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      Looking for a lazy river route     
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DontPanic
senior member (56)senior membersenior member
 
11/03/2018 02:29PM
Hi all,
I’ve done 2 trips now. First being EP16 Moose River to Agnes and back. The second was Mudro to Bear Trap River to Iron to Nina Moose, back to EP16.

With that said, as much as I enjoyed the fishing on Iron, we preferred the paddle on the river. Portages aren’t really an issue. We are considering the Isabella River, but I’m looking for recommendations of a river route.

We’d like to camp on a river if possible, which I know there isn’t a ton of river camping options. We are thinking about just doing a 1-2 campsite, 6-8 day trip so doesn’t need to be super long.

** we kayak

Thanks
 
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cyclones30
distinguished member(1742)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/03/2018 04:21PM
Isabella sounds like a pretty good option if you want river travel. You've seen some of the good other river options. Little Indian Sioux (south) is a heck of a river trip distance-wise but very slim for campsites
DontPanic
senior member (56)senior membersenior member
 
11/03/2018 08:28PM
cyclones30: "Isabella sounds like a pretty good option if you want river travel. You've seen some of the good other river options. "
The Bear Trap River was awesome.
salukiguy
distinguished member(510)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/03/2018 09:09PM
Another vote for Isabella River. There are campsites right on the river. Me and a friend took a trip starting at Lake Isabella and took two leisurely days to paddle to Bad Eagle Lake. We had a campsite on the river in each direction. One of them I recall was right by some moving water.
bwcasolo
distinguished member(1864)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/04/2018 06:56AM
enter at farm lake and do the north kawish river loop. good fishing and plenty of campsites. it could be very leisure.
11/06/2018 08:41AM
You could start outside the BWCA on Comfort Lake. Then take the Island River to the Isabella River and then on to the Kawishiwi River if desired. The Island River has as least two sites between Comfort and Isabella River that survived the Pagami Creek Fire. Also, good fishing on both rivers.
Z4K
member (35)member
 
11/19/2018 11:56PM
I paddled the Bear Trap last summer and enjoyed it very much. It isn't much of a secret anymore, however. I paddled from EP36 Hog Creek to EP35 Lake Isabella about 15 years ago. There were a few beaver dams to slide over on Hog Creek but overall it wasn't bad. We lined the canoes through just about everything all the way to Isabella instead of portaging. Not many other people at all but this was 15 years ago. You could always continue this route along the Isabella to Bald Eagle. I would not try to go from EP36 to Lake Isabella in one day. Tops on my to-do list of river trips in the BWCA is EP9 LIS South to EP1 Trout (or vice versa). I've heard about the Vermillion River between Lake Vermillion and Crane Lake in the SNF/Kabetogama State Forest as well but I haven't done much research on it. I imagine it to be more developed than I normally care for.

If you're looking for a true river trip, the BWCA is not the place to go. Tons of rivers in the midwest outside of the BWCA to try out. The St. Croix and it's tributaries come to mind, as do a few others in northern Wisconsin. Head farther west and there are hundreds of rivers to paddle... Your kayaks would fit in more out there, too. I paddled the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana in 2017 and I highly recommend it if you're not looking for rapids and aren't afraid of snakes. I saw fewer groups on that trip than on any of my 15 trips into the BWCA... If you don't need the improved campsites, and the narrow, windy Bear Trap river fit the bill then there are many small, non-commercialized rivers in state and national forests around Minnesota as long as you're not afraid of occasional strainers, gravel bars, beaver dams and non-existent campsites! Find these on your own, I'm not giving away any of my favorites. Water levels can be really important for some of these rivers, as is whitewater experience and a canoe with some rocker. Funny how the most remote, undiscovered rivers in Minnesota are NOT in the 'wilderness'

Edit to add this wonderful tool from the MN DNR:
MN Water Trails Map
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2425)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/21/2018 08:45AM
Wish I could read your mind Z4K to learn of those secret MN spots you have stored to memory.
11/23/2018 11:45AM
Little Indian Souix River SOUTH! Just about as wild as the BWCA gets. Need to keep a eye on water levels. The Little Pony can get a little dicey in low water if you choose to go all the way to Chad. One year we had to bushwhacke the last half a mile or so to get to Chad. Probably saw more wildlife on this route then any other route I have been on.
fishnfreak
distinguished member(1139)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/24/2018 07:38PM


Sorry, couldn't resist
11/24/2018 09:28PM
fishnfreak: "


Sorry, couldn't resist"



:) One of my favorites . . .
fishnfreak
distinguished member(1139)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/24/2018 10:08PM
In all seriousness, I have enjoyed the Phoebe river through the lady chain and the Moose River up to LLC. I would consider both lazy rivers

Slightly rougher trip but IMO better, would be Bear Trap River
11/25/2018 10:10AM
A variety of options involving the Kawishiwi River.
TominMpls
distinguished member(502)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/26/2018 09:29AM
fishnfreak: "In all seriousness, I have enjoyed the Phoebe river through the lady chain and the Moose River up to LLC. I would consider both lazy rivers

Slightly rougher trip but IMO better, would be Bear Trap River"

I actually clicked in on this to recommend the Moose River North (EP16) but since the OP already did that, I'll second the Phoebe River suggestion. It has a fair amount of lake paddling along it, but still has many of the characteristics you're looking for in a "lazy river".
DontPanic
senior member (56)senior membersenior member
 
11/26/2018 11:39AM
Yeah, I think we are going ep 38 to ep 37 with the plan to stay on lake phoebe for 3 or 4 days. My only concern with this route is lack of day trip options.
andym
distinguished member(4463)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
11/26/2018 10:42PM
If you spent more time on Polly then you could day trip up to Malberg and back. If you don’t want to paddle on Malberg just walking the portage to it would be fun and you would get to see the famous big rock in the rapids at the Malberg end.
 
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