BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

November 19 2017

Entry Point 26 - Wood Lake

Wood Lake entry point allows overnight paddle only. This entry point is supported by Kawishiwi Ranger Station near the city of Ely, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 13 miles. Access to Wood Lake is a 180-rod portage. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 2
Elevation: 1361 feet
Latitude: 47.9691
Longitude: -91.6001
Wood Lake - 26

Wood Lake Excursion

by Birch66724
Trip Report

Entry Date: August 01, 2017
Entry Point: Wood Lake
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 2

Trip Introduction:
Hello! I am writing my first ever trip report of entry point 26, Wood Lake

Day 1 of 4


Tuesday, August 01, 2017 Woke up at 6:00 AM, double checked we had everything we needed, took a shower, and headed off with my father at 6:40 AM from Wabasha, MN. We stop and had a quick, very nutritious breakfast at McDonalds. As I was looking over the email print out for our permit conformation, I red about registering our canoe. Now, I had never been to the BWCA before, and my dad had been in fifteen years, and he was thinking that we didn't need one. After a few phone calls, we worked out that we did in fact need to register our watercraft.  Once we arrived in Ely, we went to the registration bureau, and got it figured out, no big deal. Then we walked down half a block and had a very nice lunch at Britten's Café. We stopped of at Spirit of the Wilderness and got an updated, plasticized map of the area. Then up to the Kawishiwi Ranger Station, watched the video, and out to the trailhead we went. It was a warm afternoon, and we were on the water by 3:00 PM.  The initial 180 rod portage was easier than expected. If you are having doubts about entry point 26 because of the long entry portage, I would say go for it. There are several places along the trail to lean your canoe on a tree and take a breather. We saw two people on the portage, and one on the lake that night.  We cruised around for awhile, checked out a couple campsites, and made camp early at the site farthest East on Wood Lake. It was very nice as campsites go. Good logs for sitting, good sticks for burning, good tent pads and a nice spot for fishing and/or swimming. We had a meal of pouch chicken, taco seasoning, Knorr's taco rice, tortillas and a prepackaged brownie for dessert.  After dinner, it rained for about 30 minutes, then cleared up to be a beautiful evening. Afterwards, went for a nice swim. To top it all off, we were more than pleasantly surprised at the lack of bugs.  ~Wood Lake

 



Day 2 of 4


Wednesday, August 02, 2017  We started a long day off with a breakfast of oatmeal and coffee. We didn't stick around camp to long. We broke down the tent, packed up, and got on our way. Our destination for the Day? Wind Bay! But that's not quite where we ended up.  We had a little bit of trouble finding the 40 rod portage from Wood to Hula, but did eventually. It was short and sweet. When we arrived on Hula, it was all just a big rice patty! I kind of enjoyed it though. We crossed Hula, and easily found our way to Good Lake. The portage was pretty difficult. 150 rods, rocky, and with up and down slopes. It was made worth it from the delicious raspberries we found along the way though! The 100 rod portage from Good to Indiana was easy enough.  I quite enjoyed the simplicity of Indiana Lake, and it's solitude. We hadn't seen a single soul all day. We cruised across Indiana, and were surprised to see that the portage from Indiana to Wind Bay was a stream! It was very charming and pretty. Once to Wind Bay, we feared that it too was all just a rice patty, but it eventually opened up. We stopped at the camp spot on the island to have lunch, and found entertainment listening to a group of 6 guys fishing right in front of us. At one point, they were all arguing about if they fish one of them had caught was a Northern or a Perch. The island site was wonderful. It had towering pines and log furniture, as well as a grassy tent pad. We had planned to return to it the following night.  For lunch we had premade tuna salad from a pouch on tortillas, and beef sticks. We lounged around reading for a few hours, trying to decide what to do. We had reached our destination for the day before noon. We decided to head up to Basswood and see how crowded it was. The traffic on Basswood wasn't bad at all, and we paddled up the South shore for the better part of the afternoon. I stepped out of the USA for the first time, into Ontario, and then we started to look for a camp spot. We had virtually no winds on Basswood that afternoon, of on any of the other lakes.  Later that afternoon, we settled down on the campsite in Rice Bay for the night. It was an alright spot. Somebody had burned the sitting log and left trash in the fire grate and around the area. We spent some time tiding it up and dragging the burnt, ashy log to the edgy of the clearing. We set out ThermaRests against our canoe instead. For diner we had ravioli and pasta sauce, with a side of instant mashed potatoes and another brownie. We slept well on the grassy pad. :)~Wood Lake, Hula Lake, Good Lake, Indiana Lake, Basswood Lake

 



Day 3 of 4


Thursday, August 03, 2017  We woke day three to dark clouds covering the sky and we feared it might rain. We tried to make pancakes, but I forgot the cooking oil, so I had to be inventive. I put the batter in a pan over the camp stove and stirred continuously as I cooked. The end result was a lumpy, chunky, underdone in some parts and overdone in others pancake heap, which I dubbed, "Pancake Scramble." We drizzled a little syrup on top, and it really wasn't half bad. The way I described it made it sound disgusting, but that was not the case at all.  After breakfast, we were slow to get on the move. Eventually, we set out on Basswood, back the way we came. We had a tailwind and coasted all the way down. We went along the Canadian shoreline, and on the North side of Lincoln, Washington, and Half Dog islands. It is very pretty back in that area, with tons of old growth pines. Red, White, and Jack Pines to name a few of the most prominent. Apparently a lot of other people thought the same thing, as every campsite we looked at to stop and have lunch at was occupied. We ended up having to take the 90 rod portage into Back Bay to find an open site. The first camp spot right off the portage is were we spent a few hours, eating Tricuts with Laughing Cow spreadable cheese (would recommend) and a Knorr's pasta side.  We considered staying the night there, but decided it was too early to stop for the day. We didn't really have an idea of the time though, because it had been overcast all day. We hadn't been paddling for 15 minutes we a nasty headwind struck up, and it started to rain. We stopped at the nearest site to spend the night.  For dinner we had Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, with powdered milk and beef jerky. We saved half the milk for breakfast the next morning.~Basswood Lake

 



Day 4 of 4


Friday, August 04, 2017  We woke to a beautiful, cool, sunny morning in Back Bay. We ate this granola/cereal stuff with last night milk and dried fruit. We hug up our hammocks and lounged around and read for several hours, not wanting our trip to end. When we finally got a move on, we had difficulty finding the portage from Back Bay to Good Lake. We passed it, and considered taking the portage to Indiana then to Good, but my Dad decided he wasn't up for an extra 200 rods of portaging. We back tracked and found it quickly then. It was very muddy and wet, even though it had barely rained. When I stepped out of the canoe, I sunk in mud up to my shin.  We crossed Good, and encountered a large group moving from Hula to Good. We had to push off into the woods to allow them to pass. Across Hula and onto Good, where we stopped off at the same site we had spent the first night on to have lunch. We had some ramen noodles with the remaining Triscuts and cheese, and our final brownie. We sadly exited Wood Lake around 2:30 PM. We stopped at Dairy Queen for blizzards and to celebrate and wonderful Wood Lake trip this August 2017.

~Basswood Lake, Good Lake, Hula Lake, Wood Lake

 

Lakes Traveled:   Basswood Lake, Good Lake, Hula Lake, Wood Lake,

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