Side to Sarah

Quetico portage
Posted by: Dan Orr
Season/Year: Summer 01
Water Level: high
Length: 700 meters
Rating: average
Additional Perspectives:
Eric Bailey
Uncle Yancy

Portage Description:
There are two portage routes between these lakes, and they are on the easiest access route to Sarah from the Prairie Portage entry station. The easiest (unless water levels are very low) follows the exit creek which is visible on the west side of Side Lake. The route involves three short portages punctuated by pleasant paddles of 200 yards or more along the creek. In low water, such as prevailed through much of the late eighties and nineties, the route from Side to Sarah begins from a prominent rock ledge about 100 yards south of the creek mouth. The trail, called "heartstop hill," is a bit of a test into Sarah, and a bit of a buster from Sarah to Side. The crest of the trail lies about 80 feet above the Side water level and perhaps 180 or so above the Sarah level. In 2000 we made the mistake of taking the all-land route and found it had not been maintained for some time. In 2001 we used the creek and it was a piece of cake. But in 1982, on our first trip into Sarah, water was low, and we spent the trip down the creek wading and lifting the canoe, and the trip took longer than two loads over the hill would have taken.

Lake after portage: Sarah
Known campsites: 8+
Lake Description:

Sarah is not the most beautiful of the Quetico lakes but there is no lake closer to Prairie Portage that is more beautiful. It affords good fishing for both walleye and lake trout, and it has myriad very nice campsites. There is a fine sand beach near the narrows at the shallow north end of the lake. Side Lake is very small, but deep enough to support a trout population. There is one campsite, which is attractive only late in the day to healthy travelers, or earlier, only to desparately weary or ill travelers.

Portage from Sarah into:
Return to Side

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