Boundary Waters Trip Reports, Blog, BWCA, BWCAW, Quetico Park

BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

April 19 2024

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

2022 Wood (EP-26) to Fall (EP-24)

by starz1994
Trip Report

Entry Date: July 10, 2022
Entry Point: Wood Lake
Exit Point: Fall Lake (24)
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 9

Trip Introduction:
Wood - Hula - Good - Indiana - Good - Good Creek - Basswood - Newton - Fall. Dad, Noah, Joel, Levi, Christopher, Cullen, Angelina, Colman, and I look for solitude, great campsites (hopefully one with a sandy beach this year) and some good fishing while trekking in the BW. This year is Angelina and Cullen's first trip in the BWCA.

Day 1 of 7


Sunday, July 10, 2022 - EP-26 Wood - Hula - Good. After spending the night in the bunkhouse at Packsack Outfitters our crew wakes up around 7:30 am. I'm a pretty sound sleeper, but I woke up before my alarm because I'm so excited for our trip to begin. The bunkhouse is in the upstairs of the Packsack lodge. Having stayed at several bunkhouses in the past, before tripping in the BWCAW, I'd say this is definitely one of the nicer ones we've had the pleasure to call home for a night. If I understand correctly, the lodge (and the other cabins on the property) were moved from another location, when the BWCAW was created. I appreciate learning about the history of the area each time we are lucky enough to visit! After a cup of coffee, we load up our gear and the nice folks at Packsack haul all 9 of us and our gear to the entry point at Wood Lake.

The portage into Wood was pretty easy, but seemed longer than I thought it would be. Joel dropped his knife on his way down the portage, so I went back to try to find it. After making it all the way back to the gravel parking lot, I had not found his knife. As I started back down the portage, I prayed to God that if it was His will that I find Joel's knife, then please let me find it, and if not, then so be it. 2 or 3 steps later, his knife was laying on the side of the portage. Praise the Lord!

Once I arrived back at Wood Lake, the canoes were loaded and we begin to paddle. Noah, Joel, and Colman lead the way.

As we paddle across Wood Lake, we noticed some large white birds on the island in the south end of Wood Lake. I belive they are Trumpter Swans.

Levi likes to stop and have his picture taken on rocks, so we stop for this one.

The portage from Wood to Hula seemed short and was a pretty easy portage. Our group makes quick work of this portage and we quickly paddle across Hula. The portage from Hula to Good was a little longer, but again we make it across with ease. Once on Good, we paddle down to the narrows to see if the site there is open. We are in luck, and make this site our stopping point for the day. The site at the narrows of Wood is a very nice site with plenty of room for tents as well as good trees for hammocks. It has a great view of the lake from the firegrate. The only down side is the climb from the water up to camp. This site sets up 50-60 feet the above water. In my opinion, it is well worth the climb.

After setting up camp, it rains for about a half hour. After the rain, we decide to try our luck fishing on Good. While fishing we see deer on the shoreline on the west side of the lake. We also saw a beaver swimming along the southern shoreline. Levi made friends with a dragonfly. Noah caught 3 northern pike, Colman caught crawfish and a snapping turtle, Joel caught 11 northern pike and a small mouth bass. Joel's largest northern pike was the biggest of the trip.

After fishing, we head back to camp, and have dinner. After dinner, the it begins to rain again. Levi has had a loose tooth for a few days, and finally pulled it today. Hopefully the Tooth Fairy will find her way to the BWCA. Today was a Great day!!

 



Day 2 of 7


Monday, July 11, 2022 Good - Indiana - Good The Tooth Fairy found a way to Levi's backpack last night... Woke up this morning and everyone is feeling pretty tired. We decided to take a layover day since the sky is looking like rain. After breakfast and hanging around camp for a while relaxing, then lunch, we decided to go for a paddle and portage over to Indiana Lake. (Since we are all from the great state of Indiana, it only seems proper to visit the lake named after our home state.) Since we are travelling light, the paddle and portage into Indiana seems to go by very easily. We catch a few northern pike on Good before getting to the portage. The portage is pretty muddy and buggy today, probably due to all the recent rain.

It is a pretty easy portage, up then down. Levi and I talked about how we missed Mom and how we hope she's having fun without us at home. Once on Indiana, the wind picks up quite a bit. Everyone don's their PFD and we begin to fish Indiana. The water is amazingly clear, and the bass are on fire. After getting blown around by the wind for a while and catching our share of bass, we decide to head back to camp. As we paddle back across Good, Levi picks up a nice Walleye in the narrows of Good. Once back to camp, we spend some more time relaxing, journaling, and then make dinner. We have fish, and make our version of pizza. (Tortilla's with tomato sauce, cheese, and pepperoni) Tonight we eat like Kings! Everyone enjoyed our relaxing day today, ready to get some sleep so we can make our way up to Basswood tomorrow.

 



Day 3 of 7


Tuesday, July 12, 2022 Good - Good Creek - Basswood We all wake up early, feeling refreshed and recharged, to find a nice sunny day awaiting us. After breakfast we break camp, and load up our gear with Basswood in mind. The campsite at the narrows of Good was a great site for our group! We paddle Good Creek into Hoist Bay. On the way we have to pull over a beaver dam.

