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DaleLL
member (8)member
 
06/05/2019 07:10PM  
My buddy and I are finally heading up to the BWCA the last week of Sept, and got it narrowed down to 2 EPs. These are the 2 because I want to do the N shore of Superior/ Gunflint Trail. We also want to get a bunkhouse, and leave from there, to get an early start and leave the car there. We're both in our 50s, but active backpackers, done some canoe trips but never done any portaging. Looking at 5-6 days. Bucket list for us. So..opinions on

47-Poplar-Caribou-Horsheshoe-Gaskin (hopefully Omega and Winchell to see the cliffs. Vista possible).

50-Cross Bay-Snipe-Missing link (possible side trips to Long Island, Tuscarora, into the PMA)

I had pretty much decided on 47, but Snipe looks so darn cool with the rocks and narrows. Any similar terrain on the area out of Poplar? Moose sighting would be great. Will fish, but not a huge priority-more photography, exploring and relaxing. Suggestions on things to see? One better than the other for fall color?

I know we can go from Ham to Poplar, but don't want the pressure to go that far if we don't want, weather, shorter days, and the Wall.

Thanks!

 
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06/05/2019 08:11PM  
All outfitters are good, you don't piss people off and stay in that business very long. That said, Rockwood is really good, and I would lean toward 47 just based on that. If you do that, go from Horseshoe to Allen, then through Jump to Gaskin. Logistically it's the worst way to go, but sometimes it's not about efficiency.
Mocha
distinguished member(7638)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/05/2019 08:15PM  
you could use the bulk of your trip time using ep 47. then when you come out, spend an extra night or two on the gunflint trail and go see snipe using a day permit. the ham to cross bay to snipe to missing link and out round is very doable in a day trip.
06/05/2019 08:41PM  
maxxbhp: "All outfitters are good, you don't piss people off and stay in that business very long. That said, Rockwood is really good, and I would lean toward 47 just based on that. If you do that, go from Horseshoe to Allen, then through Jump to Gaskin. Logistically it's the worst way to go, but sometimes it's not about efficiency. "

+1....Rockwood is right on Poplar. Paddle from your bunk right to the Lizz portage. Gaskin is a nice lake. Day trip to Winchell and climb the cliff for a great autum view. I hope to be there about Sept 23 or 24 myself.
moray
distinguished member (243)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/06/2019 07:05AM  
I just used Rockwood in May and entered at #47. Stayed in their bunk house the night before and it was easy paddle to entry point. They were great,very nice and helpful.
Northwoodsman
distinguished member(1753)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/06/2019 08:57AM  
I have paddled much of that area in recent years. I entered through #47 the past two years and through #50 just a few weeks ago but exited through #47. There are a couple of tough portages coming out of the east end of Long Island Lake, personally I would avoid them. My recommendation would be to stay at Rockwood and enter through #47. Go through Lizz, Caribou and into Horseshoe. Take the portage on the north arm of Horseshoe and go through Allen, Pillsbery, Henson and Omega. Drop down to the west end of Winchell and exit the east end up into Gaskin. Take the longer portage from Gaskin into the south arm of Horseshoe back to Caribou and Lizz. In my opinion this has a terrific combination of scenery, wildlife (moose), fishing, moderate portages, small to medium size lakes, and nice campsites.
Maureen
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/06/2019 09:11AM  
DaleLL: "My buddy and I are finally heading up to the BWCA the last week of Sept, and got it narrowed down to 2 EPs. These are the 2 because I want to do the N shore of Superior/ Gunflint Trail. We also want to get a bunkhouse, and leave from there, to get an early start and leave the car there. We're both in our 50s, but active backpackers, done some canoe trips but never done any portaging. Looking at 5-6 days. Bucket list for us. So..opinions on

47-Poplar-Caribou-Horsheshoe-Gaskin (hopefully Omega and Winchell to see the cliffs. Vista possible).

50-Cross Bay-Snipe-Missing link (possible side trips to Long Island, Tuscarora, into the PMA)

I had pretty much decided on 47, but Snipe looks so darn cool with the rocks and narrows. Any similar terrain on the area out of Poplar? Moose sighting would be great. Will fish, but not a huge priority-more photography, exploring and relaxing. Suggestions on things to see? One better than the other for fall color?

I know we can go from Ham to Poplar, but don't want the pressure to go that far if we don't want, weather, shorter days, and the Wall.

Thanks!


We have done both trips with our 3 children (husband and I are in our early 50s.) We love Tuscarora Lodge & Outfitters and they can accommodate both trips as well as provide bunkhouse/delicious French toast breakfast and get you to your EP early the next morning.

