Quetico to Badwater

Quetico portage
Posted by: josiah
Season/Year: Spring 07
Water Level: low
Length: 320 rods
Rating: difficult
Additional Perspectives:

Portage Description:
The mile long portage from Quetico to Badwater is somewhat difficult to locate from the quetico side when the water level is down. The McKenzie map I had showed that the portage was on the right side of a marshy bay back in the West Bay of Quetico. Because the water level was so low (probably 3' down from normal judging by the shoreline), the portage ended up being a good 30-40 yards out of the water through some wet, muddy grass. The portage looked like a little break in the trees where a stream was coming out. Sure enough, there was water flowing from the portage. We had to sludge our canoes up through the muck until we reached the grassy shore. After that, we had to walk the 30-40 yards through a couple inches of mucky grass just to get into the woods. The portage itself is difficult not only because of it's length, but because at least half of the portage is wet whether or not it has recently rained. Also, the footing is difficult, it is best to take your time and carry a lighter load. In fact, you might as well pack light and save yourself the extra effort. There is a considerable amount of elevation, both up and down, and at least 2 stretches where you are walking through a bog and have to stick to the log-laid path less you slip in the muck. One guy slipped and got both legs soaked up to his thighs!

Lake after portage: Badwater
Known campsites: 3
Lake Description:

Badwater is darker than any other lake I've been on in the northwest region of quetico. We made sure to bring the water filter this time, there is a lot of beaver activity in and around Badwater. It isn't much for fishing for smallmouth, and catching northerns just gets annoying after awhile. It is a long lake, even though it is narrow, so it's a considerable paddle either way. Once you're in Badwater, you either have to go back over the 1 mile portage, or go a considerably long distance to get back out a different way (Fair Lake, Your Lake, Bentpine, Burntside, Jean, Conk, and then Quetico). Best suited for groups who like to get a lot of miles in and pack light.

Portage from Badwater into:
Quetico *West Bay

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