BWCA Northern EPs - arguments for/against Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
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ParkerMag
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07/19/2017 12:59PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
Doing my maiden voyage to Quetico the end of this September. We need to use a northern entry. I'm not committed or married to the idea of any one of them in particular. There'll be two of us. Veteran canoe trippers. We'll be in for 7-8 days. Single portagers. Hammock campers. Tend to move each day. Love to fish - smb primarily. Need to rent nothing, but would appreciate a bunkhouse the night before going in. Would probably prefer to park at an entry and do a loop back to it, but am open to the idea of a shuttle and a point-to-point route

Any arguments to be made for or against any of those EPs? Caveats to keep in mind in route planning? Anything for the good of the order?
 
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old_salt
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07/20/2017 07:12AM  
It's been discussed here before. Quetico College School is hands down your best overnight option. Rooms are $60. For a little extra you can get dinner and breakfast. They are well situated for the northern entry points. We used them and they are the best.
mapsguy1955
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07/20/2017 08:09AM  
French Lake has parking for all. Stanton Bay is only for Canadian Residents. The White Otter isn't expensive for a motel in Atikokan and their breakfasts are great! Not sure about the farther west EP's...
ParkerMag
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07/20/2017 03:25PM  
Leaning toward a stay at White Otter Inn, and entering at Batchewaung/Nym.

Couple questions - I would plan to enter early AM September 23rd. Would I just need to self-permit and drop a check in a box at an unmanned ranger station in Atikokan? What's the parking situation at Nym Lake?
billconner
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07/20/2017 07:00PM  
quote old_salt: "It's been discussed here before. Quetico College School is hands down your best overnight option. Rooms are $60. For a little extra you can get dinner and breakfast. They are well situated for the northern entry points. We used them and they are the best."

Is this available while school is on session?
Handycamp
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07/21/2017 12:53AM  
"French Lake has parking for all. Stanton Bay is only for Canadian Residents.
The White Otter isn't expensive for a motel in Atikokan and their breakfasts
are great! Not sure about the farther west EP's..."

Do you mean that non-residents can't park there, or that non-residents are not even allowed to enter there?
dentondoc
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07/21/2017 06:13AM  
quote Handycamp: "Do you mean that non-residents can't park there, or that non-residents are not even allowed to enter there?
"

You may enter there if you use a Canadian Outfitter, who would normally provide the shuttle service to the drop off point. The road is "iffy" at times and has been know to be out of service for periods of time. Not really the kind of place where you'd want to drive your own vehicle and run the risk of the road being cut while you were gone.

ParkerMag -

Its been a while since I've used Nym as my means to enter the park, but there is a dedicated parking lot for the canoe launch area. The parking lot is adequate for a couple of dozen vehicles and is very close to a dock for staging your gear before you put in. When I last used it, there was a information kiosk shelter that even had a pay phone (which I remember using to contact my outfitter for pick-up one time). On another occasion, I simply parked there for a couple of weeks while on my trip.

BillConner -

Quetico College School has a small student population which doesn't come close to utilizing all of the space available at this former expansive conference center. I suspect it would be highly unlikely that they wouldn't have space available to serve your needs. (My party was canoeing guests 2 and 3 for the facility last season ... the facility had not yet enrolled its first class.)

dd
old_salt
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07/21/2017 07:51AM  
quote billconner: "quote old_salt: "It's been discussed here before. Quetico College School is hands down your best overnight option. Rooms are $60. For a little extra you can get dinner and breakfast. They are well situated for the northern entry points. We used them and they are the best."


Is this available while school is on session?"


Yes, it's available anytime. Best bargain.
old_salt
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07/21/2017 07:53AM  
I checked the Nym Lake parking lot on Canada Day, 8 vehicles parked. Lots of room to park. Short portage to lake.
07/21/2017 06:26PM  
I made a room reservation for the Quetico College over Labor Day weekend. However, I didn't have to put money down. He just said come by and pay when you get here. I've heard good things about that place.

dentondoc
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07/21/2017 11:16PM  
quote TomT: "I made a room reservation for the Quetico College over Labor Day weekend. However, I didn't have to put money down. He just said come by and pay when you get here. I've heard good things about that place."

I don't think you will be disappointed in the facility. The map below represents just a portion of the facility and was included in one of the news letters I received from Michael over the course of the past year. It shows the entrance to the property at the top, office location, dining hall, recreation hall and mostly locations for RV's to park. One guest house is shown on the right and there are others further out in that direction. There are other buildings, including a 2-story dormitory, on the road beyond the tennis courts.

dbpmw3
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07/22/2017 01:31PM  
We used Michelle at Wilderness Voyager Program. She will pick you up at the Nym parking lot and take you by pontoon to their island half way across the lake. They have very nice rooms and will cook you a great dinner and breakfast. Next morning you can shove off from their dock half way to the next portage. Very nice people!
carmike
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07/22/2017 09:40PM  
Nym gives quick access to some smaller water south of Pickerel, which is probably where I'd head, especially if the wind kicks up. If smb are your primary target, then I'd probably enter at Nym and head either to the Pickerel Narrows or to the smaller lakes (Walter, Lonely, etc.) south of there. Sturgeon is a great bass lake, as is Russell/Chatterton/etc. Heck, everything in that area is good, and if you plan to move each day, you can cover a LOT of ground, especially if you're single portaging (as a reference, single-portaging with my wife got us from Nym to Lonely on our first day without much trouble). Be careful you don't move too much, though, as you'll be passing over some excellent water (though, to be honest, I've never had much success catching bass in late September / early October).

