BWCA Portage Database Additions
Not included in the BWCA Portage Database as of 7/10/2012

from lake to lake portage description sites lake author area season year water distance unit rating
Washte Wind My daughter and I found abundant largemouth bass around the island. Not very big, but fun. No smallmouth. I didn't know the lake was so shallow! Next time I'll do my homework. Funny, my outfitter insisted that the lake is stocked with walleye. Deepest place is only 8 feet! None at all
Anonymous BWCA Summer 05 unsure 40 rods Rate this portage
Ogishkemuncie Holt More like a moose trail than a portage. The trail is tough to follow and there are numerous spots where you must step over downed trees. The trail winds through bushes almost too thick to get the canoe through. The trail thins out about 2/3 of the way into holt as you follow a dried up river bed. The last section is more of the same with thickets that require 2 people to force the canoe through. None at all Holt is a decent size lake with deep water. The shore line has been burned out and is not particularly scenic. Anonymous BWCA selected 09 low
rods difficult
Winchell Lake State Lake Ok, so there is no portage. Basically the way we got to State Lake was to bushwhack up the hills on the southeast end of Winchell Lake, and head south towards State. This area was partially burned out during the 2006 Redeye Lake Fire, making the initial climb relatively easy. Once on top of the hill, it's a nightmare of blowdown, marsh, and thick undergrowth. By the time we reached State Lake, our GPS told us we had walked 2 miles (it's only 1 as the crow flies) traversing the thick woods and marshes. None at all State Lake is beautiful, and one can tell that it is almost never visited. Surrounded by steepish hills on all sides, and containing one small island. The shoreline is incredibly rough; we were unable to find a good rock face to get out on. The waters along the shore are shallow, and the water clear enough to see the bottom well out into the lake. It's clear the only way to successfully fish this lake would be by boat or chest waders. Ultimate serenity. Arin Kurttila #8 Central BWCA Spring 08 high 320 rods never again
Eugene Fat average portage very little elevation change. not sure One small campsite accessible via a steep rock shelf. Gin clear lake with several small slow growth lakers in it. arkansasman BWCA Summer 08 average 76 rods average
#23 Mudro As many of you may know, chainsaw Sisters is no longer in operation. For the meantime through the efforts of the Trust for Public Land and The Friends of the Boundary Waters the US Forest Service has been able to keep the access point open and parking is now free. not sure
backwash #6 Northwest BWCA Fall 04 average 30 rods easy
Lower Pauness lake Little indian Sioux River to Loon lake Several steep hills, up and down and up again. Overall more difficult that a flat portage more than three times the length. yeah seriously. I am experienced in canoe country and actually prefer the, "minimalist, beat myself up trip" but this was one of the most grueling. be sure you're in shape before doing this one. Oh and make sure to stop at the campsite along the way to take some pictures and admire the cliffs. 8+ Beautiful just as any other bwcaw lake. Loon does however allow motors, a damn shame if you ask me, 10,000 plus lakes in the state and they need to take away a handful of bwcaw lakes as well. Oh well, w/ out the cooler carrying, motor boating condo campers, those of us deserving of the bwcaw would have noone to despise. Ben Miller #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 08 average 160 rods difficult
Ashdick Swamp Camped our last night on Ashdick on the north end. Good fishing and solitude on Ashdick. Scouted the portage into swamp the previous night. Lots of moose tracks and droppings. This portage seems to receive little use as we were there in July and it showed little evidence of use. Steady uphill out of Ashdick to a peak, followed by a meandering level area, then down and up again before finally exiting at swamp. Overall not a terrible portage, although it was quite muddy and the idea of spooking a moose in all the thick stuff had us a bit spooked! None at all Swamp is fairly shallow with lots of nooks and inlets to explore. bioteachk #8 Central BWCA Summer 08 average 155 rods average
Ester Ashdick This portage begins practically on a campsite, with only a small inlet isolating the two. It is a fairly flat winding journey over into Ashdick. Cool geology on both sides as mentioned in the Pauly guidebook. We found little evidence that this portage had been used much during the summer. On the Ester side multiple trails exist, but they all seemed to lead to the correct area in the center. 2 Southern campsite on Ashdick had seen little use, and was a bit boggy. The northern campsite is great. Steep entrance, but great lunch spots and fishing off the rocks was great. Spent our last evening on the northern campsite and enjoyed a loon family and mergansers. Lots of evidence of moose on the northern end of the lake. bioteachk #8 Central BWCA Summer 08 average 55+ rods easy
Ester Rabbit Fisher maps shows this further south in the inlet than we would place it. It is almost hidden in the very north portion of the inlet close to Rabbit. Hug close to the shore and you will find it. It is a short but steep climb up to Rabbit. Delightful isolation on Rabbit. 2 Lots of neat places to play around and explore in Rabbit. We didn't spend much more than an hour exploring the lake. Both campsites looked nice from the water, but we didn't examine them up close. bioteachk #8 Central BWCA Summer 08 average 15 rods easy
Hanson Link Very easy climb over into the Pitfall Primitive Management Area. You'll need a PMA permit to spend the evening in this series of lakes. Weather forced us to change our plans and we were unable to spend the evening as planned. We explored Link, Gift, Fish, and Nawakwa lakes. Easy portages into each lake. Wonderful hidden areas to explore in this chain. Once past Link, you will see evidence of the Cavity lake fire. Beautiful destruction. We were there the summer after the fire, and found evidence of renewal already. Wildflowers were everywhere as we played hide and seek with merganser family. not sure Part of the Pitfall Primitive Management Area. Permit required to overnight. No designated campsites. Must use Leave no Trace principles in making camp. bioteachk #8 Central BWCA Summer 08 average <5 rods easy
Cherry Hanson This one feels like a long 110rods. It is clearly marked, although a bit boggy on both ends. A steep climb out of cherry, followed by a long meandering mid section, concluded with a long descent to Hanson. Clear to follow, just a bit tiring. 4 Hanson is a large lake with good fishing and clear water. We camped on the eastern edge at the more northern of the four campsites. The campsite is fine. Beware a deadfall about to come down on the northern site. Multiple tent sites here. We found lady slipper orchids past there prime in the woods surrounding the site. bioteachk #8 Central BWCA Summer 08 average 110 rods difficult
Lunar Cherry This one is a bit rough, but not impossible. Entry is from a beaver dam on Lunar. (Beware poison ivy around this area.) Basically you follow a creek bed downhill to a small waterfall (more of a trickle). The footing can be difficult at time, but it isn't too steep. Midway through the portage you have to diagonal across the waterfall on a steep rocky section. This was the hardest part.<BR><BR>We had been told from another group passing the opposite direction that this portage was a mess on the eastern end and nearly impossible to find. They talked of a sucking bog and leeches, etc. Visions of Rodents of Unusual Size...etc The truth is that they must have missed the trail that skirts to the south of an old beaver pond here and wandered into the middle of the pond. Yikes! If you follow the trail around the old swampy pond, it takes you to a short steep descent into Cherry. 2 Cherry is a jewel of a lake. Both campsites are nice. The middle site has multiple tent sites and we spent two wonderful evenings here. Great fishing and beautiful cliffs. Bioteachk #8 Central BWCA Fall 08 average 40 rods difficult
Lake of the Clouds Lunar Easy, short descent to Lunar. A little boggy at the exit into Lunar, but otherwise easy. None at all Nice lake, lots of areas to explore. bioteachk #8 Central BWCA Summer 08 average 10 rods easy
Rivalry Lake of the Clouds Rivalry is a shallow, dark lake. It is a bit difficult to find the entrance to the portage. It is midway across the lake on the south edge. Boggy entrance, but the middle is breathtaking. You will parallel a rocky cliff through the midsection. It is worth the time to stash your canoe and gear and explore the car-size boulders that have broken away from the cliff. Beautiful area! The exit into Lake of the Clouds is easy but narrow. None at all Lake of the Clouds is beautiful, deep, and completely secluded. We spent over an hour just cruising the shore and exploring. A natural history gem. bioteachk #8 Central BWCA Summer 08 average 75 rods average
Gijikiki (Cedar) Rivalry Steep, muddy, boggy. Watch out for the shoe sucking bog at the end of the portage. Totally worth it to see Lake of the Clouds and Lunar on the way to Cherry lake. Before attempting the trip from this side, make sure you can make it all the way to Cherry. There are no campsites midway through. None at all Rivalry is a very shallow small lake. Probably less than 5 feet deep throughout, but the mud may be just as deep as the water! bioteachk #8 Central BWCA Summer 08 average 35 rods average
Ottertrack Gijikiki (Cedar) The entrance is hidden under some cedars, and parallels the shore for a while. Then the fun is very steep up to the peak in the middle. It is worth your time to stash your gear and canoe midway through and climb over to the highpoint just southwest of the portage. Great views from that location, and it helps to catch your breath. From the middle it is a much easier descent into Gijikiki, which is labeled on some maps as Cedar lake. 2 Gijikiki is a beautiful lake, almost devoid of blowdown damage. Good fishing here and you can spend hours exploring the shoreline. There are two campsites. The island site was taken when we arrived. The northern site is a bit buggy, but very livable considering the alternatives. bioteachk #8 Central BWCA Summer 08 average 50 rods difficult
Burntside Lake Crab Lake The new section to this portage is more up and down and requires attention for deliberate foot placement as it is quite rocky, this ends after 1/3. The portage is then much easier and has a long gentle incline to a gradual decline that ends at a sandy beach on Crab Lake. The 2007 Fisher maps have revised it to 420 rods. We were able to double portage in just under 2 hours, admittedly we are not the quickest portagers out there. 8+ Crab Lake has a main body and 4 outgoing sections. Alot of shore line to explore and is normally a good lake in the wind. The water clarity is good and it is a pretty lake. Boppa #7 Southwest BWCA Summer 07 low 420 rods average
Crab Lake Little Crab lake Nice take out of Crab Lake and a nice put in at Little Crab. This is a very easy portage. 1 A nice spot, decent camp site and offers some solitude as those passing thru do not have to go by campsite. Boppa #7 Southwest BWCA Summer 07 low 20 rods easy
Little Crab Lake Korb Lake A beaver dam requires a pull around and the rocky shore needs a little attention as you bypass this neat feat of engineering. 1 A nice little lake. Boppa #7 Southwest BWCA Summer 07 low 2 rods easy
Little Crab Lake to Korb River to Korb Lake A beaver dam requires a pull around and the rocky shore needs a little attention as you bypass this neat feat of engineering on the Korb River. 1 Korb Lake is a nice little lake. Boppa #7 Southwest BWCA Summer 07 low 2 rods easy
