BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
July 16 2018
Brule Lake entry point allows overnight paddle only. This entry point is supported by Tofte Ranger Station near the city of Tofte, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 35 miles. Access is a boat landing at Brule Lake. Large lake with several campsites. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.
Number of Permits per Day: 7
Elevation: 1847 feet
Brule Lake - 41
Number of Permits per Day: 7
Elevation: 1847 feet
Brule Lake - 41
Brule Lake to South Temperance or is that Brutal Lake
August 24, 2015
Brule Lake (41)
Number of Days:
This would be Dan and myself 2nd trip to the BWCA. The first one was in 2013 and Dan had been dreaming of canoeing the BWCA for 40 years, He approached me about taking another trip and I was excited to go again. Dan and I left from Lincoln Nebraska bound for the BWCA by way of Fargo North Dakota first. We stopped at family in Fargo to help make 4 crocks of Sour kraut with my husband’s mom. Then off on Sunday to drive to Sawbill Lake to camp and get our canoe. We stopped along the drive at Lake Superior and found the blueberries we love to take with us in the BWCA. Sunday night we stayed at Sawbill Campground, it was rainy and cool. We decided after we got our canoe to eat some supper while the rain let up. We thought it would be a good idea to air up our mattress and sleep in the back of Tahoe instead of setting up the tent in the rain. We really wanted to get an early start in the am. We were driving from Sawbill Lake over to Brule Lake put in at area 41, it is about 1 hour drive. We both decided that was a bad idea to try and sleep in the Tahoe with all our gear etc., neither one of us slept very good.
Day 1 of 5
Monday, August 24, 2015 When we got up Monday morning it was raining and the wind was blowing, we decided to go back to sleep until 7:30. We arrived at Brule lake by 8:30 am. We were unloaded and putting in the lake by 9:00 a.m. very windy 25 mile per hour winds.Two other groups were taking out while we were putting in. The one group were Thanking God as they put their feet on the solid ground because they made it across the Lake. It was very windy and drizzling rain. I was beginning to think twice about this trip. I was already very nervous about going across such a big lake and from what we had read it could get really bad if it was windy. We had studied the map prior to going and checked out campsites on the BWCA website, so we had a few marked that we preferred. We decided to try for the closer campsite to the put in, however we were turned around a little on the map. Most of the campsites were occupied. We paddled around for 1 1/2 hours. We met 2 other canoes on the lake looking for spots. The people in the other canoes looked like they were in their 70’s. Even in the crazy wind and rain we had a pair of loons greeting us. We finally found an empty campsite, I was just sitting in the canoe praying no one was already there as my husband went up to check the camp out. According to the BWCA map it is campsite #953. I was so happy that we made it as far as we did, we were paddling for all we could to make it across the opening of the lake, with the wind blowing every time we dug in with our paddles we weren't getting anywhere and water coming over the top of our canoe. We got our tent set up and the food bag hung up by 11:00 a.m. We both needed to get out of the rain and wind and retired to the tent to get a well-deserved nap. The first night we had our traditional Steak and Baked Potatoes supper, our steaks were still frozen when we got them out. We had gathered sticks and pine cones before we laid down for our nap and placed the wood we found under a tarp. We wondered if we would get a fire going to cook our steaks on the grate since it was raining or misting all day and evening. Dan had prepared Vaseline petroleum jelly on cotton we carried in a pill bottle and with some dry sticks and pine cones it worked great. The steak & potatoes were fabulous and hit the spot after a stressful day. Even though it was stressful there is something about the air here and the atmosphere that makes you want to come back, there is no where else I have ever been that made me feel this way. Even in the unknown area and not sure about getting a campsite, I still want to be here. I joke sort of about the Lake being Brutal, it is a big lake and when your canoe is loaded and it is raining and the wind is blowing your not crazy about the size of this lake. But it is a beauty.