Beaverhouse, Quetico, and Cirrus all have smallmouth, but to the best of my knowledge, the smaller lakes near them don't (I'm talking south towards Badwater). If you make it over to Jean, then you're in luck, as it's a great bass lake.

Accessing the east end of Pickerel is easy, but man that's a big lake, and a moderate west wind makes paddling somewhat iffy, at least for me.

Just my .02.
07/23/2017 07:19AM  
quote carmike: "
Accessing the east end of Pickerel is easy, but man that's a big lake, and a moderate west wind makes paddling somewhat iffy, at least for me.
Just my .02. "


I'm doing a northern entry for the first time in early Sept. I'll be solo and entering the east end of pickerel hoping to be on the water 15 minutes before first light. Like you say this can be very iffy. My hope is for east/northeast breezes. Ideally I want to be on upper Sturgeon at the end of the day. I'll be watching the weather forecast very closely a week before the trip starts.

ParkerMag
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07/24/2017 08:27AM  
Helpful stuff - thanks very much.

Remaining question regarding the self-permitting though. Do we just need to go to the ranger station in Atikokan, fill out a form and drop it and a check in a box and go - or something along those lines? I presume the place is unmanned at the end of September, so hours of operation wouldn't be a concern...???
mapsguy1955
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07/24/2017 09:00AM  
If you are using an outfitter, they will handle it for you.
ParkerMag
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07/24/2017 09:07AM  
quote mapsguy1955: "If you are using an outfitter, they will handle it for you. "
Even for an "unreservable" self-permit situation, as well as the fee?
dentondoc
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07/24/2017 11:35AM  
quote ParkerMag: "Remaining question regarding the self-permitting though. Do we just need to go to the ranger station in Atikokan, fill out a form and drop it and a check in a box and go - or something along those lines? I presume the place is unmanned at the end of September, so hours of operation wouldn't be a concern...???"
That's the way I'd do it. The only exception would be if you are going into Pickerel via French Lake (especially if you are coming in by way of Thunder Bay). There is a drop box at the Ranger Station as you enter the Dawson Campground area at French Lake. As you approach the front door, if you look to your right you will see the drop box.

BTW: Since I always pay by credit card, I either write all of the credit card information (name/cc number, expiration date, ccv) on the permit. If I think about it ahead of time, I write it all on a separate piece of paper and put it in the envelope.

dd
07/24/2017 01:53PM  
quote dentondoc: "quote ParkerMag: "Remaining question regarding the self-permitting though. Do we just need to go to the ranger station in Atikokan, fill out a form and drop it and a check in a box and go - or something along those lines? I presume the place is unmanned at the end of September, so hours of operation wouldn't be a concern...???"
That's the way I'd do it. The only exception would be if you are going into Pickerel via French Lake (especially if you are coming in by way of Thunder Bay). There is a drop box at the Ranger Station as you enter the Dawson Campground area at French Lake. As you approach the front door, if you look to your right you will see the drop box.

BTW: Since I always pay by credit card, I either write all of the credit card information (name/cc number, expiration date, ccv) on the permit. If I think about it ahead of time, I write it all on a separate piece of paper and put it in the envelope.

dd "


Didn't know you could do that. Thought it was cash only.
Do they ever have problems with vandals at those drop boxes?
dentondoc
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07/24/2017 04:34PM  
quote AmarilloJim: "quote dentondoc: "
BTW: Since I always pay by credit card, I either write all of the credit card information (name/cc number, expiration date, ccv) on the permit. If I think about it ahead of time, I write it all on a separate piece of paper and put it in the envelope.

dd "


Didn't know you could do that. Thought it was cash only.
Do they ever have problems with vandals at those drop boxes?"


I've had no issues at all. For me, its actually safer. Someone who steals my check has access to my bank account. With a credit card, if bogus charges show up, I call the cc company and have them removed. I'll generally get a new card with a different account number in just a few days.

dd
rdricker
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07/29/2017 12:49AM  
In the last several years I've done two entries from the north. In 2012 I did Nym-Batchewaung-Pickerel-Bisk-Beg-Bud-Fern-Olifaunt-Sturgeon-Lonely-Walter-Elizabeth-Jesse-Maria-Pickerel-Batchewaung-Nym. Last summer we did Nym-Batchewaung-Pickerel-Maria-Jesse-Elizabeth-Walter-Lonely-Sturgeon-Rouge-Burntside-Jean-Conk-Quetico-Kasakokwog-Cirrus-Sue-Cole-Lark-Bewag-Larome (exit Sue Falls). Both times we picked up our permit either the afternoon before entry or the morning of at the ranger station in Atikokan.

I love the northern half of the park. The big lakes can be challenging if it's stormy, but they are also nice all day paddling.
mapsguy1955
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07/29/2017 09:45AM  
The Outfitters have always handled the park fees for me and I always go in mid to late September after the office has closed. I come from south Florida though, so I don't bring my own canoe and NEED an outfitter. They also handle fishing licenses, outdoor card, etc.

My son and I are going in at Nym on the 16th and out there on the 24th, and I'm going back in solo from Stanton Bay on the 25th and out on the 6th (Oct), also Stanton Bay.

Planning on looping the first trip down to Jesse, Walter, Sturgeon, Russell, Chatterton, Twin Lakes, Dore and out Nym. Second will base camp somewhere near Rawn or Buckingham... If someone else on the lake maybe Art, but there isn't much of a decent campsite there. I will be solo though, so could probably make do. Just trying to find true solitude for a few days, to get away from people! Who knows, may have to follow old trappers trail to Acheson, just have NO idea how the fishing is there.
 
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