Burntside Crab* Even though there is a sign to start the portage(probably due to its being moved) I had a little difficulty in finding it, but did, finally. The landing was fine, a few submerged rocks that were easily avoided. It has just recieved a 420 Rod designation on Fischer maps, I concur, it seemed longer. The start is tough, with a number of ups and downs. The footing had to be watched and then placed as a lot of rocks exist, this is for about 200 Rods, you then come to a meadow with a short boardwalk. From here to Crab Lake it is a gradual climb on a very nice path which levels and in the last 30 Rods slightly decends to a nice sandy put-in. 8+ Wonderful lake with 4 legs to explore. Decent clarity and fishing. boppa BWCA Summer 07 low 420 rods difficult
Skipper Little Rush We never found a land portage, in fact our outfitter said it may be overgrown as most stay on the stream to get into Little Rush. In high water you may be able to paddle thru, we had to get out and walk, guide our packed canoe for about 5 rods around some rocks. Hopped back in and paddled the rest of the way into Little Rush. Got wet up to the top of our knees, no big deal. None at all Little Rush is small and a very typical pond like atmosphere. Boppa #9 East BWCA Summer 08 average 21 rods average
Poplar Lake Skipper Lake Long is best applied here, with a lot of up and downs. This area has been hit by the blow down and has had a prescribed burn which in turn has caused quite a bit of ground cover. So in summer time, seeing where your foot is going to land is not always possible. This should become less of an issue as the current growth matures. Surprisingly we did find some blueberries and many rasberries week 3 in August due to the regeneration. With a good map, finding this portage, either end, was easy. 1 Medium size lake, had 1 site with 2 good tent pads and decent landing area. Seemed a large enough lake to support 1 or 2 more sites which might be a good idea as this lone site is used after or before the long 320 rod portage. Boppa #8 Central BWCA Summer 08 average 320 rods difficult
Rush Lake Banadad Lake It is short but can demand your attention. So/so landing and put in areas. If wet, will be mucky in a section. Has a large rock face wall with trees to carefully fit the canoe thru. 4 Long narrow lake which has a wilderness feel about it. Was very quiet and nice while there. 2 good campsites, both torward the western end. Boppa #8 Central BWCA Summer 08 average 10 rods average
Little Rush Lake Rush Lake Recent beaver activity has diverted water from Rush lake down the portage to Little Rush. So it is more like a stream with moving and still water sections. It has rocky sections and a large Cedar root area which when wet can add to being very slippery. So a not bad portage has become more interesting due to our furry friends. 3 Nice lake with a small area where the Ham Lake fire went thru, which took out one site, but left three others. Two of which are quite nice. Some interesting rock faces and terrain by waters edge. Boppa #8 Central BWCA Summer 08 average 50 rods difficult
Skipper Little Rush We walked the stream that connects Little Rush to Rush, in high water this could be paddled. None at all Small and quickly paddled thru. Boppa #9 East BWCA Fall 08 average 20 rods easy
Little Rush Rush Was sloppy as a beaver dam is diverting water from Rush Lake down the portage to Little Rush Lake. Up to your calves in muck made footing tricky in a few spots. 3 A west to east lake so wind can make paddling a chore. The campsite on South arm is gone due to Hamm Lake fire. Boppa #8 Central BWCA Summer 08 average 50 rods average
Little Rush Rush Easy to find, but, due to beaver activity on Rush Lake it was a quamire of flowing water. Actually it was like following a stream up a hill. Not bad in many spots, but other areas were calf deep into dark water so footing was a concern. Our outfitter had warned us about it and indicated that the Forest Service was thinking of moving it slightly. If they do address the flowing water issue, it would be of moderate difficulty as one would probably see where their foot would land. 4 A beautiful West to East oriented lake. It has a very nice site on the North shore, on a point, with a wonderful large Pine Tree as its main feature.<BR><BR>I am not sure if the most Southerly site is still present due to the Ham Lake fire of 2007. Boppa #8 Central BWCA Fall 08 average 50 rods difficult
Rush Banadad As you paddle down Rush stay to the right finger and as you get to the end look to the left and you should easily spot the portage to Banadad.<BR><BR>It is an easy take out but the path was muddy, and twisted around a few boulders and trees. It is short but requires a bit of attention for your footing. The put in on Banadad is OK. We saw a wooded bridge over the stream and suspect that it is used for the Banadad Ski Trail. It was of no use for our purposes. 4 Another West to East oriented lake that starts out narrow and is a fine paddle.<BR><BR>As far as the campsites go, the 2nd is a nice spot, with the island site the nicest. The site down the north arm offers great solitude, it is small with only one decent tent pad. <BR><BR>We were fortunate to see Moose on two occasions and a bear swimming across the north spur.<BR><BR>Fishing for Northerns and Smallies was decent. Boppa #8 Central BWCA Fall 08 average 10 rods average
Banadad Sebeka Easy to find, map was right on. It was an easy take out, the portage had a few up and downs, watch your footing as alot of rocks are on the foot path. None at all Quiet little lake that has a nice wilderness feel to it. The portage to Ross lake is easy to locate. Boppa #8 Central BWCA Fall 08 average 92 rods average
Horseshoe Vista Portage is where the maps indicate, it is a rocky take out so wet footing is preferred with Kevlar. A short nice walk to a rocky put in on Vista. Nothing to fret about. 3 Vista is a beautiful lake with a very nice site(site which is furthest south) to hope for. Boppa #8 Central BWCA Fall 09 average 21 rods easy
Vista Misquah Easy to find, although it does have a rocky take out and a slight climb to begin. It levels out in a few spots but gently continues to climb until you reach the put in at Misquah. Again a bit rocky. 1 A pretty little lake, with some palisades and obvious past fire damage on West side. The only campsite is unremarkable and the portage to Little Trout Lake is easy to locate. Boppa #8 Central BWCA Fall 09 average 55 rods average
Swan Lac I have seen discussions regarding an abandoned portage from Swan to Lac and decided to see for myself. The portage is located at the lowest point in the hill separating these two lakes and the entrance is in a very small cove and not easily seen from a distance. The portage itself is relatively flat and marked with orange flags. It's a short and easy walk, and the only difficulty arises from the tight quarters with a canoe. We removed a number of deadfalls and with a little more clearing this could be a very easy portage. None at all Lac is tannin stained, about 20 feet at the deepest point, and has large expanses of cabbage weed. The eastern half of Lac Lake is quite shallow and was burnt in 1995 along with Skidway and Dugout Lakes so there are plenty of raspberries and blueberries to be found. The last DNR survey listed a high population of small pike which sounded like fun, but it was 95 degrees and sunny when we were there, so fishing was very slow. We couldn't manage a bite in the weeds or in the 20 foot depths. Brian Johnson #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 low 50 rods average
Little Pony River Bootleg So, the main thing here is that when the manuals say that the river might be low in the summer, BELIEVE them. We got to a point where we could go no more but were not at the portage. We got to what looked like a portage but it went no where. Looks like plenty of people stopped there and found nothing. We could go no more due to muck that was at least knee deep if not higher. We had to emergency camp at that "fake portage" and went back out the next morning to Little Indian Sioux, which we tried to take south some more. It was many long stretches of some kind of grass that is a couple feet high and was bank to bank. Got to 20 rod portage which looked barely used. Looks like people make-shift camped there, probably because they could not find the Trout Lake portage that comes MUCH later on. We gave up, paddled back to the entrance, drove back to Tower, stayed at our cabin and went into Trout the next day from Vermilion. If you have to do this, do it early in the season and be ready for little used portages and very long days. Travel really light. 2 Never made it. Gave up for the first time ever in our BWCA history. CaptainKen #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 11 low 25 rods never again
Homer small pond-like tributary of Vern Lake (River) Lineable going downstream (I did it as a solo). With higher water might be floatable though channel is barely wide enough to line a canoe down.<BR><BR>Otherwise portage is relatively flat and easy with decent but small landings on both ends. None at all some dramatic blowdown areas here and after the portage into East Pipe Lake. ChiTrader #8 Central BWCA Spring 08 average 6 rods easy
small pond between Homer and East Pipe Vern first one is no trouble; ok landing and flat, well-worn trail. Second (farthest downstream- west) can be carefully floated with high enough water. One little riffle to dodge. I scraped at first but made it through, then figured out that staying to the left bank would have missed the rocks and probably been a smooth float. Wouldn't even rate it as a Class I rapids. 2 Very pretty, despite paddling straight into a 15+ mph wind. High bluffs on both sides; lots of blowdown areas. One particularly bare hillside at the "fishhook" narrows area about 3/4 of the way to Juno would have been really neat to hike up to get a birdseye view of the area. Eastern campsite is very nice except for the landing area being all huge rock slabs. Tough to avoid scraping the canoe when any unfavorable wind (from south or west) is blowing. Lots of large trees, 2 good tent pads and a 3rd that is adequate.<BR><BR><BR><BR>Second site didn't seem quite as nice, but was adequate. ChiTrader #8 Central BWCA Spring 08 average 6 and 6 rods easy
East Pipe Mid Pipe high beaver dam caused 2nd of two short portages into Pipe to be flooded and floatable. First was a short, steep haul but not a major problem 3 Just to either correct or update the spring '93 post, all 3 campsites are on the WESTERN third of the lake, not the eastern end. ChiTrader #8 Central BWCA Spring 08 high 5 (and 3?) rods average
Vern Juno A beaver dam caused part of the portage to be very wet and flooded about 10 rods into the carry. It appeared that the rest could be floated after that, but don't be fooled by the small pond . Only possible to paddle about 10 rods on that pond, so best to just stick to the trail. McKenzie map shows trail crossing to the west side of the small pond but due to the flooding there was a rough trail along the east side of the pond. Quite wet and near flooded in the first section After going up a steep hill, portage was ok, but rocky and up and down. Both landings were average at best. 3 Juno is very pretty, long, narrow, some blowdown still evident but lots of areas that appeared unscathed. The two campsites on the western end suffered from high water encroachment, but appeared satisfactory if normal water conditions prevailed. Second site from the west especially was very close to being totally underwater. Easternmost site was occupied but looks like a very good site. ChiTrader #8 Central BWCA Spring 08 high 65 rods difficult
Juno Brule Very nice start from Juno. Water on Juno was high, so landing was probably not what it normally is. Portage starts off fairly flat; a good, wide trail, even grassy in many places. Closer to Brule it gets more up and down, trail narrows and the final descent to the Brule landing is a bit treacherous, rocky and very steep. Very difficult to balance the canoe and keep the stern from bumping on the rocks. Be very careful here. 8+ Gorgeous lake. Dotted with islands. Lots of interesting bays. High hills in some areas. Large lake with many very deep spots (50-60 ft.) Large open expanses of water can be risky in high winds. ChiTrader #8 Central BWCA Spring 08 high 60 rods average
