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BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

June 14 2024

Entry Point 25 - Moose Lake

Moose Lake entry point allows overnight paddle or motor (25 HP max). This entry point is supported by Kawishiwi Ranger Station near the city of Ely, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 21 miles. Access is an boat landing or canoe launch at Moose Lake. Many trip options for paddlers with additional portages. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 27
Elevation: 1356 feet
Latitude: 47.9877
Longitude: -91.4997

First trip ever as a solo at 21 yo

by martenskier21
Trip Report

Entry Date: May 11, 2024
Entry Point: Moose Lake
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 1

Trip Introduction:
All my life I have enjoyed camping and most outdoor activities but have never been to a true wilderness alone. Having finished college this spring I decided I needed to challenge myself before entering the "real world". I reside in the mke area and the BWCA was the closest true wilderness accessible to me. I chose to do a solo as I thought this would give me the most challenging and authentic wilderness experience. Also, I had some apprehensions about being alone that I wanted to work on. Fortunately, a member of the forum kindly let me borrow his Kevlar canoe which ended up being a much better option than my 12' oldtown Stillwater.

Day 1 of 6

Saturday, May 11, 2024

I arrived late on the 10th and stayed at a campground after picking up my canoe. The drive from Milwaukee was rough but I was glad to be here. Fortunately, I got to see the northern lights for the first time in my life that night. The lights got going right after the sunset and I watched them for about an hour. KP of 8 or 9!

I rose early on my start day, launched from Moose Lake, and paddled 11ish miles through Ensign to Ashigan Lake. This was the first time I had been on lakes untouched by man and that really made an impact on how I viewed the rest of the trip. I had Ashigan Lake to myself and heard what I thought were wolves about an hour after I went to sleep. Albeit a little close to my tent for optimal comfort. ~Moose Lake, Newfound Lake, Ashigan Lake~Moose Lake, Newfound Lake, Ashigan Lake, Ensign Lake


Day 2 of 6

Sunday, May 12, 2024

I set an alarm for early this morning as I wanted to cover a lot of ground if the weather would allow. My goal was to get to Ogishkemuncie to camp on an island that night (I now know that plan was way to ambitious). I finally got the hang of portaging today and was able to single portage. I also saw a moose print for the first time this trip. I'm used to whitetail prints so the mooseprint looked huge.

I ended up stopping at Kekekabic around 2 or so as the winds were really picking up. I did about 14 miles that day. My route was from Ashigan - Ima - Thomas - Fraser - Kekekabic. Looking back at it I should have slowed down a little but pushing through is part of the fun for me. I only saw one other canoe today and felt like I was back in time a couple hundred years. That night I slept a little better but was still pretty uneasy being alone for the first time on a backcountry trip. The wind calmer around midnight and the loons really put on a show for me. ~Ima Lake, Thomas Lake, Fraser Lake, Kekekabic Lake


Day 3 of 6

Monday, May 13, 2024

Day 3 I was originally going to head out to loop Saganaga but due to the winds the day before decided to divert from my plan and head back west. I left around 9 or so and headed north through Pickle, Spoon, and Bonnie up to Knife Lake. It was interesting to see Canada as a continuous landmass with the US and no border signs. I headed east to Birch Lake and then down into Newfoundland on Horshoe Island for my site.

That was a long day of paddling at about 15 miles with some moderate headwinds. I was relieved to make it to the site and fell asleep right after I climbed into my sleeping bag. I found some comfort in being close enough to people to get help if I needed it. But I did not enjoy hearing boats first thing in the morning. ~Pickle Lake, Spoon Lake, Bonnie Lake, Knife Lake, Birch Lake~Pickle Lake, Spoon Lake, Bonnie Lake, Knife Lake, Birch Lake, Sucker Lake, Newfound Lake


Day 4 of 6

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

When I awoke I was feeling very sore and tired and instead of moving camp decided to basecamp for a day. I planned to canoe to prarie portage and maybe do some fishing. I left for the portage and skipped fishing to paddle down Basswood. Here I made what could have been a big mistake. I paddled with the wind at my back for a couple of hours down to the west not keeping track of time. I made it down to Christmas Island where I then realized there was about a 5-10mph wind blowing me the whole time. I was about 2pm.

I did not have any of my camping gear with me and knew I needed to make it back to Newfoundland tonight. I psyched myself up and paddled hard until I made it back to my campsite by 5pm. I ended up going 23 miles that day and was very happy to eat my dinner and get to bed. Lesson learned. ~Sucker Lake, Basswood Lake, Newfound Lake


Day 5 of 6

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

After paddling over 60 miles in four days I was even more tired than yesterday morning. I again decided to basecamp and probably head in the next day. I had seen a lot on this trip and overall had a really good time. I decided to focus to day on catching some fish. I ended up getting a few northerns with a chatterbait but couldn't get a walleye. I paddled down the prarie portage to fish with some of the boats and then around ensign and Newfoundland. It was a good relaxing day and I only paddled around 6 miles.

The sunset that night was really nice. I stopped to take it in while hanging my bear bag. ~Newfound Lake, Sucker Lake


Day 6 of 6

Thursday, May 16, 2024

I woke early today to my alarm but decided to go back to sleep as it was raining. I woke again around 8 and packed up camp and headed down to the Moose Lake EP and packed everything up. It was a sad paddle back as I knew I was going back to the city the next day. I stopped by the kind man's house who let me borrow the canoe and had a nice talk about the trip. The trip was 74 miles in total.

Leaving the Moose Lake ep I noticed the huge old mine that is snapped in half. I walked by it and just thought about the things it had seen long before the BWCA even existed. Possibly native Americans had rested under its shade hundreds of years ago. Maybe trappers also and now me. My perception of time was really stretched on this trip. A song that really sums up the trip and the experience is "In The Wind" by Lord Huron.

This trip taught me that going solo is something I am fully capable of and actually enjoy doing. I learned to never rely on 5-day-old weather reports and also that wolves aren't something to be afraid of. I'll be back hopefully many times. Now I just have to find a job that allows me time off so I can get up here more. ~Moose Lake, Newfound Lake


Lakes Traveled:   Moose Lake, Newfound Lake,

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