Snipe/Missing Link is less traveled so you won't see as many people, but the Poplar/Caribou/Horseshoe/Gaskin is a gorgeous area to explore despite all the traffic. Both trips have relatively straightforward/easy portaging...check out some trip reports for each route and hope you have a great time!

http://tuscaroracanoe.com

"
Tuscarora
Maureen
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/06/2019 09:11AM  
DaleLL: "My buddy and I are finally heading up to the BWCA the last week of Sept, and got it narrowed down to 2 EPs. These are the 2 because I want to do the N shore of Superior/ Gunflint Trail. We also want to get a bunkhouse, and leave from there, to get an early start and leave the car there. We're both in our 50s, but active backpackers, done some canoe trips but never done any portaging. Looking at 5-6 days. Bucket list for us. So..opinions on

47-Poplar-Caribou-Horsheshoe-Gaskin (hopefully Omega and Winchell to see the cliffs. Vista possible).

50-Cross Bay-Snipe-Missing link (possible side trips to Long Island, Tuscarora, into the PMA)

I had pretty much decided on 47, but Snipe looks so darn cool with the rocks and narrows. Any similar terrain on the area out of Poplar? Moose sighting would be great. Will fish, but not a huge priority-more photography, exploring and relaxing. Suggestions on things to see? One better than the other for fall color?

I know we can go from Ham to Poplar, but don't want the pressure to go that far if we don't want, weather, shorter days, and the Wall.

Thanks!


We have done both trips with our 3 children (husband and I are in our early 50s.) We love Tuscarora Lodge & Outfitters and they can accommodate both trips as well as provide bunkhouse/delicious French toast breakfast and get you to your EP early the next morning.

Snipe/Missing Link is less traveled so you won't see as many people, but the Poplar/Caribou/Horseshoe/Gaskin is a gorgeous area to explore despite all the traffic. Both trips have relatively straightforward/easy portaging...check out some trip reports for each route and hope you have a great time!

http://tuscaroracanoe.com

"
Tuscarora
06/06/2019 04:58PM  
Where can one climb the cliff of winchell? I'm headed there in a few weeks. #47 staying at Rockwood.


cowdoc: "maxxbhp: "All outfitters are good, you don't piss people off and stay in that business very long. That said, Rockwood is really good, and I would lean toward 47 just based on that. If you do that, go from Horseshoe to Allen, then through Jump to Gaskin. Logistically it's the worst way to go, but sometimes it's not about efficiency. "


+1....Rockwood is right on Poplar. Paddle from your bunk right to the Lizz portage. Gaskin is a nice lake. Day trip to Winchell and climb the cliff for a great autum view. I hope to be there about Sept 23 or 24 myself."
06/06/2019 06:24PM  
Dale-

Either one of those entries will be a nice one for you. I have done multiple trips from each. They both offer you several options.

I personally like Snipe Lake. Cross Bay entry will put you there in 2 1/2 hours assuming you double portage. You may want to travel a little more than just Snipe-Missing Link-Round, in which case you have a couple of options. You can go from Snipe through Copper and Hubbub to Tuscarora, which is a nice lake. That’s a few hours, again assuming double portage. You could also go south to Long Island and even on to Frost Lake without much trouble. I’m not at home now, but will be back in a couple of days and can round up some information/pictures if you’re interested.

I did the Cross Bay to Poplar trip in 2012 - I think I have a trip report there on that one. I stayed at Rockwood and they shuttled me to EP 50.
06/06/2019 06:49PM  
Hi croixboy96! I cannot answer your question, but I just had been thinking awhile ago that I hadn't seen a post from you in a long time! Remember the time you paddled by our cabin at Rockwood to tell us goodbye, as you started off on your trip? We were there with our granddaughter, and you had a child with you, too. (Can't remember if it was a son or daughter.)

Good to see you posting, and to know that you will be back on Poplar this year. We will be at Rockwood Lodge again in August, and Anna will be with us then, too.

Have a great trip!

Nebed
member (30)member
 
06/06/2019 11:27PM  
+1 on EP47. Some great sites on Horseshoe and on Gaskin with lots of moose. Had a "close encounter" with one on Jump a few years back. On Winchell take a hike to see the waterfall. It's part of the stream coming out of Tremble, along the south shore about midlake, across from campsite 761. Spectacular view.
Nebed
member (30)member
 
06/06/2019 11:27PM  
sorry, double post.
06/07/2019 07:10AM  
I've been to both areas more than once and my vote would be for EP 47. It's my favorite area that I've been to out of my 20ish trips. I entered at 50 once on a daddy/daughter trip with my then 5 yo duckling and also did a daytrip with my wife once starting at Round/Missing Link/Snipe etc and exiting at 50. I've been to the area around 47 on 4 different trips and love it.