Homer East Pipe (2nd of two portages) A seemingly new beaver dam necessitated a lift over to reach the landing. First half was steep up and down along a well-worn path. Some muddy spots on the last half. Landings were average at best- East Pipe landing was shallow and rock strewn, use care when loading canoe or landing there to leave East Pipe. None at all small, shallow, didn't fish it so no idea if anything catchable in it. High bluffs on the south shore. Lots of blowdown areas on north and west shores. Chris Norbury #8 Central BWCA Spring 08 average 20 rods average
East Pipe Pipe Due to a huge beaver dam recently constructed, the water was quite high (I estimated 3-4 ft. above normal in Pipe Lake). First portage is short but steep and probably not even the 5 rods long listed on the map due to the high water. Second portage was totally underwater! I put in and floated carefully toward Pipe over water about a foot deep until I passed through a small gap in the foliage (the end of the 3-rod portage) and officially entered Pipe. 3 Campsites were nice in general, but high water made for tricky landings in the two western-most sites, as well as reducing the usable space at each site due to a higher shoreline. Easternmost site is nicest. Good view of hills on south shore, cozy little bay protected from north and west winds. Good tent pads (at least 2). Chris Norbury #8 Central BWCA Spring 08 high 5 and 3 rods average
lower george karl the portage starts out with a steep climb, so steep it was <BR><BR>difficult with 18' canoe. landings on both ends are safe/easy landings sand/small stone. not sure
chris smith #9 East BWCA Summer 05 low 35 rods difficult
horse river horse As stated in the other description, the Horse River can be very tough. However, this is variable entirely by the water level, as I have been down the river twice when the water was higher and only had the three portages on the map along with the occasional pullover. September of 06, however, the water was quite low and a day trip from Fourtown to Basswood Falls and back took the entire day. The northernmost part of the river becomes a shoe-sucking mud swamp, when it is usually a nice paddle through a grassy channel. I would advise planning spring trips thru this river, when you stand a much better chance of avoiding low water periods. not sure
Chris W #6 Northwest BWCA Fall 06 unsure
rods difficult
Entry #6 Slim Great entry point for beginners and trips with kids. Nice and flat portage that used to be an old road, since washed out and boardwalked in places. 3 Long and narrow, nice topagraphy for this side of the boundary waters. Chris W #6 Northwest BWCA Fall 07 average 70-80 rods easy
Ogishkemuncie Kingfisher East landing and hiking along a stream. Right in the heart of the Cavity Lake Fire, so a lot of fire damage is visible. But this also gave way to lots of wildflowers in bloom. None at all
Cowboymac12 #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 low 34 rods easy
Turtle Bald Eagle Muddy in some areas. 2 Island campsite and at least one other no longer exists due fire and blow downs. Maximum of 2 of the 4 original left DALE LOCKWOOD #8 Central BWCA Summer 09 average
rods difficult
Lizz Lake Caribou When I was there, it was a wet portage. Standing water on the trail in places On the Lizz Lake side, there are submerged logs, placed their in the past. A rocky put in on the Caribou side 4 The campsite right across from the Lizz Lake portage is excellent, with large rock slabs to enjoy. Less bugs and a great swim spot with a sunset too. Dave Edwards #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 unsure 68 rods easy
Caribou Horseshoe It's short and sweet. A well traveled one. 5 I took the first campsite on your left, as you're entering the Southern leg of the horseshoe on this lake. It was recommended, and turned out to be as nice as described. Dave Edwards #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 unsure 20 rods easy
Horseshoe Gaskin Horseshoe side was "mucky", with submerged logs. A fairly long climb to the top of the ridge,and then you pass through a burned (fire) area, just as you begin to drop down to Gaskin. Some of the biggest, mature Cedar trees I ever saw are here. 8+ Gaskin is a typical, irregular lake. I saw Moose on the West end. There's a campsite on the Westerly end, on the West side of a large land mass in the center part of the lake. I highly recommend this one! Dave Edwards #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 unsure 98 rods average
Gaskin Winchell Nice take outs and put in's on both ends. 8+ Winchell lay's East-West, and being long and relatively narrow, can really throw the wind at you sometimes. I had white caps, and it's a long haul when it's like this. The campsite on the point of a Western facing penisula is as nice as any I've ever had. Dave Edwards #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 average 52 rods average
Winchell Omega Total rock hopping over the standing water all the way. Expect to get your feet wet and muddy here.... 3
Dave Edwards #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 average 46 rods average
Omega Hensen Very wet, with standing water about all the way. While not that hard, not much fun either.... 5 The portage from Henson into Gaskin is pretty hard to see till you're right on top of it. It's tucked in, just South of the Campsite that's there... Dave Edwards #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 unsure 92 rods average
Hensen Gaskin I had to be right on top of the portage till I saw it. Both ends of this portage require a long climb to get up on top of the ridge that is in the center of this portage. Standing water in places. A terrible take out on the Hensen side, but a nice put in on the Gaskin side. not sure
Dave Edwards #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 average 92 rods average
Gaskin Jump I rated this difficult only for the take out at Gaskin, that requires you to lift your canoe & packs up a steep ridge of rock. Once you negotiate this, it's a pleasant portage. None at all Jump lake is just a short run with not much distinguishing about it. Dave Edwards #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 average 20 rods difficult
Poplar Lizz I agree with the other authors that this is a well worn, dry, and potentially busy portage. You cross the Banadad hiking trail, which doesn't appear very well traveled. A rocky take out at Poplar, and a nice put in at Lizz. None at all
Dave Edwards #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 average 63 rods easy
cherokee sitka We enjoyed this portage, as it allows you to keep your feet dry, and enjoy the scenery. It has it's ups and downs, but then we like a challenge sometimes.... I'd rather take on this portage, than be found, pulling my feet out of mud somewhere else. Some rate it bad, but we rate it a nice challenge, and an opportunity to get out and stretch your legs a bit. It's also easy to find. not sure
Dave & Jill BWCA Summer 06 average 140 rods average
Takucmich Trygg The portage entry is not obvious at first and requires getting beyond a bluff off of Takucmich prior to seeing a clear path. The landing point is at the foot of the bluff with no clear pull out point. 1
David O BWCA Spring 06 average 15 rods average
Sawbill Smoke Easy up and Easy Down, highway in comparison to most others. At Smoke Lake there is a long dock that was bulit to replace the dock that had disapeared that replace the dock that sunk etc. This dock is very sturdy and appears that it may last quite awhile. One trip with a pack if you can. 4 Great fishing, walleye, small mouth, Northern and pan fish. Watch for rocks as you head to the main lake. There is a lot of paint and aluminum. Dean H #8 Central BWCA Spring 07 low 100 rods easy
Lamb Nina Moose We traveled this portage twice on the way to and from Ramshead Lake. It is the most difficult portage I have personally been on. My brother has been on about 20 BWCA trips and had never been through one this difficult. Beymer should call it "Rough" not "Challenging."<BR><BR><BR><BR>Both ends of the portage are hard to find. The path is very narrow. There are very steep, rocky portions. Two large trees lay across the trail, just low enough that we couldn't limbo the canoe under and just high enough that it's work to push the canoe over the top. Two places were wide, muddy and well stirred by moose prints.<BR><BR><BR><BR>And like the other poster said, there were more ticks than I've ever seen before. not sure No campsites on Lamb. Doug #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 08 unsure 220 rods difficult
Horseshoe Vista Slight uphill from Horseshoe to Vista. Water was high when we went in and there was a nice little river coming down the portage trail. Put in on Vista is very rocky but a fantastic lake. Southern campsite is the best, good fishing lake. 2
Fish BWCA Summer 08 high
rods Rate this portage
Rocky Lake Oyster Lake Steep climb from Rocky Lake. Watch your step. Not a long portage but not an easy portage either. 7 We had decided to push on to Oyster Lake and glad we did. Mid point campsite has access from either side of the peninsula that divides lake. Great campsite.Unusual wind from south east that trip was constant across site and kept mosquitoes away. Great Pike fishing off southern side. Great sunsets off western side. Plenty of tent sites. Lower ground area is soft ground! fotomon #6 Northwest BWCA Spring 05 average 65 rods difficult
Ensign Vera I did this portage in the summer of '07 with dry conditions. The first 100 yards or so were very steep and rocky and conditions were enough gravel or loose rock that one had to be very attentive to keep ones footing. After that initial section, the portage was not too bad with small ascents and descents until the last 200 to 300 yards. The middle section also had a wonderful view of Ensign and lots of places to rest. The last 2-300 yards was a somewhat steep descent with uneven footing. Going back was considerably easier. Vera was nicely isolated, although after the '99 storm, it seems more bare that I had expected. not sure
hank markison BWCA Summer 07 unsure 180+ rods difficult
Little Gabbro Kawishiwi River This was the northern portage that starts near the old dam and travels NNW into Kawishiwi. The trail starts with a mild ascent and then levels off. The trail is mostly level and even until the take out where is was just a bit muddy. The old dam was interesting and I've read that one can portage around the dam and take that part of the river into the Kawishiwi with some lining/walking/portaging two rapids. If you're headed up to Lake One, that might be viable. not sure Kawishiwi - pretty and pleasant paddling. hank markison BWCA Summer 09 unsure 120+ rods average
Gibson Swing Once you find the take out (not exactly where the Fisher map said it was) the portage is pretty level and easy, with just a touch of mud. The put in was pretty average. This was part of my choice of path from Jordan to the landing at Snowbank to retrieve a forgotten stove (don't ask) and I chose it because the total portage length was shorter this way than to go back through Adventure/Jitterbug/Ahsub/Disappointment - huge, huge, huge mistake. For details, see my comments on Abinodji to Haven.<BR><BR> None at all Swing Lake (should be called Swing Pond) was small and seemed pretty shallow. The take out was onto a small boardwalk and was just a bit awkward, though not unusually difficult. hank markison #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 average 40 rods easy
Swing Abinodji The take out from Swing was onto a boardwalk, of sorts, and was a bit awkward, though not unusually difficult. After an initial muddy section, the rest of the portage was about average with a few ups and downs, but nothing of significance. 1 Abinodji was a very pretty lake with one campsite that seemed quite nice. The day was sunny and I would have liked to linger, but I was trying to make it back to Snowbank before late. hank markison #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 average 50 rods average
