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member (16)member
03/12/2017 06:20PM
Hello, I'm a 51 year old paddler and have been canoeing for 30+ years. I have experienced the BWCA, Quetico and Woodland Caribou somewhere around 70 trips give or take a few trips, with most of my trips coming in Quetico and then the BWCA. Although I have been to these parks often, sometimes 5 to 6 trips a year, they mostly have been tandem trips where we put in at a entry point and canoe in 20 to 25 miles and base camp and then day trip and fish in a different direction day each day.

I have done some travel trips like starting at Beaverhouse and exiting Nym, or last year a two week trip from French to McKenzie and back via the poets chain, but usually it is back tracking the way we came in and base camping the middle.

Before I get too old, I would like to do an extraordinary trip and really see the park. I do own a solo boat at the moment and would like to start using it and was thinking of doing this trip solo this summer. As of now I have done exactly one solo trip on the very busy Lake One chain and have paddled solo two other trips in Quetico and BWCA while with a group of three.

I would like to throw a few trip ideas out there and see if any of you have any input. Either positive, negative or informational thoughts and suggestions would all be appreciated.

The first trip I was thinking would be to put-in on Beaverhouse and cross Quetico Park west to east. The tentative route of travel I was considering would be to start at Beaverhouse to Quetico Lake to Badwater, Fair, Your, Snow, Little Pine Lake, Trail Lake to March Lake. From there, I would travel to Jean by either Bent Pine Lake, unnamed, Burntside to Jean... or would it be better to go March to Sturgeon to Rouge, Burntside, Jean???

From Jean, I would go to Little Jean, Yeh Lake to Lonely. Or would you traverse Sturgeon to Lonely and skip Burntside, Jean and Yeah lakes?

From Lonely, I would go to Walter and Elizabeth, then through the unnamed lake and into Sturgeon. I would then take a side trip into Ram and Antoine as I remember Antoine being a nice getaway long ago. Back out through Ram to Sturgeon then take the Pickerel river into the north end of Olifaunt then into Fern, Bud, Beg and Bisk then off to Pickerel and out French lake.

Trip 2 would involve a little more planning as far as the shuttling. It would be doing Quetico south to north after traveling the BWCA to Basswood and going up the unnamed and into Kett, Tuck, Sarah, McIntyre, Brent, Suzanette, Conmee to Delahey, Vernon, Camel, Nan into Fred, Sturgeon, Lonely, Walter, Elizabeth, Jesse, Maria, Pickerel, Batchewaung and out at Nym.

Has anyone done these routes or parts of them? Anything I should stay away from or know? Anything you would do differently? Would that be the best directions to travel if going solo?

At a modest rate of travel, how long would you give to do these trips to make it enjoyable? Also, ANY other solo advice is also appreciated!

Thanks for your time and I will look forward to hearing your thoughts.
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distinguished member(5409)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
03/12/2017 07:08PM
I have done Walter, Lonely, Elizabeth and Sturgeon. Also Olifaunt, Fern and the B Chain of lakes, thru to Pickerel and French. If you need some info on portages or campsites on theses let me know.

I can tell you now that the portages for Walter, Lonely and Elizabeth were muddy when we did them. The portages from Sturgeon to Olifaunt is flat and easy with just a couple of muddy places, nothing too bad though. The Olifaunt to Fern portage is long and definitely a work out. The B chain ones are easy, short and flat. Going up that way you will be going against the current.
member (16)member
03/12/2017 07:41PM
Thanks for the post. Did you do the portage on the east side of Elizabeth lake to the unnamed lake and then from the unnamed lake to the north side of the East arm of sturgeon lake? If so can you tell me about them?
member (16)member
03/12/2017 07:53PM
Sorry that unnamed lake is actually called halliday
distinguished member(5409)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
03/13/2017 05:36AM
No I have never done that portage. Although I have heard it is swampy in places thru there. We had come into Sturgeon from Lonely.
distinguished member(5443)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
03/13/2017 09:14PM
How many days are you going? If it's a month I really like your first idea of Beaverhouse to French Lake. Would you carry all of your food or have a resupply? You could make your way from BH to Prairie Portage for a resupply. You could mail a box to an outfitter and they could shuttle it to the ranger station. Or you could have the resupply at French lake and paddle out at PP.

Just ideas. I don't think I would want all the extra food weight but you may not think it's a big deal. I also like the idea of coming out mid trip at French lake and getting a meal and a shower to recharge for the 2nd half. Maybe talk with some people too. :)

I did a two week solo last September and I was getting a bit squirrelly at the end. I know me personally would have to have at least a few hours break in civilization at the half way point of a month long solo. A cold bear and steak dinner would cheer me right up and I'd be good to go.

member (16)member
03/14/2017 02:55PM
No wouldnt be able to go a month, I wish tho
distinguished member(7327)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
03/14/2017 03:08PM
you could travel from beaverhouse to prairie portage, follow the border to cache bay and then do the falls chain back north and exit at french or make your way back to beaverhouse.
member (16)member
03/14/2017 03:50PM
Think that one would take a month
distinguished member(7327)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
03/14/2017 04:00PM
quote buckeyes11: "Think that one would take a month"

how many days do you have? and how much "stuff"?
distinguished member(6890)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
03/14/2017 06:31PM
quote buckeyes11: "Think that one would take a month"

More like two weeks plus a little maybe it seems to me.
distinguished member (165)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
03/15/2017 05:30PM
The two points I would make are the following:

The route from Bent Pine to Claire and onto Burntside can have a small problem if there is no water in the creek, You can still do it as I did a couple of years ago but you have to walk along the creek in dry swamp.

The portage from Holiday to Sturgeon is is difficult- it nearly ended in divorce as my wife was really upset - albeit many years ago,
member (16)member
03/15/2017 05:41PM
Very good to know, thats the kind of info I need to know. Very helpful. Thanks much and glad your still married lol
09/05/2018 04:16PM
Buckeyes, did you ever take one of the trips you mentioned above?
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