BWCA Meeds Lake - EP 48 Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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senior member (67)senior membersenior member
06/14/2019 09:44PM  
My wife and I are planning our 2nd trip into the boundary waters. We enjoyed are time last year even in cool rainy weather. We are looking at going in through Meeds and looping and out on Round. Main reason for this entry is permits are not picked over. Anybody have any insight on the 290 rod portage that starts off the trip? Once on Meeds would you head west, or go back into Caribou and head for Gaskin? We did a 4 day trip last year, and doing another 4 day again this year. Love some insight on going through Meeds?
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06/14/2019 10:04PM  
In 2017, we went in through Lizz entry and exited out of Meeds. The portage has a lot of rocky footing which slows you down a little. You'll be going uphill on it. There were a couple of big blow down trees in 2017, but I believe they have been cleared. I wouldn't let it stop you from going in there.

I wouldn't go back to Caribou even if going to Gaskin. We went from Gaskin to Meeds via Pillsbery and Swallow. Then you can decide whether to go west through Henson to Omega, or south to Gaskin and loop up to Omega through Winchell, before continuing west to Kiskadinna and Long Island. Do you plan to go up to Cross Bay, then Snipe to Missing Link to get to Round Lake?
senior member (67)senior membersenior member
06/14/2019 11:01PM  
Yes - Cross Bay to Snipe and end on Round at Tuscarora. We basically did the same area last year. Went in on Lizz - Gaskin - Winchell - Omega - Muskeg - Long Island - Cross Bay - Snipe - Missing Link and Round. It was my wife's first trip and she loved the challenge of the distance and portages in our 4 days. Would be fun to see a new area, but we both like the idea of going back to our old stomping ground - haha. Going in on Meeds would give us a little different option, and we would try and see some new camping sites on our trip. Went in on July 31 last year, looking at Aug 6 this year.
06/15/2019 06:01AM  
Some other alternatives for you -

After going through Meeds, Henson, Omega, Long Island, to Snipe, which should be shorter and quicker for you than last year, consider the option of going from Snipe through Copper and Hubbub to Tuscarora, then out through Missing Link.

Your shorter exit from Cross Bay would be to go through Ham to the Cross Bay EP, which is a short walk back to Round.

Another option that you might find intriguing would be to enter at Skipper/Portage and go through Banadad to Long Island. I have not been that way, but you can find some trip reports on it.

Another possibility would be a Morgan entry, which is a long gradual climb, but not really hard that would take to through Vista to Horseshoe and the same set of options.

06/15/2019 07:10AM  
The Poplar to Meeds portage is not that bad. A touch ugly in places but not nasty, and just feels a little longer than what it's marked. The east island site is the favorite. The west island site is ok....just very secluded in the middle of all the trees and bushes. The west site doesn't get used much but we stayed there (other 2 were full) and it's not that bad a site. Decent fishing from shore. The back portages out of Meeds to Swallow, Pillsbury are narrow and overgrown....but not too bad.
Just beware that a fair number of people avoid the Meeds portage and come in via Caribou after entering at Lizz.
distinguished member(1378)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/15/2019 11:44AM  
We did a 3 day loop that started with coming into Meeds. I didn't think the portage was bad, and my 14 year old did it with the heaviest of our packs without stopping (the fall before he would stop every 60 rods so this was a big milestone). It has a lot of variety on it...mud, rocky, grassy, hills, and more. Just be mentally ready that it is marked as longer than 290 on some maps and it can certainly feel like it. The bonus is that Meeds and the lakes just to the west tend to be less traveled. We didn't see anyone for the 1st few lakes.
Guest Paddler
07/09/2019 04:42PM  
Boonie Just wondering why not through Caribou? Seems like more camp spot options, heeding to Meeds Lake in two weeks!
07/09/2019 08:25PM  
Chris, several reasons why. I was replying to the OP who went through Lizz and all those lakes - Caribou, Horseshoe, Gaskin - last year, so thought they might like some new scenery. I find Meeds more scenic than Caribou. Those lakes will likely be very busy. Yes, Caribou has a lot of sites, but also a lot of people - many base campers - vying for them since it is easily reached through the Lizz entry. They obviously prefer to travel (like me) and Caribou would be way too soon to stop. Their exit point of Round is to the west anyway and I'd prefer heading that way away from the crowds.

Your situation may be different though - I'm guessing that you don't plan to travel 30-40 miles in 4 days, so you may well want to go the other way. Horseshoe is a very pretty lake - I like it - but it can be busy because of the relatively easy access. Gaskin is a very nice lake also, but you can also get there through Pillsbery and Swallow. Same with Winchell. When we entered Lizz in 2017, we were headed to Vista to meet up with another guy. Vista was about 3 hours travel. It's a nice lake.
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