Abinodji Haven The take out was a bit of a hassle onto a rocky plateau, but was dry. Initially the portage was rocky and steep, then became uneven, up and down with bad footing and was generally very unpleasant. This was the portage that stopped me from making it back to Snowbank. My initial assessment (total portage length from Jordan to Snowbank was shorter this way than back through Adventure, etc) ignored the type and quality of portages, as well as the increased distance across Snowbank. I had planned on getting back to Snowbank landing and then back to Boot, all in one day. None at all Haven lake was small but pretty and was mostly pleasant. The take out was dry and easy. hank markison #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 average 80 rods never again
Haven Boot Easy take out with a quick and easy portage. From Haven the mostly rock trail descended to Boot and to an easy put in. 2 Boot lake was a pleasant and fairly isolated spot and the campsite (first to the left from the put in) was large, sheltered and comfortable. I spent two nights here - the first after coming from Jordan, through Gibson, Swing, Abinodji and Haven, and the second after a trip back to the Snowbank landing to pick up a lost stove. hank markison #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 average 5 rods easy
Snowbank Boot This isn't so much a comment on the portages (two, separated by a pond. straight forward and relatively easy) as it is on getting to the portage from the Snowbank entry point. I had put in at Snowbank two times and both times had headed to the portage into Disappointment. This time, I had come from Boot to go back to the landing to pick up a forgotten stove (major blunder on my part) then head back. If you've never paddled on Snowbank before, the biggest issue is wind. Because it is a very large, relatively round lake, any wind causes waves and seriously increases paddling difficulty. I had intended to get to the landing, get the stove, get back to Boot and then head on to Ensign. In both directions, the wind was about 15 or 20 mph almost directly from the side (NW), first the right then the left. I was doing a week solo and paddling my Wenonah Prism with very little gear (I left most of it at my Boot Lake campsite), so I was alone. The waves were about 1 to 1-1/2 feet and, with them coming from the side, it was probably the most uncomfortable I've ever been paddling. Had I not had considerable experience with whitewater kayaking, I probably would have been in big trouble. As it was, the entire way I was thinking about what I would do if I swamped. I put this in here primarily to warn people new to BWCA of the dangers of paddling Snowbank (I've paddled big lakes before and never had this problem). I've been canoeing for about 45 years with 10 of that also including whitewater kayaking (as an instructor). If the winds are high on Snowbank, I would not recommend leaving the entry point and heading to Boot unless you are very experienced. 2 Boot is a great and isolated lake, but seems to be a route rather than a destination. The northernmost campsite (near the take out to Haven Lake) is large and comfortable and is a nice place for quiet. I saw a few eagles in the area. hank markison #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 average 30+ rods average
Boot Ensign I would say that the primary reason that this is a difficult portage is its length. The trail was dry with good footing and relatively mild inclines. The comment about seeing water and thinking you're near the end is absolutely true. You need to view that as a pleasant break from the usual trail scenery and realize you still have a ways to go. I would much rather do this 220 rod portage than the 80 rods from Abinodji to Haven. not sure I have heard Ensign described as Grand Central Station and that is right on the money. In the two or three hours that I was on Ensign the first time, I saw 18 canoes. The one really wonderful thing I experienced on Ensign was coming back from Vera and going to Ashigan. On the trip down the lake, I saw two eagles flying together, a Bald and either a Golden or a young Bald eagle. Then when I got within a half to one quarter mile of the take out I saw an eagle's nest with a beautiful Bald eagle. It made it worth putting up with the traffic. hank markison #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 average 220 rods difficult
Cattyman Jordan This is a very pleasant portage into a very nice lake. The take out is usually wet, but not muddy and the trail starts with a mild ascent to a mostly level trail with a few stony areas of increased difficulty. Probably the biggest issue I had was the area sloping to the put in. The put in is in a little sheltered lagoon and is a nice start to the entry into Jordan. 3 Jordan has been one of my favourites, probably because it was my first campsite on my first solo trip. There are 3 or 4 campsites, the first two of which are just to the left and a little farther to the right as you enter the lake proper. The campsite to the left has a sandy beach with a short hill up to the camping area. There is an area around the firepit/log seating and then a slightly higher area off to the right as you come up from the beach. My first time there was in '98, before the big storm and I had my tent up on the higher area. Since the storm, its not as nice so I put my tent closer to the firepit my last time there. I've also camped at the site to the right from the entry point and it was also a nice site, though a bit higher up. Either campsite is very nice and Jordan is a pleasant place to spend a night or two. hank markison #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 average 75 rods average
Entry #19 Stuart River Water levels in the Stuart River have changed yet again due to beaver activities. The beaver dam downstream of the put-in has blown-out and the water levels on the upper portion of the Stuart have dropped. You can NOT put in at the Swamp Creek bridge because the water level is too low now. The bridge is also mostly gone so we had to ford the creek in relatively swiftly flowing water following an overnight rainstorm. There is a lot of shoreline muck at the entry put-in at Stuart River itself and at the take-out for the first portage.<BR><BR>The good news is that water levels all the way down to Stuart Lake are way, way up and the waterfall at the lake has very nice flow to it. 5 Still a very pretty lake. HappyJack #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 10 average 480 rods difficult
Hustler Lake Oyster Lake This portage isn't that hard with your typical ups and downs. However, about 2/3 of the way across, just when you think this isn't bad, you hit water. Beavers have flooded the trail, water is about knee deep with no way around other than through. You finnish with a steep hill down to the lake. 7 Beautiful clear lake. Saw some nice camp spots. Holli #6 Northwest BWCA Fall 08 average 310 rods average
Ge-Be-On-E-Quat Ge-Be-On-E-Quat Creek A wet, rocky decline, past rapids. Watch your step. The portage is easy to find if you are not reading the fisher map. The portage is back next to the rapids, not on the point before, as shown on the map. None at all
Holli #6 Northwest BWCA Fall 08 average 35 rods average
Knife Hanson Easily the prettiest portage in the area. Large cedars, scenic waterfall, moss, cool/damp air in the shaded low spots. Take some time to enjoy this one. New this year: a large tree fell across the portage at the halfway point. About three feet off the ground, it's an interesting obstacle. Nice entry/exits to this one. not sure
J-M #9 East BWCA Summer 09 low 150 rods average
Moosecamp Creek Moosecamp Creek After a week of rain the water levels had come up substantially from last year. This was a worthwhile paddle that took about 2 hours from Fourtown to Moosecamp Lake. Two large beaver dams were the only obsticals on the creek. This trip would not be possible in low water conditions 2
JACQUE #7 Southwest BWCA Spring 07 average
rods Rate this portage
horse river horse the water is great im a guide and i love taking them here lower basswood is so awesome. if they want to see wildlife this is a great place not sure none on horse river jake BWCA Summer 08 average 15 rods average
North Cone davis this portage starts off up hill for 30 rods or so, there are some large rocks to carry your canoe over,and tie your boots tight there are many ankle twisters,some small ups and downs but nothing to steep for the average portage 2 nice bwca lake there is some fire damage to the west that closed off the west campsite and the other is nice flat space for 3 tents and nice fire grate only caught pike in this lake but we caught several jakedirt #9 East BWCA Spring 08 average 178 rods average
Burntside Crab We last did this portage just before it was re-routed and remembered it to be pretty easy. The new portion -- about the first 1/3 -- was difficult. Luckily it was dry, but it was up and down (which is not so bad) with very poor footing (which was bad). Lots of exposed roots and rocks -- a sprained ankle waiting to happen. The second 2/3 going into Crab was easy -- mostly flat. It may be slightly longer than the previous McKenzie measure of 320 rods -- but not by much. jAbout halfway through you go through a marsh -- which is very buggy in wet seasons. This year it was quite dry for us, so no bugs. 8+ This is a nice lake for those who prefer small lakes. Some of the campsites are very nice. Janet #7 Southwest BWCA Summer 07 low 380 rods average
Nina Moose Lake Agnes This second portage between Nina Moose lake and Lake Agnes is starting to wash away by erosion on the Nina Moose River towards the south end of the portage. You almost have to walk thru the river to walk down the portage not sure
jenrobsdad #6 Northwest BWCA Spring 08 high 96 rods average
North Hegman Angleworm Never again, because frankly, the 2 mile portage from the Angleworm Entry is a nice long walk in the park compared to this one. I nicknamed this the Psychotic Portage, as it had just about every personality you can encounter. It starts out reasonably, then you hit a long boot-sucking mud slog. Those with packs can skirt around, but the best bet for the canoe is to push it through the muck. Then you're greeted with an ankle-wrenching boulder field and a couple of good inclines to get the heart racing. Thankfully, your efforts are rewarded as you climb to a few nice granite outcroppings, move into a decent pine needle carpet, and then start decending to the 4-way intersection with the hiking trail and the 2-mile portage back to the entry point. Continuing straight, you go down to a point where the trail has been inundated in 1 foot of water, only to go right back up and gain another 20 feet of elevation. Finally, you turn off the main trail and put in at the end of the swamp. Put in is narrow but decent. 3 Due to beavers raising their dam, the lake level is approximately 3-4 feet higher than it had been for a long time. Lots of vegetation under water and many trees turning brown along the water's edge. Angleworm is a quaint, deeply tannic lake that few people venture through. jjcanoeguide #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 10 average 470 rods never again
Meeds swallow Despite its length this portage was fairly easy even when Heavily loaded with gear.<BR><BR>Good landing on both ends.<BR><BR>Starts with a mild gradual incline and runs a level coarse. None at all Very narrow lake it made me want to canoe to the end and back.<BR><BR><BR><BR>The landing going over to Pillsbury is marked by a rock outcropping. Has a somewhat difficult position to step on but still good and dry. jjd #8 Central BWCA Fall 06 average 110 rods average
swallow pillsbury This portage cuts through a marsh and has quite a bit of boardwalk, very cool.I wouldnt come anywhere near here in bug season, but in sept. it was great. Half our group had a wet foot or two by the end so i gave this a (difficult) rating. 2 Nice lake. Narrow and sheltered by a thick belt of trees. Water was fairly clear. We stayed at the eastern campsite.<BR><BR>The site is marked by a rock outcrop, with what we thought was a eagle nest in a humungeous dead tree just across shore from it. The site was small and slanted with the fire grate close to shore. The year i was here we saw a bullmoose at the other campsite, a couple otters, a very large carcasse, and heard wolves howling.<BR><BR>One of my favorite bwca lakes and definently has walleye and for us a few small smallies. jjd #8 Central BWCA Fall 06 average 86 rods difficult
