BWCA Big Island over Labor Day Boundary Waters Group Forum: Other Canoe Camping Locations
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squirrelMN
member (23)member
 
07/22/2020 08:11AM  
I was looking at taking the family to Big Island Lake Wilderness over the Labor Day holiday. I found lots of great info here, but had a few other questions I have not found info on...

I assume the usage is up this year, but has anyone had any issue finding an open camp site on the lakes closer to the put in? (Big Island, Town Line, Mid) My wife enjoys doing these trips but the "hunt" for a campsite drives her nuts. Sylvania is great and has the reserved sites, but I am not a fan of all the doubled up adjacent campsites and looking to do something different this year.

As to the campsites, I have heard good things about Big Island and Town Line, does anyone have info on Mid, Coattail, or McInnes?

Thanks.
 
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Nigal
distinguished member (218)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/22/2020 10:09AM  
I think it will depend on when you get in there. I think even this year traffic won’t be too bad. Big Island Lake sites are more heavily used, but still nice. The sites on Mid are nice as well. I have stayed on Coattail and the camp is nice but the fishing is not great.

Best site I have stayed at was on Klondike. It’s worth the extra portage because you have the whole lake to yourself. Good largemouth fishing along the east shore. The whole place is great and I’ve never seen it close to busy, much less full.
 
07/22/2020 11:50AM  
Random camping is allowed at BILW as long as you are 200 feet from shore or a campsite and 100 feet off a trail. Not sure if there are any unmarked random sites established.
 
squirrelMN
member (23)member
 
07/23/2020 10:36PM  
Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.
 
dschult2
distinguished member (221)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/16/2021 05:44PM  
bobbernumber3: "Random camping is allowed at BILW as long as you are 200 feet from shore or a campsite and 100 feet off a trail. Not sure if there are any unmarked random sites established."

Old thread I know but keep in mind that while dispersed camping is allowed in the BILW you are only allowed to have campfires in approved USFS fire grates.
 
03/18/2021 11:30AM  
I've been there several times and only saw other campers on one occasion. In addition, only Big Island Lake and Townline Lake are easily accessible. The other lakes all require a fair amount of labor to reach due to fairly steep portages.

All in all, it's sort of a hidden gem with pretty low usage.
 
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