place to base camp and explore from if you are going in with a group that doesn't like lots of portaging (the 1st big on is the only one after Burntside).
Portage from Crab into: