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      Grand Portage - anyone done it?     
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afromaniac
member (14)member
 
08/02/2020 11:40AM
Is it even possible to get into the BWCA from the Grand Portage? Looks like there’s a portage off of South Fowl Lake which connects to the trail on Pigeon River. Is this allowed?
 
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afromaniac
member (14)member
 
08/02/2020 01:36PM
Well, I just called the Grand Portage State Park ranger and - nope, not possible. The portage only goes to Pigeon River, not all the way to South Fowl. Oh well!
bobbernumber3
distinguished member(1513)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/02/2020 01:41PM
I don't know for sure, but what if you took a canoe with you up the Grand Portage. Perhaps you could use that to connect with the BWCA somehow. Maybe via the Pigeon River. Wonder if that has been done before?
OtherBob
senior member (80)senior membersenior member
 
08/02/2020 06:09PM
The Pigeon River flows pretty fast - I haven't heard of anyone paddling upstream. Going downstream can be tough enough, with lots of shallow areas to be waded through if water levels are down.

If you want to enter the BWCA from the East, there are 3 entry points off the end of the Arrowhead Trail: Pine Lake, John Lake, or North Fowl Lake.

Have fun!
08/03/2020 07:09AM
Sure can...it is the Voyageurs Highway after all. You just need to both portage and paddle to do it. The Pigeon River is mostly a lazy river- not a problem to go west against the current. There will be about a mile of stronger current/rapids/shallows that will require some extra effort to get through. Some wading the river and pulling the boat required at the English Portage (the portage no longer exists). Not easy but depends on your level of adventure. Then there is the mile long portage to get into South Fowl Lake.
bobbernumber3
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08/03/2020 10:07AM
OtherBob: "The Pigeon River flows pretty fast - I haven't heard of anyone paddling upstream...

Voyageurs?
sedges
distinguished member(622)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/03/2020 10:57AM
There would definitely be some wading/lining upstream. It would be a good place to see if you enjoyed poling.

canoe poling

From Fort Charlotte to the Partridge Falls portage is pretty easy upstream paddle. From Partridge Falls to the portage to South Fowl has some rock garden type rapids that you will have to wade. If the water is high it will be less rocky, but faster current, if it is low you may have to lift your boat over some areas to make it upstream. Still, most of it is paddleable. I would plan on a long day from Fort Charlotte to South Fowl. Camping is not allowed in between. Both my trips down the river included camping at Partridge Falls, which is on reservation land. But that was a long time ago, 1970s, and I believe it is no longer allowed.

It a real pretty river. Beav seems to like to paddle it in the dark! Not sure he has seen it in the day time.
cyclones30
distinguished member(2541)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/03/2020 12:20PM
The Tumblehome podcast crew did a trip starting at one of those entries and going downstream and down the grand portage. Did the river section on Day 1 and did the portage on Day 2. Give that episode a listen if you haven't already, lots of info on that area.
08/03/2020 03:49PM
sedges: "It a real pretty river. Beav seems to like to paddle it in the dark! Not sure he has seen it in the day time."
Well.....only at night twice but seven times total. Every time is an interesting journey. Best moose viewing is at night:)

TheOnion
senior member (73)senior membersenior member
 
08/03/2020 09:33PM
I was going to mention that Tumblehome episode too.

It is worth note that they calculated via GPS that the Grand Portage is longer than advertised. By quite a bit too if I remember correctly.
cyclones30
distinguished member(2541)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/03/2020 10:38PM
Yeah, I think they had it at 10 point something miles? Was advertised as 8 or so and they had 9 or 10.
 
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