BWCA What is PMA Boundary Waters Group Forum: PMA Paradise
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05/30/2019 12:14PM  
Also is there any maps of these locations? I tried to find some info but best I can tell is they are old portages to old lakes with old campsites.
 
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straighthairedcurly
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05/30/2019 01:23PM  
PMAs are Primitive Management Areas. The portages are not maintained and there are no official campsites. Access for camping there is very limited and requires an additional permit above and beyond your normal BWCA entry permit.

Some of the PMAs contain areas that used to be maintained but were not commonly used and therefore the decision was made to end the maintenance. For those type of sections, you can often find old Fisher maps that show past portages and past campsites. But remember with windstorms and fires, a lot of that information can change. Other PMAs have never been officially maintained so there are no real records of portages.

Anyone can enter a PMA during the day and there are some routes that a number of solo paddlers have used to "cut the corner" on a route. Other times people will just bushwhack in with fishing gear for a day trip.

My husband and I have a lot of wilderness canoe experience between us so a ranger recommended we try a PMA. This summer will be our first opportunity. But if you don't have super solid navigational skills and a lot of experience with Leave No Trace camping, it is not a good idea to start with a PMA.

This message board is one of the best places I have found to find information. Read trip reports.
 
05/30/2019 02:28PM  
Thanks. The skills and experience are not an issue. Ive bushwacked a ton. Just wondering if I've gone into these areas on accident and where they are. Last year I did some pretty intense bushwacking. My brother and father love it for whatever reason.
 
05/30/2019 03:02PM  
 
05/30/2019 03:12PM  
Awesome cowdoc. Thanks a ton. I've been close but never in one. I'm considering it now though.
 
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