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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: Canoeing with kids
      A quandry     



03/15/2018 03:44PM  
I'm taking my family into the BWCA again this summer and I need a new entry and destination. If anyone has suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated! We've done almost every entry from the Ely side and only Gunflint, Popular and Sag on the Gunflint.

Our kids are in their early and mid-teen years which means my son can carry a canoe (yay!) and my daughter is the stronger portager and the younger of the two :). We are experience campers and canoeists, so it might be time to do a trip that gets in a little further than previous 1-day portaging trips (max 4 portages) and stay an average of 3 days. If it would be possible, it would be great if there is a route that take an extra morning or so to get to but might only take a long day to get back out.

I was thinking maybe a tow up through Sag to American Point and loop back out through Hanson and Ester for a tow pickup on Seagull (just out of Alpine)? Other ideas?
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distinguished member(4802)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
03/17/2018 10:08AM  
That is a great route. One of my favorite areas.

Just my 2 cents here....but, i don't feel a tow on Sea Gull is money well spent since the motor zone doesn't really provide direct access to any portages. That said, Ogishkemuncie lake is easily reachable (in a day) from Sea Gull. IMHO it is one of the premier epicenters of the BWCAW. Mueller Falls and Agamok Lake then Gabimichigami in on direction, majestic Kekekabic in another, Historic South Arm of Knife & Eddy falls in another. You can quickly get off the beaten path by portaging into Spice Lake. If your feeling adventurous, Holt lake is an option.

Just grab a map of the area and start :)

If you haven't seen it already?
Here is a dated trip report through that area you propose.
03/17/2018 01:17PM  
Good to know and thanks for the inputs! I'll check out the trip report. A paddle from SGO over to the portage into Alpine (if I'm remembering that correctly) might be the way to go.
distinguished member(4802)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
03/18/2018 07:15AM  
Sea Gull Lake is huge but, there are plenty of islands to duck behind. That doesn't guarantee a trouble/wind free paddle but, it does offer a measure of security in the form of nearby wind blocks or even safe havens. And if you paddle the western edge you'll be hard pressed to miss the palisades looming overhead.
03/18/2018 10:01AM  
I agree. It will take some thought and planning as we would watch the weather when the time gets nearer. A tow through a portion of Seagull may be needed. Another route I considered was getting a tow up Moose to the Indian portage, cross Birch and the Knife portages to go into SAK, maybe drop down to Kek.

The second route alleviates at least some wind concerns but not necessarily, Knife can get rockin' on windy days.

As much as we like going in on the Ely side, a third option might be a put-in on Clearwater or someplace similar to get access to the border route. I'm still churning through a couple of ideas.
distinguished member(9237)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
05/01/2018 05:20PM  
Did you decide and have permit in hand? Do tell what you landed on!
05/01/2018 06:28PM  
Not yet. Schedules have been shifting around for us but Seagull is a definite option. East bearskin to Alder and Crystal is also an option as well as a couple others on that side of the Trail. Knife out of Ely is a possibility -- I just don't know if everyone will be up for the 3 Knife portages. Those are not hard, but they do require some stamina if you are not used to it. I'm still mulling options...
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