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03/06/2021 08:54AM  
Planning a trip for mid-September. My preferred trip is a tow in from Crane Lake into western areas of the BWCA (Bottle Portage). Given Canada looks as if it will be closed all season, I am looking at entering at Moose Lake with a tow.

Could go up into Basswood and paddle north out of motor zone. Concerned about lake size and wind issues I have heard about on the large sections of Basswood.

Is there still a lot of boat traffic if I went east to the eastern side of Basswood toward Birch... or on Birch itself?

Final question... Would Ensign be really busy in mid-September?
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distinguished member(2513)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
03/06/2021 10:00PM  
Seems like a lot of tows to be concerned about boat traffic... most of us boat guys are nice and courteous.
distinguished member (211)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
03/07/2021 06:54AM  
Yes there will be boat traffic on Basswood, Moose, Sucker and Newfound lakes. If you want to avoid boat traffic, pick a different entry point. Very few entry points actually allow motors. I've only entered on Moose twice, there were boats but they were all very considerate, slowing down and giving canoes a wide berth. You will not find any boat traffic on Birch. September is always the slowest of the permitted months. If you wanted to find people in September SAK, Ensign and Iron would be good bets but I doubt any of those lakes 'fill up' in September like they do in June and July. It sounds like you want to avoid portaging as much as possible, which is usually the worst method for avoiding crowds.
distinguished member (158)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
03/07/2021 07:13AM  
We took the tow to Splash on 9/17. There were no available sites on Ensign. We portaged to Vera...base camped there and had a great time :) You have the option of going on to SAK for either day trip or base camp-we did neither. But we found a helluva gem fishing lake nearby.
member (36)member
03/07/2021 08:07AM  
Most the of the motor traffic is outfitters towing canoes.
distinguished member(3899)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
03/07/2021 08:45AM  
Sounds like you want to take a tow and not portage much if at all? But be away from boats? Kind of a hard ask in some cases.

You could go back to your old tow from Crane and just get dropped off at the Beatty portage (or have them haul you over it I guess) and then paddle as much or as little as you want on LLC. Get a tow back out whenever you have it lined up. Snow Bay has lots of site options, but you could go all the way east to Lady Boot or some of those other good areas. You won't be seeing motors there since they can't be running people to Bottle portage as you said.
distinguished member(8158)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
03/07/2021 06:48PM  
I have most often gone in September and October and enter Moose, and paddle to border. There is very little tow traffic that time of year.
distinguished member (488)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
03/08/2021 08:00PM  
Moose Lake and Ensign were very busy last Sept. This is the portage from Moose to Splash on Sept 19th last year.

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