pillsbury allen The entrance to allen from pillsbury was smooth and the trail was fairly flat. The end of the portage at allen, not so good. There are several downed trees laid across the muck in order to help you get your canoe out far enough from shore to get enough float to load it. It could have used a dock. We had a heck of a time getting loaded here. Almost count on wet feet unless the water is low. Water was swamplike at the entrance.<BR><BR>On the upside there was a giant carcass(believe a moose) on shore mostly deteriorated. 1 Very narrow lake. I enjoyed every stroke of the paddle on this lake. The water was clear and the view was long.<BR><BR>Plenty of shelter from the wind. jjd #8 Central BWCA Fall 06 average 95 rods difficult
Ima Lake Reflection Lake Maybe during high water this is floatable. It was a boulder and pothole field when we were there the first week of August. You would have to hop two boulders float a pothole and repeat for about 4 rods. There is a marshy bog on the north end that makes the last rod.<BR><BR>I had read a story in the book, Canoe Country Wilderness by William Rom, where he guided a family to Sedative Lake (pg 29) and made a Finnish fish soup called Kala Majaka from the pike they caught. Rom described the trek as "two short portages and a paddle along a stream to a lake with water as black as tar." He went on to mention numerous places for campsites but that was long before the area was BWCAW.<BR><BR>We had to break our way through a few dry rotted deadfalls across the water in the gap in the cliffs to reveal the rock field. Our group did not take the canoes any further. (Fair weather paddlers) A few of us climbed through the rock field, staying on the north wall, a side path in the cliff face climbs to twenty feet above the passage. Take your paddle to help keep your balance when hopping the rocks. Really nice pictures from that vantage point. None at all Reflection Lake: Very pretty shallow lake, more of a big pond compared to Ima Lake.<BR><BR>Sedative lake is beyond Reflection Lake, did not get a look at it. Keeler's #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 low 5 rods difficult
Adventure Lake Jordan Lake We got to the east bay of Adventure Lake 40 minutes before we lost all daylight and we were packing heavy and triple portaging. We were very tempted to try to float the easy "looking" stream to the right. We sent a group up to scout it, they reported a few deadfalls just out of sight, so we carried the portage.<BR><BR>The take-out on Adventure Lake was pretty nice, shallow with gravel. The path had decent footing and the grade was easy enough. As we passed the 3/4 point we looked down the 75 ft hillside to the south and saw a long shallow rapids that was criscrossed with deadfalls, driftwood and every other kind of fallen wood. Good thing we carried.<BR><BR>I would have rated this portage as average except for the last 100 yards was a slippery sand and rock 45 degree climb down to the Jordan put-in. Had the cut steps and log reinforcements not been there it would not have been possbile to make the three trips in the light we had left. 3 We got into Jordan after complete darkness had fallen. One group went north and found the campsite occupied. We eventually found the middle campsite and it was not occupied. Very nice site. Nice canoe port space (pretty quick drop off to deep water though), big tenting area. Enough space for four tents, a screen kitchen and a dining fly. Great view of most of the lake. I left a logging chain next to the fire grate.<BR><BR>We looked at the site in the south bay one day while fishing. Very pretty mature pine trees all around, had it not been surrounded by ten acres of shallow water/mosquito farm we might have considered it. The seven days we were at the center camp, no one stayed at the south camp.<BR><BR>All the fish we caught were either in the channel or the bays leading to the channel. We marked a lot of fish on the rock humps in Jordan, just never caught any.<BR><BR>Jordan Lake has two swimming areas. The bay by the west portage for normal swimming, our teenagers paddled there several days because it was shallow enough to be warm and clear enough they could see the bottom. The other area doesn't involve much swimming, more jumping into the water. The channel from the east bay, leading to the Ima Lake portage has a big rock face (30 ft) that is famous for jumping and a lesser known smaller rock face (15 ft) regular trekkers to the area know about, further up the channel.<BR><BR> Keeler's #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 low 58 rods difficult
Cummings Buck I can report some change for the better since í07 on this portage! The pond at 1/3-rd-the-way-in (noted by ab in the summer of '05) has disappeared. Evidence of dead trees marks the spot. Either the beaver have moved or become Beaver Hats. <BR><BR>I counted 10 windfalls across the trail (August 1) with 4 of them ëcrotch crushersí right up there in the danger zone.<BR><BR>The trail begins nicely (at Cummings) though somewhat overgrown. You encounter a few wet places which you can navigate easily with nimble feet.<BR><BR>One tenth of a mile from Buck, Hell begins: swamp, boot-topping water and muck, windfalls. After about a hundred yards the trail settles down to just being wet. It gradually dries out, or rather becomes less wet, as you near Buck.<BR><BR> 2 A party portaging from Buck to Cummings reported excellent Walleye fishing on Buck. They stayed two extra days. Ken #7 Southwest BWCA Summer 08 average 480 rods difficult
Cummings Western The trail starts and ends nicely. However beaver have greatly altered the middle. A portion of the trail sits behind a beaver dam and lies under water. Voyageurs have spontaneously rerouted the portage around the submerged section. <BR><BR>A trickle of water draining down the middle of the trail hints of future trouble. The trail dives under a large beaver pond. Fortunately a small beaver dam provides a dry path to walk around the water.. However, you must push through uncleared brush.<BR><BR>We had to uproot a couple of small dead ësaplingsí to clear the trail enough to get our canoe through.<BR><BR>I rate this portage as difficult, but after the Cummings-Buck 480 rods, it is a walk in the park (a park filled with beaver, brush and water!). 1 We visited Western yearly in the '70s due to wonderful Walleye fishing. Now the campsite disappointed us. A fire, I would guess 10 years ago, robbed its beauty. No shade! Just grass and variety of 5 to 7 foot trees.<BR><BR> Ken #7 Southwest BWCA Summer 08 average 80 rods difficult
Swamp Ashdick My Brother (age 53) and I (age 45) traversed this portage on our first day out. It is relatively flat but I rated it difficult due to the length. I would avoid in the spring or during times of heavy rain. Much of the trail is low and swampy. I almost lost a shoe in the mud on one step and we were out in July. However, it was a year of plentiful rainfall up to that point of the summer. 2 Ashdick is a fairly remote lake in that it generally is not a portage through lake or part of any common loops. The water clarity is darker than normal for the BWCA. The predominant fish species in the lake is largemouth bass (a little unusual) and you should be able to catch quite easily. The campsites are only average sites at best. The site off the portage trail is on the deep side of the lake and better for fishing but the bugs will be bad due to the close proximity of swamp and low land. Enjoy!!! Kent L #8 Central BWCA Summer 09 average 155 rods difficult
Hanson Cherry I totally agree with submission from Spido. This is a steep difficult portage. The first 20-30 rods is probably the worst so take your time and do not exhaust yourself. After you hit the open flat rock area it is pretty much all downhill. Portaging the opposite direction from Cherry to Hanson is probably even worse. 2 Cherry is a beautiful lake with high cliffs and clear water. Both campsites are supposed to be pretty nice. We stayed at the first site off the portage from Hanson and it was very nice but you could tell the site was heavily used. Firewood was hard to come by and the mice were almost tame. Cherry is a popular lake so get to your campsite early. Enjoy and leave no trace!!! Kent L #8 Central BWCA Summer 09 average 110 rods difficult
Swamp Ottertrack This portage is known as the Monument portage and is a little up and down but not real difficult. It is used often and you will often encounter other groups portaging through so keep your gear to the side if possible. Be careful on the Swamp lake side. It is a peat bog and the ground beneath the water is not solid. Step out on the makeshift pier. Bugs will be nasty so wear your head net. Ottertrack side is nicer and not as swampy. not sure Ottertrack is a long narrow border lake and known as a first class fishery with many different species of fish (Previous submission needed to get out of Swamp Lake and explore). Campsites are somewhat limited on the lake for its size. Make sure to stay on US side unless you have a Quetico permit. Kent L #8 Central BWCA Summer 09 average 80 rods average
Tool Lake Louse River going east Fisher map shows this portage starting right on Tool lake. This is not really the case. Just before where the map shows the portage there is a marshy inlet/creek on the right. At the end of this inlet/creek is where the portage begins. not sure
Kevin Groeneveld #8 Central BWCA Fall 09 average 50 rods average
Pan Anit Fisher map shows this portage starting to the right of the creek. It actually starts is to the left of the creek. not sure
Kevin Groeneveld #8 Central BWCA Fall 09 average 20 rods easy
Vee Lake Fee Lake This portage begins with a very short carry over into a beaver pond with a lot of dead standing trees in it. Paddle thru it to the end of the pond to begin the carrying portion of the portage. not sure
Kevin Groeneveld #8 Central BWCA Fall 09 average 80 rods Rate this portage
Clearwater Rock Island The first leg from Clearwater isn't bad, even good compared to other portages in the area. Other than the step overs, push throughs, and deadfalls. The next leg was tougher to find and tight. It would be difficult with a canoe 18'+. The beaver dam on Rock Island's outlet is quite high, holding water above the normal. The beavers have also dug channels in the bogs. The portage from Rock Island to Lake Two was partially under water. not sure
kobear #8 Central BWCA Spring 09 average 240 rods difficult
Turtle Clearwater Rocky, rooty, and rough at the beginning and in some parts. Had to watch where you stepped at all times. Had a nice landing on Turtle Lake. 3 cheers to trail crews. A recent fire re-burned previously burned areas along the portage, islands in Turtle, and the east shoreline. Areas along the portage had a complete burn eliminating all surface litter and soil down to loose rocks not sure
kobear #8 Central BWCA Spring 09 average 214 rods difficult
North Wilder Hudson This is a very hard portage when it get muddy. It is nice however when it's sunny out. the creek is better than the other way in via horseshoe, brewis, harbor. 8+ It's a shock after the isolation of the wilders. However hudson is a nice lake. L.T.sully #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 high 35 rods average
Isabella River Bald Eagle Lake This last portage into Bald Eagle Lake travelling west on the Isabella River is an average quarter miler. One warning is that the true beginning of the portage is about 150 feet down stream on the Isabella River PAST the campsite you first see when coming down the river. The portage is on the left. 8+ Bald Eagle Lake is shallow, the deepest part is less than 20 feet. There are numerous marshes around the lake so the lake would be buggier than other lakes. The water is somewhat tanin colored and can clog your filter unless you prefilter. We stayed at the second campsite on the left, going West, which was an above average site. The shoreline of Bald Eagle is rubble and most campsites do not present an easy way to get down to the water. Lee Hegstrand #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 low 141 rods average
