BWCA Astrid Lake northern site Boundary Waters Group Forum: portages and campsites
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02/18/2021 07:58PM  
OK, something different. Not BWCA, but you wouldn't know it. A buddy and I put in here last mid September, off the Echo Trail. Entered at a bridge over the Hunting Shack River and parked off to the side of the road, no issues several days later. In fact someone, assuming Forest Service had put a couple orange cones around our vehicle when we returned. Nice.

The paddle down was leisurely and beautiful. After the small creek into Pauline there is a pretty good sized beaver dam we had to pull over and we got a bit muddy, but that's because we didn't make the best decision. On the way out it was a piece of cake. Probably an hour or a little less from the put in to Astrid Lake. Two campsites, we checked both of them out. the southern campsite is really cool and unique but because it is not very level there is really only one good tent site there. If you only have one tent it would be great. Good location for fishing, great rocks and beautiful view.

We opted for the northern campsite on the NE shore. Vey nice campsite, I would say 4 to 4.5 stars for sure. Two separate small but nice sand landings about 10-12' wide. Nice flat but not huge camp area. Good fire spot with a couple huge stumps for seating. Picnic Table!!m The latrine is a reasonable walk up a trail and a nice setting.

The area offers a large network of hiking trails some of which touch the other smaller lakes in the area and we took advantage of that, some huge old growth trees and some boulders the size of 3 story buildings. There are campsites on a few of those other lakes as well.

My buddy was in the BWCA at the same time and he said they saw tons of people. We saw nobody, had the whole lake to ourselves for 4 days. The colors were starting to change and the views were nice. Did some fishing with moderate luck but we weren't super motivated.

Anyways, it is a nice place, does not require a permit and there are no restrictions like the BWCA has. We brought a cooler and strapped it to the picnic table with a ratcheting strap each nigh. Doubtful anything was going to get that thing free. Fresh food and cold beer was something different for me on a trip.

Some shots:





The camp area





Another shot





Morning view





Astrid Lake





Along the hiking trail





Along the hiking trail





The Hunting Shack River on the way out. It was 30 degrees, the sun was out, no wind and it was absolutely gorgeous. Birds were everywhere and it was such a pleasure to paddle. Easily navigable all the way back to the landing. One beaver dam which we got over much easier on the way out. Pretty cool place.
 
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