Isabella to Quadga
|Boundary Waters portage|
Posted by: Beavers
Season/Year: Spring 05
Water Level: high
#1-Isabella Lake - Howard Lake (Isabella River)
10-42 rods depending on water levels -- easy
In high water you need to take the full 42 rods. In lower water levels you can shorten the portage by going around the bend almost to the Pow-Wow trail and just carry around the small rapid. In average water levels take out at the "official" landing of gently sloping granite and follow the path with few a windfalls to the portage intersection with the Pow-Wow and take left on the Pow-Wow to put back in. In high water you need to continue down the portage and step under a big windfall(which means taking the canoe of your shoulders and passing it under the tree) right before the nice landing into Howard Lake.
#2-15 rods -- easy
As easy as they come. In lower water there is a beaver dam to pull over right upstream from this portage. In high water you can paddle right on over it.
#3-130 rods -- average -- This portage has good landings on both ends. Nice level path that has a good view of the rapids in places and a board walk over a creek and a spring.
#4-10 rods -- easy -- This portage is not marked on McKenzie Maps. It might not be needed depending on you white water skills. There is a long strainer to dodge on the right if you run the rapids.
#5-27 rods -- easy
Easy portage with good landings.
#6-27 rods -- average
The only thing hard about this portage is the upstream landing. It is tricky in low water and gets worse the higher the water. Trail is straight up with some steps to help but in high water you are landing against a vertical wall of granite. After you go up the steps it's right back down to the river with a much more friendly landing.
#7-99 rods -- easy
This one starts out with a nice take out and continues with a decent path after going around one windfall until the "intersection" when you turn right to Quadga. From the intersection it is a slight uphill before dropping into the lake and a rocky landing. About 20 rods from the lake there is a large windfall that forces you to remove the the canoe from your shoulders and slide it under the tree.
Lake after portage: Quadga
Known campsites: 4
Very nice little lake with good populations of Northerns and Walleyes. One of the campsites is a nice one.
Portage from Quadga into:
Bald Eagle (via Isabella River)