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       EP7 - Big Lake
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Date/Time: 04/17/2024 02:10PM
EP7 - Big Lake

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Previous Messages:
Author Message Text
Dakotah 06/25/2022 10:39PM
@Cyclone30 - I just got back from the 46th Annual RYC Regatta at Rathbun Lake. I hear the fishing is great this year at Rathbun (if you ever get over to that lake).
straighthairedcurly 06/25/2022 10:18PM
Dakotah: "I ended up going out of Gunflint Trail with VCO. I got a tow-in service on Sag Lake to Red Rock Lake. The weather was great and the ride was very scenic. The water level was up so I could paddle through the entry portage. I was able to find a camp site and just basecamped out of there. I would go back to Red Rock Lake but I could just as easily try something new. Thanks to those who responded to my initial query! "


Glad you had a great experience. We have enjoyed on stays on Red Rock Lake.
Dakotah 06/22/2022 05:33PM
I ended up going out of Gunflint Trail with VCO. I got a tow-in service on Sag Lake to Red Rock Lake. The weather was great and the ride was very scenic. The water level was up so I could paddle through the entry portage. I was able to find a camp site and just basecamped out of there. I would go back to Red Rock Lake but I could just as easily try something new. Thanks to those who responded to my initial query!
cyclones30 02/04/2022 12:10PM
I grew up in northern IA, lived in Ames for 7 years or so and been in SE IA for the last handful or more.
Dakotah 02/03/2022 10:38PM
I think you are right about the sail. Apparently it falls into the category of providing "mechanical advantage" and is not allowed...good to know prior to going.
bobbernumber3 02/02/2022 06:50PM
Whenever we are traveling with the wind, you can be sure we are headed the wrong way. We know we are on course when traveling into the wind. A sail would get us further off course faster, of course.
Dakotah 02/02/2022 04:11PM
We previously lived in Johnston for 11 years. When we were here full time we mostly boated at Lake Rathbun and Clear Lake. We retired and moved to the Louisville, KY area but ended up spending time back in Iowa so we decided to get a townhouse in Ankeny. It is a tad more comfortable than camping at Saylorville and Ledges or just getting hotels :) How about you?


I will check on the sail rules for BWCA. The one that we are considering is not actually attached to the boat in the traditional sense. It is basically a set of scissored poles wedged into the side baffles. There is a rope that goes around the structure and attaches to d rings. This may be the thing that disqualifies it but it is worth checking. It would be mostly for fun anyway so I can leave this out if it is not allowed.


https://www.seaeagle.com/Accessories/sail/kayak-sail
cyclones30 02/02/2022 01:15PM
Oh, and a sail isn't allowed (if it's attached to the boat) which it sounds like that would be
cyclones30 02/02/2022 01:08PM
3 residences? Nice. Where in IA?
bobbernumber3 02/02/2022 07:44AM
Dakotah: "...Paddle On! "


Yes! There really are a thousand ways to enjoy BWCA tripping. Have a good time!
Dakotah 02/01/2022 10:15PM
I/we have a 14' tandem inflatable kayak (IK2) that I want to try on this trip. My last BWCA trip (2020) was in a canoe and that was fine. The IK2 weighs 44 lbs and is easily packed when deflated. It has a skeg for flat water tracking and an option for a downwind sail. It is a versatile craft that we have paddled ranging from Class III whitewater to saltwater marshes in the Low Country. It can be set up for 1-3 paddlers. It is clearly not as fast on flat water as a canoe or traditional hard boat but it is also very stable in waves and as a fishing platform...plus I already own it and can just easily throw it in the back of the truck.


For this trip I am not looking for a major expedition; just something relaxing with a simple entry, short to no portages, and some time in the wilderness. I ran three multi-day group paddling trips last year (Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania). These were in a variety of boats (C2, IK1, IK2, SOT). I have two in the works for this year and wanted to carve out this BWCA adventure just for myself.


Finally, we have several residences and one is in Iowa. This shortens the drive up to the Boundary Waters versus starting from our places in Kentucky or South Carolina...Paddle On!
bobbernumber3 02/01/2022 07:14AM
Why no portaging with the kayak? Seems a long way to travel for a trip with a limited boat.
Dakotah 01/31/2022 04:53PM
Thanks for the advice!
egknuti 01/29/2022 06:08PM
I’m going to still recommend going into Big Lake and heading to La Pond. For only two nights this would be perfect. The portage Into La Pond is pretty short and shouldn’t be a problem. You’ll have two nights of complete solitude and opportunities to see moose.
lindylair 01/29/2022 01:19PM
Clearwater would be great but I think most if not all permits are already taken for the year. Another option might be Pine Lake # 68. Put in from the parking area between Little John and Macfarland and head west to pine. Maps show a portage there but I have been through it a few times and never needed to portage - you can likely just paddle through a riffle unless water levels are abnormal.


Pine has 11 campsites and is a pretty lake with good fishing. But it is a big lake and you would be going east to west, potentially against some big wind. Travel early, watch the weather, and be prepared to sit for a day if needed. If you get to the west end of Pine there is a trail to Johnson Falls which is one of the prettier spots in the BWCA, definitely worth the 15 minute hike. There are two sets of falls there but you wouldn't know it unless you checked.


You wouldn't actually enter the BWCA until you get to the "portage" between Macfarland and Pine so you will see a few cabins and maybe even a motorboat or two but it is a pretty lake and usually pretty quiet...and the BWCA is very close.


This could be good with the only concern being how the wind impacts your trip. If it is minimal or manageable, or at least only kicks up later in the day you should be fine. And you could have a good tailwind on the return trip:)


Dakotah 01/28/2022 03:31PM
Thanks. I will look at your suggestions.
cyclones30 01/26/2022 12:07PM
Big isn't one that fits what you want then I don't think. Unless you want to try and get one of the couple sites still on Big Lake in the very corner that's in the BWCA. The rest of the lake is a normal MN lake.


To me it sounds like Brule or Seagull or Clearwater. Something that gives you a lot of sites and water and options right from the entry. Another maybe would be Sawbill, the portage to Alton is a very short flat simple pull over. Lots of water and sites between those 2 lakes. And you can park right at Sawbill dock.
egknuti 01/26/2022 11:56AM
Big Lake won’t offer you too many options. You could paddle up the portage river to LaPond. There is a short portage from the river and maybe head into Big Rice. Again a short portage to the lake. Both lakes have decent sites.
Dakotah 01/26/2022 11:22AM
I'm new to the forum...looking for a simple 3 day - 2 night solo trip. I want to try my Tandem Inflatable Kayak (IK2) on this trip. I can pack it in on an entry portage or just launch. Either way, I want to avoid portages once I inflate the kayak. Any feedback on EP7 and Big Lake is appreciated. Other suggestions appreciated as well.