Once on Hoist Bay, we paddle over to check out the submerged logging equipment. With the water levels, it isn't hard to locate the cab of an old peice of machinery. Joel catches a nice small mouth bass while we are in the area.

As we paddle through the motor boat area of Basswood, we begin to worry if we'll find a site that isn't occupied today. We notice several motor boats fishing, and all of the sites within the motor use area are occupied. We are excited to find a great site just north of the motor area and decide to make it home for the night. We stay on the middle site on the northeast side of Washington Island. It has great views of the lake on 3 sides, several tent pads, and plenty of hammock hangs. There is a great area for swimming too on the west side of the site. About the time we get camp set up, it decides to rain for about an hour, then clears off to sunny skies again. We fish most of the afternoon, and continue to catch more fish.

We make fish taco's for dinner. Joel talks about brining Taco Bell hot sauce packets for fish taco's next year.

 



Day 4 of 7


Wednesday, July 13, 2022 Basswood We wake up to a bright sunny day this morning. No rain today!!! We eat breakfast, break camp, and paddle up to a site near Upper Basswood Falls. We hoped for one of the sandy beach sites on the near the Canadian border, but all were occupied as we paddled by. We decided to make camp at the 4th site on south of Upper Basswood Falls, on the west shore. It's a great site large enough for our group. There are several hammock hangs near the water. Anglina wanted to try a hammock, instead of her tent so Levi and I decide to sleep in a tent, while she took a hammock. We made pizza for dinner again tonight. Everyone was pretty tired from our paddling today, so we decide that we won't paddle up to the falls. Christopher and I talk about ways to make next year's trip even better than this year. We talked about splitting up the food packs, and working on getting everyone's packs lighter. Levi fell down and scraped up his leg, so we get the first aid kit out and fix him up. Noah, Joel, and Colman are doing great in their own canoe this trip. I can't believe how well they all do in the wilderness. I'm proud of how our team is working together, and enjoying the day. Today was an Awesome day!!!

 



Day 5 of 7


Thursday, July 14, 2022 Basswood Christopher treated everyone with protien powder pancakes for breakfast this morning! Feeling fueled up, we break camp and paddle towards Pipestone Bay.

We paddled by a building on the island north of the narrows on Basswood. Not exactly sure what the purpose of the build might be? After paddling a while longer, we decided to stop for lunch at a sandy beach on the east shore of Basswood. The wind is pretty steady today, so a shore lunch is in order. Colman decides to do some fishing during our lunch break.

After lunch, we paddle southwest and decide to stay at a site northeast of Gary Island. The wind made paddling a little more challenging today. Noone caught any fish during our paddling today, and we were all pretty hungry. Colman saved the day by catching a very nice small mouth bass, then Christopher our camp chef, made up some fish and rice for dinner. We all ejnoyed dinner very much, and talked about how good dinner was!! We all needed the pick me up for sure!! Joel lost his knife, then found it again. Both Colman and Joel told me how they both prayed to God. Colman to catch a fish for dinner, and Joel to find his knife. God answered both of their prayers again today. God is Great!!! Cullen has been talking about Grace Collingsworth all day. All the other boys are telling him he should ask her out to the movies when we get back home. It's fun for us old guys to listen to the young men in our group talk, and watch them work together. It's really cool to see the next generation of our family transitioning from boys to young men. What a better place to share these memories and experiences than the BWCA!!! We are all pretty tired, time for bed. We are all looking forward to pancakes for breakfast in the morning.

 



Day 6 of 7


Friday, July 15, 2022 Basswood - Newton - Fall Levi made pancakes for breakfast this morning. Colman caught a snake in camp. Joel and Levi wanted to hold the snake, and it ended biting Joel. It was pretty funny. After breakfast we break camp, and paddle toward Pipestone Falls. The wind that challanged us yesterday, is not an issue today. We paddle in calm weather and make great time to Newton, then to Fall. I am always amazed when we get to more poular areas, especially after we have been out and about for a few days. The portage into Newton was like a super highway. We see more people and canoes at this portage, than we have seen in a few days. One group was portaging a cooler with wheels. I'm pretty sure we saw about 20 people as we waited our turn to use the portage. We single portaged this one since we are travelling pretty light by this time in our trip. This portage is flat, and reminds me of a gravel road. We felt like we knew what we were doing, getting our group of 9 across the portage in 1 trip. We quickly paddled through Newton, and across another easy portage to Fall. We camped on the site on Mile Island directly across from the portage. This site has a very cool tree with a large exposed root growing across the large rock in the site. The boys decided to set up their tent on the large rock, next to the water. Travel seemed pretty easy today so we set up camp, soaked up some sun, then decided to do some fishing. Christopher hooked into a very large northern pike near the grass beds near camp. The boys and I decided to portage to the bottom of Newton Falls to try fishing from shore there. I enjoyed a cigar, and just enjoyed the rest of our last full day in the BWCA. After returning to camp, we ate a large dinner, the boys played cards in the tent, then fell asleep.

 



Day 7 of 7


Saturday, July 16, 2022 Fall We wake up this morning sad to be leaving the BWCA. We paddle back to Packsack Outfitters at the west end of Fall Lake, and talk about planning next years trip. Then we head out to Brittons for breakfast. Nothing ends a great trip like breakfast at Brittons!!!!

 


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