Isabella Bald Eagle This last quarter mile portage on the Isabella, going west before your entry into Bald Eagle Lake, is on the left and is DOWNSTREAM of the marked campsite. Do not take the path up to the campsite! The portage is up and down, free of blowdowns in the summer of 2007 and is in good condition. 8+ Bald Eagle Lake is a shallow lake, actually a widening of the Isabella River in many respects with a largely low, rubble filled shoreline. The water is of average clarity. Lee Hegstrand BWCA Summer 07 low 190 rods average
Lac La Croix Gun Caution! Beavers at work! The 80 rod portage is now broken into two segments with a dam forming a large pond about 100 feet from LLC. The tough part of this portage is determining where on the other side of the pond the portage picks up. Stay to the RIGHT, but not the far right, on the pond! 2 Gun Lake is clear and deep. The camp on the east side of the lake I would rate as a four star site with many tent sites. The campsite on the west side of the lake is a 2+ star site with two small tent spots. Lee Hegstrand #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 11 low 80 rods average
Gun Lake Eugene The portage from Gun starts off with a moderate climb then levels off to gently slope down to Eugene. 2 The campsite after the pinch-off is large and I would rate it as a 3.5 star site. The campsite south of this is slightly inferior with a 3 star rating. Lee Hegstrand #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 11 low 85 rods average
Eugene Steep Moderate climb up to a higher elevation Steep Lake. 2 Steep Lake has an interesting rock cliff area to the right of the portage into South Lake that should be checked out. The campsite just east of the South Lake portage I would rate as a 3 star. The "campsite" on the west side (as indicated on the McKenzie map) does not seem to exist. If there is one, it must be a good climb up to the top! Lee Hegstrand #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 11 low 45 rods easy
Jitterbug Adventure Fairly easy portage with a few rocks and roots. Wide, dry trail. Not much elevation change. Mucky shallows on Jitterbug end, and watch for leeches. Adventure end was nice and wide and not too deep for put-in. None at all Beautiful lake with varied shoreline. Not too deep. LSL BWCA Summer 07 average 40 rods average
Cattyman Adventure A cute bubbling stream connects these 2 lakes-very very shallow. Fine as either a carryover or pull-through. The portage itself was a quick up/down. None at all Interesting shoreline and dark water. Looked like some promising spots to catch lunch and relax on the shore to eat it. LSL BWCA Summer 07 average 10 rods easy
Gibson Cattyman This one was quite steep and, though dry, it was easy to slip on some of boulders. Trail improvements have been made to help this problem (intermittent stone "steps"). Put-in to Cattyman was an easy side drop off of the rock ledge. None at all A small and busy lake. Good northern fishing along weed beds. LSL BWCA Summer 07 average 25 rods average
Cattyman Jordan I wasn't ab;e to on this particular portage been I've been through here quite a few times before and if the water is high you can walk into the waterfall in the creek half way through the portage and get into a little cubby hole behind it. Be careful, though, because the rocks are slippery and I still have a nasty scar on my led that blead from there untill the portage from Disapoinment to Snowbank. not sure
Mark #8 Central BWCA Spring 06 low
rods average
Lunar Cherry Lunar to Cherry....Started on small beaver dam, which was covered with poison ivy. Actual the first 2 rods were flanked by the biggest poison ivy that i have ever seen in the BWCAW...3' with woody branching. Then the portage followed a old creek bed, footing was fair but not bad. A little hopping around at the end of the grade change of the old creek bed. Into an opening, which appears to be and old small pond, now dry. Then back up a bit and into the woods to Cherry we when. The poison ivy was nipple high! 2 A beauty! marlin55388 BWCA Summer 09 average
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Stuart Fox Long portage that is narrow and infrequently used. Lots of downed trees, most of them have been cut through though to clear the path. One new area of downfall near the Fox lake end of the portage that hasn't been cut through yet, as of Sept 27th 2009. Docking area on Fox lake is just a sloping granite face down to the water - quite slippery and treacherous if it's wet. 1 Small lake, campsite elevated from lake. Nice kitchen area, but no seating logs or anything around the fireplace. Lots of hammock trees. mattengstrom #6 Northwest BWCA Fall 09 low 320 rods difficult
Moose River Entry #16 Portage was pretty easy, good footing, however after paddeling and portaging from Lac la Croix-we were trying to beat a storm- I was wiped!! Keep your vehicle locked and valuables out of site!!!!! I surprised a thief trying to break into a car in the parking lot. Rotten F@#$%^&!!!! not sure
Mike Schmit BWCA selected 07 low 160 rods average
Beth Grace Mostly a gradual downhill grade with some levels sections and some up and down. Narrow and rocky so watch your step. Spots of standing water after rain. Because of its length I would rate it above average; but it is definitely more work going east. 7 Just paddled thru monjon #9 East BWCA Summer 10 average 285 rods difficult
Grace Phoebe There are 4 portages between Grace and Phoebe. The first 15'er is on the left(S) side. It may look like you can get thru, but we discovered it would have been easier to walk the portage than walk/float the creek as there is a 5 foot rock ledge/falls to get over at the end.<BR><BR>The next 15'er is also on the left about 2 minutes later as you run out of water. It is a flat walk.<BR><BR>#3 is 5 rods. There is a landing on the right just before a rock ledge/falls. As the water wasn't high we paddled up to the ledge and unloaded and walked.<BR><BR>The last portage of 85 rods is just a short way down. Landing on right(N) side just before a beaver dam. Easy walk-mostly level. Ends in the river just before it empties into Phoebe. 7 Lots of islands and underwater rock piles. Good fishing. Clear water. monjon #8 Central BWCA Summer 10 average 15,15,5,85 rods average
Harbor North Wilder The portage from Harbor to North Wilder is covered with many (10-20) downed trees making the portage difficult. Some trees were very fresh, some old. The trail is not difficult, but it is narrow. The landings are small to average and a little rocky. We had three small children and two adults. This portage wiped us out for the day. I asked the Forest Service about the trees. They said that this is a no-maintenance area and this is not an offical portage any more. It is marked on both Fischer and McKenzie Maps and not difficult to find. 2 N Wilder is a smallish remote lake. We saw noone else while we were there. The portage and paddle out to Hudson lake was very pleasant. Patrick Fleming #8 Central BWCA Spring 07 average 100 rods difficult
Little Rush Rush The portage between Little Rush and Rush lakes is a nightmare. In the spring you wade knee deep in very stiff running water. Later in the summer it is a mud bog. Supposed to be fixed in summer of 09 with "Stimulus" money. You can skip the portage between Little Rush and Skipper by takeing the stream to the south. 4 Rush is a nice pretty lake. The campsite on the north bluff is the best on the lake. pigsmoke #9 East BWCA Spring 09 unsure 50 rods difficult
ada lake skoop <BR><BR>This portage is now underwater due to a beaver dam and is really two 10 rod portages one at ada and then one into skoop. The water level allowed us to paddle most of the portage but we attempted to walk it and was a complete mess. The planks were floating about and made this average portage very difficult. not sure
randye #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 average 92 rods difficult
Bug Dent Solid trail. lightly used. Portage was dry after significant rain. 2010 not listed as an option, but that was when we were there. 2 East campsite nice, but had lots of moose poop. Could not find the west campsite paddling the entire shoreline. Fished, but didn't catch anything. No fish hit the lake surface either. Rich Canby BWCA Spring 09 unsure 40-50 rods easy
East Bearskin Alder A little hill or 2 and down to the vision of the beautiful little Alder. AAAH 5 I love the first campsite on the right from E. Bearskin. It's on a point. Throw a line out, catch fish! Across is an island and on shore from there you can carefully climb though the massive boulders and up the wall to the top for an incredible view. If there is that crazy mossy crap - don't even attempt without gear, (that stuff is very slippery). ** Look for the rock stuck in between the crotch of pine tree on that island...Long story Scott Swanson #9 East BWCA Summer 07 average 50 rods average
square lake baskatong lake This portage was pretty easy! No big hills or steep drop offs. It is relatively flat with sweeping turns that make it easy to portage canoes of larger size. Due to very few visitors here the trail tends to be a little grown over. 2 Baskatong Lake - water was very stained. Both campsites are very well set up with great areas for tents. The west site is better for larger groups with the firepit on a rock point overlooking the lake! Don't go swimming here as the leaches are very bad. Hold your foot in the water for about 2 minutes and they will start coming from all directions. It's crazy! This is the lake for Musky and northerns. One hooked at least every other cast once away from the portage area. Best of all its the end of a chain so seeing people doesn't happen often. So worth it. Sean and Sarah #8 Central BWCA Fall 07 unsure 69 rods average
Kawishiwi Lake Square Lake This portage is so easy! Been through during different times of the year and it has never been too shallow to paddle. There is only one spot on the Square lake end that you may have to shimmy through or get up some speed and slide through. Watch the edges of the water and you will surely see some large fish chillin out, but I have never been able to catch one. Also watch for the eagles on the west side at the tops of the trees. Always see at least one. 2 Slightly stained color so the clarity is kinda poor. I have never had good fishing here, but others have told me they do good. Might just be me! Look for the Eagles nesting in the tree tops to the west just south of the Baskatong Lake portage area. Be advised that they like to check out larger crank baits and such when being casted. A very large one circled me for over an hour before I went back to camp because it started to dive down to where my cast would land. I never realized how big they get until then. Scary Big! Sean and Sarah #8 Central BWCA Fall 07 unsure ? rods easy
Lac la Croix Bottle Lake Rating? Not a walk in the woods.<BR><BR>There are a number of references made of this portage by renown travelers of the fur trade era. Alexander Mackenzie (1789 & 1793) described Bottle portage in his diary, "...the Flacon portage, which is very difficult, is four hundred paces long, and leads to the Lake of La Croix, so named from its shape". David Thompson, cartographer, astronomer and surveyor for the North West Company in 1797 described the portage simply as "uneven". "Very difficult" and "uneven" may be linked to the fact that this portage, in many parts, is notoriously muddy and rocky. I experienced this in 2009 on a day trip to Curtain Falls from Lac La Croix. I was glad I was traveling light! not sure All the lakes from Lac La Croix to Curtain Falls are unique and well traveled. Both Rebecca Falls and Curtain Falls and all the history of this area make it magical. Solo on Basswood #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 10 average 80 rods Rate this portage