Day 2 of 5
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 Tuesday: Woke to a rainy dreary sky. We stayed in bed until 9:00. We made pancakes today with blueberries we found around Lake Superior, they were delicious. We cleaned up dishes and headed out to fish. I have always been nervous or afraid of getting in and out of the canoe when it is in an awkward place, such as the landing. Today I wasn't to graceful, I cried for a good while, then we went on fishing. My husband is so patient, no fish but we did have two hits. Our bay was pretty shallow and a lot of rocks so we headed out deeper to pump water into our bottles. We headed to the tent for a nap. We had original planned to head to the South Temperance today but with the weather we decided to stay put. We slept until 4:45. Up and got a fire going, tonight freeze dried meal Lasagna with meat sauce and Sweet and sour pork, Hot tea with honey, and a special drink of flavored cherry water & whiskey. Tonight, we see just a hint of blue sky. We saw two canoes today with a family while we were fishing, then later another canoe with 3 people. We could hear the loons but not see them. Tonight, we can hear some kids playing across the way. Today when Dan was getting the food bag down a squirrel came over and started cussing at him. It is so quiet you notice everything. Gods creation is so awesome and we are both so happy to be here. align="left" >
Day 3 of 5
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 Wednesday: Sunshine and blue sky we got up at 7:00 am. We ate oatmeal and had hot chocolate for breakfast. We decided to load up and head to South Temperance by 10:00a.m. We were at the first portage by 12:15, it was a very easy portage, we generally make two trips to carry our 4 backpacks and the canoe and the canoe paddles , it was a hard paddle across this big lake, and at times I wondered if we were going to make it across this big bad lake. We wire our fishing poles in the canoe and our life jackets we hook to our seats when we portage. My husband has that job of carry the canoe. We found the first camp by 2:00 it was the last camp on the lake but didn’t like so we canoed back 1 mile to the first camp on Temperance but another family beat us to that camp by just strokes of the paddle. We really wanted that camp on the big rock. We headed back to the first camp #907 on BWCA map and got unloaded. I was just happy to be getting settled. I get very nervous about changing camp sites. We headed out fishing. Dan caught Northern and small mouth. We headed in for supper we had Beef stroganoff and spaghetti and meat sauce, turned in by 8:30. Beat from the morning of canoeing on the big lake. Dan even took Tylenol. We have been reading an old book “the call of the Canyon” by Zane Gregg. I read a few chapters and we were fast asleep, well not really I am always listening. We had a awesome day, it is such a new adventure everyday.
Day 4 of 5
Thursday, August 27, 2015 Thursday South Temperance woke up at 7:30, got up for pancakes & blueberries. Wonderful! We were out fishing by 10:00. The water is so clean and clear you just find yourself looking around and around at the beauty of the place. Dan caught a large mouth bass & wonderful walleye. We continued to fish back & forth trying to troll our self’s& letting the wind blow us drifting. No more hits. We saw the people who had took our spot head for North Temperance for a day trip at 2:00 p.m. We continued to fish more of the lake. We headed toward North temperance portage. A couple of people came from the portage they had been camping on South Temperance. They said they had no luck fishing on North Temperance. We headed back to our camp by 4:00. Dan cleaned the the walleye & we cooked mash potatoes and fresh walleye. Yummy with a view. We saw lot of loons today & a eagle. Our camp seems to have a lot mice & ground squirrels. They hang around while we cook. We headed back out before sunset to fish, around where Dan caught the walleye. No luck. Back to camp by 8:00 p.m. almost a full moon. Beautiful Sunset. There was a lot of mosquito's tonight. It was a beautiful day. Sunshine & blue sky not much wind. We could have this day over and over again, it is what we dream about and miss when we are back in Nebraska. You see in Nebraska most of our lakes our mud bottom, not clear at all.
Day 5 of 5
Friday, August 28, 2015 Friday : up at 6:00 a.m. We decided we better head out today, we knew when we headed in that the weather was supposed to get stormy later today. Right after I got out of the tent, I heard a huge rustle in the tree across & the lake. I first thought it was a bear or moose I was ready to get Dan from the tent, then all the sudden a tree branch fell out into the lake and here came a beaver pulling a branch. What a relief. We were loaded and in our canoe by 8:00 a.m. and headed to the portage. We were the only canoe on the lake at this point. We made it to the portage & we made it back in the lake easily. It was a gray day & so far low winds. As we paddled on Brule we saw many other canoes heading across the lake. We were deliberating getting camp somewhere on Brule for the night and head out the rest of the way Saturday. We asked another canoe about the weather and they said it was supposed to rain and be windy on Friday night. The wind had started picking up & and the sky was still gray. We saw a huge Eagle in the tree out in the lake. We carefully approached the tree & was able to get a picture of him. The Eagle stayed right there and let us take a picture. We decided to go ahead and get off the lake. We reached the landing at 11:15 a.m. So happy to be there but sad for the adventure to end. There was a group dropping off someone and another canoe headed back out and another canoe starting their journey. We headed back to Sawbill to drop off the canoe, have lunch and take a $4:00 shower, pure heaven. We then took our time to see the sites at Lake Superior. We had called and got a camp site in Deluth at Spirit Mountain. What a neat place. At 4:00 a.m. the Thunder started and my husband woke me up and said let’s go before it starts to rain. He thought it was 6:00 a.m. we were both surprised to see the clock in the truck say 4:00 am; just as we left the campground it started pouring rain. It rained for a while, we drove in fog. We arrived in Lincoln NE at 2:00 p.m. I had said before we go again I need to get this published on the BWCA, so here it is July 2017 and we are getting ready to head back to the BWCA for our 3rd trip in August 2017.
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