Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
Trip Report - I had the idea to plan a big loop day trip in the BWCA on my paddleboard this summer and finally pul
bhouse46: "Thanks for the input. I looked at the Town Lake site, looked good on the reviews. Might end up being home a couple nights."
You're right, though, the portages from Brule to Cherokee are brutal. Many are strewn with rocks, some have pretty good elevation changes, and some are really shallow. I went up to my waist, nearly, at the north end of Cam Lake, and was reallllly frustrated at the north end of Brule Lake (at the end of the 100 rod portage from Cam) because it's shallow for a long long ways. Tough in a paddleboard with a fin!
But, it's a super cool area. Lots of big cliffs. You'll enjoy it! Hope you make it out!
Thanks for the input. I looked at the Town Lake site, looked good on the reviews. Might end up being home a couple nights.
bhouse46: "Very impressive. In addition to the lake travel there is lots of portaging and some of it gets difficult ratings.
You're welcome! Cherokee was awesome, definitely the most people that I saw all day, besides maybe South Temperance Lake. It appeared that all the campsites I paddled by were occupied... it was early in the morning on a Monday after all. Maybe one was vacant that I saw. Also several paddlers when I went through. For good reason, though, the area was beautiful! If you don't have luck on Cherokee, go northeast, the site on Town Lake looked pretty cool! I loved the adjacent lake as well, Vesper, but no campsites.
nofish: "Thats a good challenge, job well done.
Oh, I think it's absolutely do-able with much more gear. Maybe even WITH the dog! But without, I'd save 70 lbs on my board plus the area where my dog sat. I am now really excited to plan a bit more... but I think there are several options. I could retrofit my board with more tie-downs and have different areas for gear (front, middle, back). Or I could just invest in one big dry bag and kind of plop it down in the center where my current tie-downs are. Or I've seen SUP manufacturers sell specific tow devices, essentially like a 3 ft board with lots of tie downs. I have a little Coleman dinghy and have thought about towing that with all my gear... but the dinghy is just one more thing to carry on portages. I think the big dry bag option would be best, because I could put it on my back on portages. That is what I will be doing WHEN, yes WHEN, I go back for an overnight trip.
That being said, for anyone else looking to get into this, I know that paddleboard manufacturers sell specific touring models aimed at big miles hauling gear! (Wish list item for me haha). This is the brand of SUP that I have, check out their touring models: https://surftech.com/sup/sup-categories/touring-hybrid/.
Takes some cajones to SUP on Brule...
I've only seen paddleboarders one time and it was a trip we did out of Sawbill. We camped in Kelso just on the other side of the Alton Lake portage and saw two people go by. The next day we hiked the long portage to Zenith as a day trip and we saw them just paddling around on that lake. Can't imagine that was a fun portage with a paddleboard but tons of respect to whoever it was.
Very impressive. In addition to the lake travel there is lots of portaging and some of it gets difficult ratings.
I will be in the Cherokee area next week and curious about any feedback on how busy the area is. Campsites filled, etc.
And welcome to the board. Lot's of us older paddlers are remembering when...thanks for your report.
Thats a good challenge, job well done.
I've read several posts from users asking about traveling the BWCA on a SUP. Clearly you proved its doable from strictly and paddling and portaging standpoint. Can you comment how you think it would go if you wanted to use your SUP on an over night trip where you'd have to haul gear? I assume since you had a dog in tow it has some capacity to haul more than just the paddler. Maybe a single large pack?
Could be a fun solo trip, a SUP and a single large pack.
Really cool to find another way to experience the BWCA! Thank you for sharing.
Dang. That's pretty impressive.
New Trip Report posted by mcward1989
Trip Name: 30 Mile day trip on stand up paddleboard
Entry Point: 38
Click Here to View Trip Report