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01/20/2020 09:16PM  
Does anyone have any advice around route choice, Snipe vs Tuscarora? Long portages are not too much of a concern since I have some time to get in shape before then. Not sure of time of year quite yet, but hoping for closer to the end of season.
 
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01/20/2020 10:11PM  
What kind of trip are you planning to do? Are you looking to do a loop?

I like both Tuscarora and Snipe. I have gone in Cross Bay to Snipe, then through Copper and Hubbub to Tuscarora. If you exit through Missing Link to the parking lot on Round Lake, it's a fairly short walk to Cross Bay, Tuscarora gives you access to Owl, Crooked, Mora, Little Sag. Little Sag is a nice lake too. You could also loop around north through Gillis and back out through Brant.
technically_rugged
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01/21/2020 10:01AM  
Sort of related question- is it worth taking the time to stop and fish Missing Link for an hour? I would not generally consider stopping so soon after entry, but, it's got some fish I'd like to catch in it.
straighthairedcurly
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01/21/2020 10:08AM  
I have not done the portage from Missing Link to Tuscarora, but when we were portaging from Round to Missing Link, everyone we met coming the other way was complaining about it.

We went into Snipe for our 1st night so that we were close to the Hairy Lake PMA for the next night. After we went through the PMA, we looped back east and came through Long Island Lake, Cross Bay Lake and back into Snipe. I really liked Snipe Lake. It was beautiful and fewer people seem to go through there compared to Tuscarora. There are some nice little loops you can do around there.

If you aren't afraid of long portages, you will be fine on the portage to Tuscarora. However, based on all the people we met coming from that way, it seems like the path most taken.

You don't say how long your trip is or whether you are traveling with others and what their experience level is. That could make a difference. Are you planning to do a loop or an out and back? Basecamp or move everyday?
01/21/2020 10:49AM  
I have not portaged directly from Missing Link to Snipe, but have done the Missing Link-Tuscarora portage both ways. The steepest climb is heading out (check topo). Almost as steep heading out through Copper/Hubbub (Howl), which has its own challenges. Looping north to exit at Brant will also have some climbs/challenges. Laurentian Divide.

I enjoyed all those areas though, challenges and all.
01/21/2020 04:04PM  
Not entirely sure of the type of trip yet. Initial thought is for a short loop. Think timeline is probably 4-5 days, but I have some flexibility there. Fishing would be nice, but not a massive priority for me on this one. Just trying to see some cool sights and enjoy the area. I have not gone in from the Gunflint side and wanted to see how different it might be. It is sort of a tribute trip so no specific agenda other than being out there.

I will most likely be solo and I tend to move daily with the possibility of a layover day in there if the mood, or need, strikes.
01/21/2020 04:38PM  
I went through Snipe, Hubbub, and Copper when coming back from Tuscarora. They are nice lakes and don't get too much traffic. This means the portages are a bit overgrown, but not too bad. What I will say is that these portages are not fun at all when you are in a rush. If you take on a couple then get you your campsite, then that's fine, but I would not consider going very far very quickly.

From what I have heard the Tuscarora portage is not that bad. It might be long but the trail is a highway. I would not worry about this portage at all. Tuscarora is a beautiful lake as well.

What I had just mentioned to someone a few days ago is that going to Crooked and spending time there is a great choice. That way you can spend half a day or more on Gillis, which is another great lake, and still pass through Tuscarora on the way in and out. Depending on the time you are planning on spending you can go in further to Little Sag or maybe backtrack a little and spend a night on Tuscarora too.
user0317
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01/21/2020 05:22PM  
For what its worth I've caught some nice brook trout while passing through Missing Link, and I really enjoyed doing a loop From Tusc out to Little Sag and back. There is some decent lake trout fishing to be had through there, and great scenery as well.

To be fair, I have never paddled beyond Snipe going the other direction.

02/09/2020 06:42PM  
Just watched nibimocs video of his August trip through this area. Seemed that the portages were pretty muddy and rocky. Seemed to be struggling some, but that might be due to his age (whatever that is). All that being said, it was beautiful and made me want to get out there even more! Very different than Tofte or Ely regions.
Mocha
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02/09/2020 07:46PM  
Looks like he just celebrated his birthday January 1st, he turned 120! So I would say he earned the right to struggle. Although it could have been the weight of his camera gear, too
02/11/2020 09:11AM  
The Tuscarora protage is really not that bad, just long. Can be muddy in spots. The climb out of the Tuscarora end is pretty steep, and if you're doing a solo it could be a real bear. If you head out through Snipe (which is a very pretty Lake) you could easily do a 5 day loop through the Frost River and back out Tuscarora when your pack is lighter at the end of the trip. You'd get a huge variety of scenery, fish species, etc.
We've stopped to fish on Missing Link a couple of times. If you're just looking to pull out a couple of small brookies for lunch, odds are good you'll be able to.
02/11/2020 09:49AM  
You can do it, Brandon, you're still young! Larry must be close to my age. I was in my 60's when I did those trips. Pack light! Get in shape! That's what I tell myself :).

A little mud, some rocks, a hill . . . you're going to have those somewhere unless you go nowhere. There are worse portages for all of those.

Enjoy it all! :)
02/11/2020 04:22PM  
boonie: "You can do it, Brandon, you're still young! Larry must be close to my age. I was in my 60's when I did those trips. Pack light! Get in shape! That's what I tell myself :).

A little mud, some rocks, a hill . . . you're going to have those somewhere unless you go nowhere. There are worse portages for all of those.

Enjoy it all! :)"


Oh, I still plan on doing it. : ) It was just different than I what I was expecting to see. Already working on getting rid of the winter weight!
02/11/2020 04:26PM  
Mocha: "Looks like he just celebrated his birthday January 1st, he turned 120! So I would say he earned the right to struggle. Although it could have been the weight of his camera gear, too"

He was pretty spry for 120 then! Hadn't even thought about camera weight, etc.

03/22/2020 07:47PM  
Here's hoping that I get to go this year...
03/22/2020 07:54PM  
I hear you . . . I'm still hoping to do my trip, too. I'm going after the summer, so still time for hope.
Mocha
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03/23/2020 08:15AM  
Ad I age I guess I'd rather do one long portage than a bunch of little ones. That getti g in and out of the canoe every little bit takes a toll. Resting on the return trip of a long portage gives enough time to recuperate.
03/23/2020 10:22AM  
I agree with Mocha about multiple portages vs one longer one. You eliminate dealing with multiple portage landings, multiple liftings loading and unloading, and if solo, attaching/attaching yoke. That's a lot of time and effort. In the end though, I do what I have to do to go where I want . . . but at 69 that's getting harder :).
 
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