I've used Rockwood many times... most of the time just a bunkhouse and they are great people.
06/07/2019 07:29AM  
croixboy96: "Where can one climb the cliff of winchell? I'm headed there in a few weeks. #47 staying at Rockwood.



cowdoc: "maxxbhp: "All outfitters are good, you don't piss people off and stay in that business very long. That said, Rockwood is really good, and I would lean toward 47 just based on that. If you do that, go from Horseshoe to Allen, then through Jump to Gaskin. Logistically it's the worst way to go, but sometimes it's not about efficiency. "



+1....Rockwood is right on Poplar. Paddle from your bunk right to the Lizz portage. Gaskin is a nice lake. Day trip to Winchell and climb the cliff for a great autum view. I hope to be there about Sept 23 or 24 myself."
"



As you look at the cliff you need to go way right (west) to where the rocks stop and trees start. There are a few spots to land canoe and multiple trails are evident. The trails funnel to the west side of the cliff where you wiggle up through some cracks to get on top. You then have to work your way back out (north) to face of cliff for a view. The trails up there fade so you have to just keep your bearings and "head for the cliff"
sedges
distinguished member(838)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/07/2019 10:23AM  
A stay at Tuscarora would work fine for your interests. Yes Snipe is a real cool lake. This not quite a loop, but starting at Cross River Access with a destination for Long Island Lake, base camp of two days on Long Island and head back to Cross Bay Lake and out through Snipe and Missing Link. Long Island is an especially nice place to base for a few days. Lots of exploring to do. The routes are all beautiful, the portages moderate. You won't mind doing the Cross Bay-LIL route twice. Its easy and scenic. The two longest portages would be your last day. There is one portage the first day on the Cross River that has a real bad boulderfield for a landing, but the portage itself is easy.

Many folks go the whole way to Long Island in a day, but I would recommend staying on Cross Bay Lake if portaging is a new experience for you. Cross Bay is a good wildlife lake and worthy of some exploring time. On the way out, LIL to Snipe is pretty easy for a last night on Snipe. That leaves the two longest portages of the trip for the last day, but they are no big deal and you will have the portage routine down by then. Its only a quarter mile walk back to Cross River Access. Best you could leave your car at Tuscarora Outfitter and have them shuttle you to Cross River at the start and you would be paddling back to your car.
06/07/2019 11:25AM  
Hi Spartan!

I remember meeting you. I think we randomly ran into you on a backroad off of the Gunflint Trail that week also, no?

Good to see you! I have not been back to the BWCA in a couple years but I had some life events that have made me decide that I NEED to get back up there for the solitude and peace. Maybe a solo August trip is in my future if you are going to be there. What dates? It would be great to see you again!

David
06/08/2019 08:07AM  
August 11-17. Cabin 4.
DaleLL
member (8)member
 
06/08/2019 08:25AM  
Thanks, everyone. I think I'll just stick with the original plan of EP47, hopefully head thru the skinny lakes to Omega, and back via Winchell for the cliffs and waterfall. Also I've never caught or eaten walleye, and it appears they are only in Ham and Cross Bay on the Snipe route. Any other nice spots to see? Vista? How are the cliffs on Cliff lake south of Winchell? Worth a side trip?
06/08/2019 10:14AM  
Spartan2: "August 11-17. Cabin 4."

we will miss you by a week again..... one of these years we'll get to meet the Great Spartans!
06/08/2019 10:15AM  
DaleLL: "Thanks, everyone. I think I'll just stick with the original plan of EP47, hopefully head thru the skinny lakes to Omega, and back via Winchell for the cliffs and waterfall. Also I've never caught or eaten walleye, and it appears they are only in Ham and Cross Bay on the Snipe route. Any other nice spots to see? Vista? How are the cliffs on Cliff lake south of Winchell? Worth a side trip?
"


Have fun..
The stretch of skinny lakes from Horseshoe, Allen, Pillsbury, Hensen, to Omega is my favorite.

I really like Pillsbury because it's much quieter than most of the surrounding lakes...... there are only 2 sites and the western one is so bad people don't use it very often. So... if you get the eastern one you can have the lake to yourself. I've been through it on a daytrip and camped on it for 3 days once and only saw 1 other canoe pass through. We caught enough walleye(including from camp) for a fish fry and the smallie fishing was great.

Omega is my favorite lake and want to get back there to camp on it sometime again.
06/08/2019 10:23AM  
ducks: "Spartan2: "August 11-17. Cabin 4."


we will miss you by a week again..... one of these years we'll get to meet the Great Spartans!"


Oh, Lord! Nothing "great" about us! :-)
scramble4a5
distinguished member(565)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/09/2019 06:00PM  
maxxbhp: "All outfitters are good, you don't piss people off and stay in that business very long. That said, Rockwood is really good, and I would lean toward 47 just based on that. If you do that, go from Horseshoe to Allen, then through Jump to Gaskin. Logistically it's the worst way to go, but sometimes it's not about efficiency. "

We did this last year and stayed at the Mondale site in Gaskin. Nice easy portages. Rockwood was a great outfitter. I liked their bunk house because each room had its own bath and shower.
 
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