Moose River Entry #16 This portage from the parking lot has a wonderful sloping, downhill path through young forest with patches of giant red and white pines. Pay close attention on your walk back to the lot. It is a good warm up for the day if you are trying to reach Agnes Lake or Lac La Croix. After reaching the end, putting in in a cramped space and launching the canoe is the only challenge. Gotta dodge the rocks! <BR><BR> Returning by this route, this portage becomes more challenging because it is now uphill and you will probably be tired from the day's paddle. Be sure to fill your water bottles on Nina Moose Lake for this return trip. Like most rivers of this size where beaver are numerous, it is not the best source of drinking water.<BR><BR> After putting in, the river meanders a little but it is a joy to paddle. Now, if you are paddling to make time it can then, unfortunately, be viewed as simply a means to an end. I have entered the BWCAW via this route many times and always have enjoyed the peaceful paddle and short portages. Aside from these necessary portages (all easy) there are a couple of beaver dams that must be crossed. Obviously, without these dams the river would be much more difficult to navigate so, give thanks to this incredible architect of the Northwoods river ways as you search for good footing on the twigs and branches. Good travels! None at all
Solo on Basswood #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 11 average 160 rods average
cherokee sitka This portage is overhyped. I am out of shape and hadn't paddled or portaged for 3 years. We did this portage first on the 2nd morning of our trip. It was not particularly hard at any point. There is the infamous step up onto the rock, but I am only 5'7" and had no problem stepping up with a 60 pound canoe and a 25 pound daypack. Maybe the hype made me fear the portage and make it seem easier. None at all Small and weedy. sonjar9 BWCA Fall 09 unsure 140 rods average
Kelly Burnt It is 7/10 of a mile, up and and down twice, through some mud (in the summer that might be treachorous as this portage is very well used), but not difficult at any point. The hardest part was the fact that we encountered 4 other groups at the portage. In October. On a windy, snowy day. I counted 17 or so canoes other than our 1. The landing at Burnt was difficult because there were 5 canoes in the water at once. We paddled away as fast as we could into the wind to get away from the other groups. Overall average in difficulty, nerve wracking in popularity... not sure Looked nice. We were too busy paddling into the wind to explore it as it deserved. sonjar9 BWCA Fall 09 unsure 230 rods average
John Royal Portage starts in a small bay, easy, sheltered access. Little elevation. None at all Royal Lake. You actually enter via the Royal River, with a significant current flowing eastward. Use caution, especially if not used to paddling in current. The river and its banks present a different scenery than most lakes, dramatic cliffs on the south side of the lake. Reedy at times. Stephen Cowdery #9 East BWCA Fall 07 low 62 rods easy
Royal South Fowl Fewer trees, more open than most portages in this area. Good trail, although a few large trees have fallen across the trail. A wide beaver dam has been constructed on the Fowl Lake End, only about 18" high but marshy on both ends, you'll have to slide your canoe over it somehow, the dam is strong but you'll have to wade in water about 12" deep beyond it. The best place to cross it seemed to be on the northern end. 3 South Fowl, turns into North Fowl, open (windy) there is about a mile stretch of resort cabins on the east bank of North Fowl, the east bank is Canada. 10 hp motorboats allowed on US side. Stephen Cowdery #9 East BWCA Fall 07 low 99 rods easy
North Fowl Moose A bit tricky to find, it is on the North side of the creek, hidden in rushes. One of the original Voyageur portages, well worn and wide. Entering Moose can be tricky if there is a wind coming from the west- it gets funneled into that area and the shore is rocky. 5 Open, clear, good fishing (Bass season is open later on boundary lakes), some campsites haven't recovered very well from the blow down (muddy from erosion, many down trees) but the ones on the eastern end seemed to be better. Stephen Cowdery #9 East BWCA Fall 07 low 126 rods average
Mountain Pemmican Straight up and down, some erosion, access mainly for trout fishermen, very hard with full gear. None at all Pemmican is a small trout lake, not really suitable for a full size canoe, worth a look if you are a fly fisherman and have waders. There are two campsites near portage on Mountain Lake to use as staging areas. Stephen Cowdery #9 East BWCA Fall 07 low 87 rods difficult
Mountain Clearwater Fairly steep for the first third, crosses border route trail, somewhat steep stairs at the end. 7 Busy lake (10 hp motorboats, some parts private) interesting cliffs on the southern side. Stephen Cowdery #9 East BWCA Fall 07 low 90 rods difficult
Poplar Swamp Fair amount of up and down, trail is narrow and twisting in some spots. Crosses Banadad trail. Open flat area at Swamp Lake entrance. None at all Small lake with several small islands, reedy on west and east ends. Good Walleye lake (south side) frequented by moose. Stephen Cowdery #8 Central BWCA Summer 06 average 100 rods average
Lac La Croix Takucmich This is an easy portage. However there was a large pine tree down and blocking the portage about 2/3 of the way to Takumich. 2
Steve #6 Northwest BWCA Spring 06 average 20 rods easy
Heritage Loon This sure seemed longer than its billing of 220 rods. From the Heritage creek side it's a gradual climb over a rocky section for about 15 rods followed by a steep section for about 5 rods. It then plateaus and rolls, crossing the Hustler-Sioux hiking trail followed by a short but steep drop down a rock face (<1 rod) that is probably tricky when wet. That seemed to be about the halfway point. After that, it was fairly smooth and flat with a marshy area, nice woods, and a grassy area near the Loon Lake end. It was surreal to come out to a large, inviting sandy beach and see a motorboat beached there. 8+
Sue #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 11 unsure 220 rods difficult
Section 3 Pond Slim On August 10th, we were able to go almost all the way to Slim on the creek without portaging. There was an easy pull over a beaver dam about 1/2 way. Near the Slim end, we had to portage about 4-5 rods along the East side. Not the greatest take-out or put-in but a heck of a lot better than a 52 rod portage. 2 Beautiful mature forests along the lakeshore. We paddled through but from the water, the southern campsite seemed more attractive. Sue #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 11 average 52 rods easy
Wind Basswood* June 2007 water levels were normal to low. The creek in the middle of the portage was about 12" deep, an easy wade through. Path is rocky and a bit narrow in spots. not sure
Terrapin #8 Central BWCA Summer 07 unsure
rods average
Heritage Loon I would rate this portage as difficult because (1), it was probably longer than the stated 220 rods, and (2) sheer sloping granite outcrops on the trail made for extremely treacherous footing when wet. One member of our party had a medical condition at the time so I triple portaged it. As a runner of 32 marathons, I would say at the end of this day I was just as tired as after a marathon. not sure Good fishing on Loon, but you have to share it with motor boats. Tim Zoerb #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 02 average 220 rods difficult
donna laughing duck Relatively easy for a brush crash. You go out of a little bay on the NE side of Donna to a little somewhat boring lake then a short hop from the NE end of that lake into Laughing Duck. One of the few people I ever told about this lake was Bob Cary, and he said "Yeah, Laughing Duck Lake", Look at it's shape on the map. Very beautifull, and has lots of lake trout. I'd only recommend for well experienced people in good shape. There is a nice spot to camp in the SW area. If you go there leave it nice please. 1 Samller version of Kashapiwi. tom #8 Central BWCA Summer 95 average 800? rods difficult
Gabbro Lake Bald Eagle Lake From Gabbro, land east of falls easy walk over hump. then a steep twisty tail with a dicey wet-foot or steep-bank re-entry spot. hat tough. Fall 2010 was a tight fit at the waterline, but that's not the thing to worry about. Unable to find anyway thru minefield of boulder in fall low water with our 18' Souris loaded for fowling hunting. Saw one group that didn't not sure hru when we were looking, three that turned back after putting we did. If your goal is Bald Eagle Lake in a low water year - consider starting east of Bald Eagle. TomM #8 Central BWCA Fall 10 low 10 rods easy
Bald Eagle Turtle Pretty much straight up the hill almost the whole length. Trail in good shape, slope not too steep, but enough to get the heart pumping and maybe too much for a family crew, otherwise no big. Lost a lotta trees to east and north in recent fire - in a rebuilding decade or two if you want trees in your scenery. not sure Three campsites once upon a day, but one site reportedly trashed by the last burn. Campsite near portage looked OK. Rocky put in at Turtle. Tried teh nort's, but all I got was a few follows - too cold when we were there. TomM #8 Central BWCA Spring 09 low 140 rods difficult
Little Pony River Little Pony River Old portage trail peters out into a drained pool that used to be behind a beaver dam. Beaver dam has blown out, forcing portage across 100 or so yards of muck between tangles of downed timber on either side. There was no trail to be found across the muck behind teh old dam - just carefully pick your way thru the mud and scattered sedge clumps. Some nasty much that can grab you up to your thigh if you get careless on upstream end near next put-in. Gobs of downed timber all around the old pool. We tried to find a trail along ridge and along teh edge of the organic (muck) soils, butwith no success - we did circumnavigate the bog, just never found a doable trail around. 2 River above is a tight fit in low water for bigger canoes like my Souris, but size gave it some bouyancy over shallows where my Penobscot wouold have scraped pretty good. I reckon I'd try teh Little Indian next time I come thru this way in low water, altho looks like a long paddle up river to that portage into Bootleg....North campsite is pretty good altho well-used. South site is less desirable, but I sure wouldn't pass it up after the long paddle in! Fishing was decent. TomM #7 Southwest BWCA Spring 10 low 50 rods difficult
Little Pony River Bootleg Lake Cakewalk portage after last one, although it was hard to find the put-in point with such low water. It was hard to find it coming out as well a couple days later... not sure Noth camp site is best, south one not so bad I'd make teh 200-rod walk to LIS rIVER AND PADDLE ALL THE MILES TO YOUR NEXT CHOICE. fISHING PRETTY GOOD SOME DAYS. TomM #7 Southwest BWCA Spring 10 low 60 rods average
Bootleg Lake Little iNDIAN sIOUX rIVER Long walk up, long walk back down - only a few slickery spots. We only hiked this one, decided to leave via Little Pony because we were uncertain of travel time an obstacles going out. 2 Take the north site if it is open - well-used but far better than the south TomM #7 Southwest BWCA Spring 10 low 200 rods difficult
Little Pony River Bootleg !st portage on Little Pony was washed out, and adjacent beaver dam is blown. Nice trail east from shore then disappears into blowdown and sedge meadow. Slog across the meadow paralleling the river thalweg if water to shallow to put boat in past blown dam. 2nd portage into lake easy, but put in at lake dicey with low water - many shallow boulders. portage hard to find looking north from Lake if you are traveling down river - be sure to take a good look at the location as you paddle south if you intend to come back this way. 2 North site is good, but well-used. west site looked open, not particularly inviting. TomM BWCA Spring 10 average 60 rods difficult
