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SkiYee
member (29)member
 
06/01/2020 11:23AM
Planning a trip to Knife Lake, coming in from the west. When looking at the map, it looks like there's 2 portages from Seed into the Knife River and Knife Lake. Can anybody shed some light on the 2 portages? Should we take the first, and longer, portage? Keep paddling to the 2nd, shorter portage? I've labeled these A and B in the attached pic.

Please shed some light on what we should do in regards to these portages. Thanks!
 
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WHendrix
distinguished member (474)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/01/2020 11:39AM
I was there a year ago and if I recall, there is really only one portage and it is on the Canadian side and is quite obvious. Others may want to chime in here to confirm if I have this right, or set it straight.
cyclones30
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06/01/2020 12:23PM
One longer one (still not that long) on the Canadian side is what we did last year. Very easy and well worn like all on that stretch
TipsyPaddler
distinguished member (200)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/01/2020 04:47PM
cyclones30: "One longer one (still not that long) on the Canadian side is what we did last year. Very easy and well worn like all on that stretch "

I found the maps and common guide books a little confusing for that stretch too but it was easy to find the portages when I went there about a year ago.

Just follow the traffic flow ??
06/01/2020 05:09PM
I swear I took the shorter one last time I was there. I think we took the long one the time before. I was a bit confused by not remembering all the portages, and that must be why.
cyclones30
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06/01/2020 06:14PM
Before our trip I called LaTourell's since I was going through them anyway and asked this portages question. He said take the longer one on the Canadian side so that's what we did. Very obvious landing as you get to it from either direction and it looked pretty tough to get much farther up the river than that landing. So I'm not sure it would be worth trying to get to another one on the US side if there even was one.

This stretch is as much of a highway as you'll find in the BWCA, you won't miss portage landings. They're either super obvious, someone is already there, or you're at the base of a rapids that you're not making it up paddling.
06/02/2020 07:38AM
In 4 trips through this area we've always taken the longer one on the Canadian side. As others have said, it's a rather easy portage with nice landings.
06/02/2020 08:38AM
I believe that map is wrong as well as other maps I 've seen. I've been through there a dozen times and learned my lesson after the first when I tried to find that long Canadian portage coming from Seed.

What I do is follow the American shore on Seed until you get into shallow riffles. Lots of times you will have to wet foot it to get on the portage located on the American shore. It is a well worn portage and short that takes you to that pond that labeled Knife River on your map. Paddle across that pond to the far end where you'll find the well worn portage on the Canadian side. An easy portage about 73 rods long.

HAVE FUN
billconner
distinguished member(7280)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/02/2020 07:13PM
My experience is same - obvious one on CA side - but last time I did see a pair trying to float it. I think they, their gear, and canoes did eventually all get to take out, albeit not all arriving at same time.
Jaywalker
distinguished member(2159)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/03/2020 09:02AM
SkiYee, the portage on the canadian side is much shorter than your map shows. See photo from Google Maps below - the yellow line I dew is approximately where your map says the Canadian portage is - the green line shows where it actually is. Zoom in on the satellite view and you will see the portage landing easily. Perhaps in extreme draughts the water is so low one would have to follow the yellow portage line, but I've never seen it.
Gaidin53
member (8)member
 
06/29/2020 02:26PM
2 pictures of my Navionics track going through here last year. Key on the one is you have to walk a little through shallow stream to reach portage.
Gaidin53
member (8)member
 
06/29/2020 02:30PM
Final two portages to get into Knife. Keep in mind last section is on Canadian side. With border closed I’m hearing issues of going through this portage beacause it is Canadian side with border closed.
Gaidin53
member (8)member
 
06/29/2020 02:36PM
First portage on the left side of this marked by the green fish is where you have to walk a little further to get to portage.
cyclones30
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06/29/2020 05:27PM
Gaidin53: "Final two portages to get into Knife. Keep in mind last section is on Canadian side. With border closed I’m hearing issues of going through this portage beacause it is Canadian side with border closed. "

Not true, the shared portages are open even though the border is closed.
Gaidin53
member (8)member
 
06/30/2020 10:29AM
Well that is good to hear!

I’ve had my outfitter tell me several times we can’t go to Knife Lake through those portages because the border is closed due to that one portage! I was kind of hoping common sense was prevailing and people were still goinag through that way! I’d prefer not to have to get to Knife like through the longer portages at Ensign and Vera on our first day with heavier packs!

Thanks
unshavenman
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06/30/2020 01:12PM
Gaidin53: "2 pictures of my Navionics track going through here last year. Key on the one is you have to walk a little through shallow stream to reach portage. "
This is the way that we went last week, using the two portages on the American side. You just have to walk the canoe through some riffles to get to the second portage, but they are both easy.
Jaywalker
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06/30/2020 10:37PM
Gaidin53: "Well that is good to hear!


I’ve had my outfitter tell me several times we can’t go to Knife Lake through those portages because the border is closed due to that one portage! I was kind of hoping common sense was prevailing and people were still goinag through that way! I’d prefer not to have to get to Knife like through the longer portages at Ensign and Vera on our first day with heavier packs!


Thanks"


I rarely doubt outfitters knowledge of these matters, but in this case I’d be really glad to know where this outfitter got this information (or how they formed this speculation.). The Webster-Ashburton Treaty has not been suspended because the border has been closed.

I went through this way just over a week ago. I looked and could see absolutely no sign of a portage into Knife on the American side.
Gaidin53
member (8)member
 
07/02/2020 11:39AM
Thanks for the information and talking about the treaty. I didn’t know anything about the treaty but sure do now! I’ll ask about it next time I talk to them but knowing I can go this way even if the border is still closed based on the treaty helps my planning!

Thanks, Ryan
cyclones30
distinguished member(2302)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/02/2020 08:09PM
Gaidin53: "Thanks for the information and talking about the treaty. I didn’t know anything about the treaty but sure do now! I’ll ask about it next time I talk to them but knowing I can go this way even if the border is still closed based on the treaty helps my planning!


Thanks, Ryan"


There are a handful or more of other portages along the border just like this one. They're all treated the same and all open as of now.
 
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