Stuart River entry #19 Stuart River This is the first and longest of 5 portages you will do to get to Stuart lake. It is long (1.7 miles) but more or less level with a good path and slightly down hill from the 6 car parking lot. About half way in you pass a sign announcing you are in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. At about 410 rods in you cross Swamp Creek. There is a "bridge to no-where" that about half of it has been washed away. If the water is high you can put in here and paddle your way to Stuart River and skip the last 50 rods or so. If not, keep hiking, it's not too much farther. The landing is good at the Stuart River end. Plan on about 45 minutes one way or about 2.5 hours if you double portage. The walk back is a little harder because it is slightly uphill.<BR><BR><BR><BR>All in all not too bad for the length. This was one of my longest portages but diffently not the hardest. None at all Stuart River - about 10 minute paddle to the next portage on the river. I've read that the river is open no matter what the water level. UP Boy #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 10 average 480 rods average
Stuart River portage #2 Stuart River This is the second of 5 portages you will do to get to Stuart Lake from the Stuart River entry #19. You just finished a long 480 rod portage and paddled about 10 minutes before you start this one. The entry is not bad and the trail is OK. The portage landing going north is why I rated it difficult. When we went thru in the summer of 2010 is was nothing but 75' of knee high, boot sucking mud to get to put-in water. You can try to skirt around the mud on the grass but be prepared to get that sinking feeling. None at all Stuart River - nice paddle on an open river. Twist and turns. Look for moose and other wild life. You pass the feeder creek to White Feather Lake (no campsites)on the right. I don't remember any beaver damns on this section of the river but you will hop over a few before the day is done. UP Boy #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 10 average 90 rods difficult
Stuart River Stuart River #3 This is the 3rd portage going north from the Stuart River entry #19. Fisher has it at 52 rods and Mckinzie has it at 44 rods. After the 480 r you did getting there this one will seem short. It is a easy walk in the woods with pretty good landings at both ends. None at all Continue on the Stuart River about 15 minutes to the next portage. There are beavers in this section of the Stuart so expect a few beaver dams to cross but nothing big. UP Boy #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 10 average 52 rods average
Stuart River #4 Stuart River This will be the 4th portage going north on your way to Stuart Lake. The McKinzie map has this portage mis-marked at 14 rods. The Fisher map has it correct at 74 rods. The trail goes up and down a bit with some twists and turns but it is not to bad. It by passes an nice little rapids. The landings are OK. None at all Stuart River. Both maps show a short portage in this section but we never had to get out of the canoes in the Summer of 2010 and the water lever was average. UP Boy #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 10 average 74 rods average
Stuart River #4 Stuart River This will be the 4th portage going north on your way to Stuart Lake. The McKinzie map has this portage mis-marked at 14 rods. The Fisher map has it correct at 74 rods. The trail goes up and down a bit with some twists and turns but it is not to bad. It by passes an nice little rapids. The landings are OK. None at all Stuart River. Both maps show a short portage in this section but we never had to get out of the canoes in the Summer of 2010 and the water lever was average. UP Boy #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 10 average 74 rods average
Stuart River Stuart Lake This is the last (5th) portage if you are going to Stuart lake from the entry (#19). Once again the maps have it at different lengths. Fisher says 74 rods and McKinzie says 88 rods. Whatever the length your map says it can be cut in half by paddleing around the corner and picking up the trail on the right just before the rapids starts. The longer trail is marked by a rock churn on a sloping rock landing just about where the maps say it is. The landing for the shorter route is also on some sloping rock and can be idenified by some logs with square cut off ends. You can pick up the trail right there and save about 35 rods. The landing at Stuart Lake is good and right next to the falls which was going pretty good when we passed in the summer of 2010. <BR><BR>Don't forget to fish the falls area. 5 Stuart Lake has several nice 4 to 5 start camp sites. We stayed at the site in the northeast bay just before the portage to Fox and I would rate it at 5 stars. There were several landing areas with a great swimming areas. The site is very large but only has 2 or 3 tent pad areas. The fire grate has a very nice view of the lake. I would go back if I had the chance. <BR><BR>The island site was OK but not as nice as the one we stayed at. There is also a reported 5 star site on the northwest side but I did not get a close look at it because it was occupide. UP Boy #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 10 average 74 rods average
Wind Bay Indiana Lake The portage from Wind Bay to Indiana Lake can be difficult to find at times. When paddling down the river from Wind Bay you will come to a large beaver dam on the south east side of the river. A smaller dam is to the west. Cross over the smaller dam to the west, if the water level is sufficient to paddle, follow the channel toward a large beaver house. You will then work your way around the beaver lodge and you will be able to paddle another 20 rods or so. You will be able to see Indiana Lake through from the end of the creek. The challenge is when there is not enough water to paddle. In that case, work your way down to the point on the south side of the channel heading toward the beaver lodge. There you will be able to start your portage, following along the creek. It will add about 20 rods to the portage. not sure Indiana is a clear lake with two campsites on the north side. It is known for its bass fishing. Wade Herbranson #6 Northwest BWCA Spring 10 low 10 rods average
La Croix Pocket Creek This portage has become increasingly difficult over the last several years due to the growth of the beaver dam on the Pocket Creek side. Watch for a difficult landing, requiring you to walk out onto the muddy, slippery dam.<BR><BR>Note: You can walk farther down the bank of the creek on the left side and find a narrow, but more sturdy landing within about 10yards. not sure
Wilderness Paddler #6 Northwest BWCA Spring 06 average
rods average
Chad Buck In late May, 2007 about 50 rods into the portage from Chad, the trail ends abruptly in a flooded forest. A beaver dam inundated the wooded valley of several acres to depth of 4 feet. All the leaves are still on the trees and brush, and the surface of the new pond is thick with foliage. The passage through is dense and nearly impenetrable. I couldn't see where the trail went after it entered the water. It's possible to get through or around it somehow, but the effort would be considerable. It wasn't worth it to me. not sure
Woodland #7 Southwest BWCA Spring 07 unsure 266 rods difficult
Little Indian Sioux River Little Trout A long mucky portage during a very wet week in late May, 2007. The trail from the river is marked by an old log docking substructure (built by the CCC in the 1930's?). The Beymer book says it's hard to see, but it's actually hard to miss. The trail is very boggy for the first 30 rods or so. I sank up to my knee caps in one section. After that the trail rises and has frequent bog and marsh stretches. Overgrown with foliage. The trail rises gradually from the river, flattens out at the top, and declines gradually to Little Trout Lake. A large tree near Little Trout has to be crawled under (until the portage crews come through.) The takeout at Little Trout is shallow water and weedy. I grade this portage difficult for it's length. Not extremely hilly, though. The bog factor is obnoxious but not difficult. not sure
Woodland #7 Southwest BWCA Spring 07 low 376 rods difficult
Bootleg Little Indian Sioux River There is a downed tree in the water at Bootleg that help locating this portage. Kind of hilly, but a really beautiful portage. The top of land looks like a forest fire went through in recent years, so the forest is open with little underbrush. Great vista of the Little Indian Sioux River. I wished I had time to stop and paint it, but I had to get through the portage to Little Trout. No time. not sure
Woodland BWCA Spring 07 low 200 rods average
Ada Lake Skoop During high water you can by-pass this portage & paddle the creek. One beaver dam to pull over. The creek is a great paddle, look for picture plants! 1 Scoop is just an oversized pond, didn't fish it. next lake is Cherokee Woods Walker #8 Central BWCA Summer 09 high 92 rods easy
Cherokee Sitka The landing if you can call it that is very rugged, rocky & about as straight up as you can go. I have done this portage twice so I can't rate it as a "Never Again" but it will be dreaded if I go this way again. There are several elivation rises that make this a cardio work out. It does get better as you near Sitka. None at all Sitka has a couple of big rocks that are near the next portage. Woods Walker BWCA Summer 09 high 140 rods difficult
South Temperence Weird Typical pea gravel / rock landing slight climb leaving the lake & then a very well worn & easy walking path that desends to Weird Lake. None at all Not much to speak of just a puddle jump to the next 80 rod portage. Woods Walker BWCA Summer 09 high 240 rods average
Jack Lake Kelly Lake When you reach the landing on the south end of Jack, pull your canoe off to the side & take a short walk down the faint path to the west along the shore. You will find an abandoned exploritory silver mine. The tunnel is 7' x 7' & goes back into the granite aprox. 70 feet. The portage is an easy walk, take time to stop & listen to the rapids this portage avoids. 6 Great paddle with several nice campsites. Woods Walker #8 Central BWCA Summer 09 high 65 rods easy
Kelly Burnt No fan fare here, just a little longer hike. Not much of an elevation change. Length might slow you down. 5 Close to Sawbill, all campsites were full when I passed through. If you want to stay here get a site early. Woods Walker BWCA Summer 09 high 230 rods easy
Gordon Frost Starts out up hill, the path is less traveled so it is overgrown in places at the start, but opens up to a well worn path. The portage actually ends at a small pond named "Put In Lake" There are some the biggest and prettiest cedar trees I have seen in the BW on this portage. The next portage into Frost can be skipped by pulling over a beaver dam. 5 Very clear, good lake trout fishing, two of the campsites have great sandy beaches. Very nice lake. Woods Walker #8 Central BWCA Summer 09 high 140 rods average
Thomas Hatchet One of my favorite "portages". A series of short lift-overs, but most of the time you can wade the creek and get through with only one real haul-out. Narrow and rapid in places, deep & quiet in others. Great when the summer sun is beating down and you need an excuse to cool off. 1 At least one on the East side. Used it many years ago as a passable respite after a long, hot day. Woodstripper #8 Central BWCA Summer 09 average various rods easy
Upper Pauness Lower Pauness Sure, it's longer than the one at the south end of upper & lower Pawness, but it is easier, flat, wider, and with a better take out and put in. Besides, there is a steep slab of rock on the short one that proved the undoing of one of our less than completely fit middle-agers. A pulled tendon from a fall put a quick end to the trip. 3 Stayed at the campsite on the west shore of lower Pawness for two days of recuperation before hobbling back out. Nice morning sun, adequate afternoon shade. Woodstripper #6 Northwest BWCA Summer 10 average 40 rods easy