BWCA Brain about to explode, please help me choose! Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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hfpedersen
member (26)member
 
01/14/2022 11:48AM  
Ok, a bit of hyperbole, sorry.

So in 2021 we had to cancel our trip due to concerns of fires and possible work issues so we did not get a BWCA trip in. So now this year I'm racking my brain trying to figure out a route that will make up for last years disappointments. Here are the parameters I'm working with:
-Would prefer a loop
-Trip would be late July/early August and flexible (kinda)
-3 of us plus a dog, we paddle a solo and a tandem that i built
-fishing is not a priority
-we are experienced paddlers and can push if needed
-trip would be around 4-5 days
-avoiding crowds is a huge plus (I know that's asking a lot these days)
-topography/wildlife huge plus

Here's the ideas I had:
-Baker lollipop or loop up to Cherokee or Long Island
-Loop/lollipop out of Brant/Missing Link, taking the portages to the north through Bat
-LIS lollipop up to Beartrack or something (never been up that way, always avoided Ely)
-Sag with tow to American point, loop through Ester and Ogish.

Please take this decision out of my hands! My desire for the "perfect" trip is keeping me up at night! (joke)
 
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straighthairedcurly
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01/14/2022 12:54PM  
My vote is the loop out of Brant or Missing Link...you can start at one and end at the other since it is the same parking lot. Loop out to Gabi and Little Sag before making your way back. Lots of options and a beautiful area.
01/14/2022 06:21PM  
Topography and wildlife? That's east side of the park.....Ram or Morgan entry head for Winchell. Day trip to Horseshoe (yes more people) but better chances at Moose if you time it right. Find how far or hard you want to make your trip and/or loop back.
tumblehome
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01/14/2022 06:49PM  
cyclones30: "Topography and wildlife? That's east side of the park....make your trip and/or loop back. "

It’s not a park. Not county, state or federal or municipal. The BWCA is not a park.
Yellowstone is a national park.
In Minnesota we hav st. Croix state park
In Hennepin county we have lake Minnetonka regional park
And then there are city parks.
01/14/2022 09:38PM  
Do LIS. Why? . . . just because you needed somebody else to decide. And I liked it when I did it 15 years ago. It'll be a new area for you. Enjoy it.
TuscaroraBorealis
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01/14/2022 11:12PM  
straighthairedcurly: "My vote is the loop out of Brant or Missing Link...you can start at one and end at the other since it is the same parking lot. Loop out to Gabi and Little Sag before making your way back. Lots of options and a beautiful area."

Another vote here.

This trip report actually starts on Sea Gull but, it will give you a really good idea of what you could expect between Brant & Missing Link.
Michwall2
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01/15/2022 09:15AM  
TuscaroraBorealis: "straighthairedcurly: "My vote is the loop out of Brant or Missing Link...you can start at one and end at the other since it is the same parking lot. Loop out to Gabi and Little Sag before making your way back. Lots of options and a beautiful area."


Another vote here.


This trip report actually starts on Sea Gull but, it will give you a really good idea of what you could expect between Brant & Missing Link. "


Last year we did 4 days out of Sea Gull to Brandt Lake. We stopped at Ogishkemuncie, Little Sag, Gillis and out through Brandt to Round Lake. Nice loop.
01/15/2022 01:44PM  
tumblehome: "cyclones30: "Topography and wildlife? That's east side of the park....make your trip and/or loop back. "


It’s not a park. Not county, state or federal or municipal. The BWCA is not a park.
Yellowstone is a national park.
In Minnesota we hav st. Croix state park
In Hennepin county we have lake Minnetonka regional park
And then there are city parks.
"


Sorry, east side of the public area with boundaries and rules. :)
lindylair
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01/15/2022 06:48PM  
Seems kind of like nitpicking to me...just curious why is it okay for Quetico to be a park? That is it's name, Quetico Provincial Park.
Northwoodsman
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01/15/2022 06:58PM  
Start at Sawbill and head up to Cherokee. From Cherokee down to North Temperance, South Temperance, Weird, Jack, Kelly, Burnt, Smoke, and back to Sawbill.
01/15/2022 08:10PM  
lindylair: "Seems kind of like nitpicking to me...just curious why is it okay for Quetico to be a park? That is it's name, Quetico Provincial Park."

Agreed. Oh well.

Whether it's a park or not doesn't impact the questions or answers here
lindylair
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01/16/2022 09:06AM  
OT, sorry about that - couldn't resist.

To the OP, you might want to take a look at the Homer Lake entry point. There are 3 lakes with campsites and it is not a real busy area. Pipe is a dead end lake so little traffic there and the trip reports I have read it seems the folks there always have the lake to themselves - no guarantees obviously. Vern has 2 nice campsites and the Vern River is pretty cool, worth a daytrip to explore. BTW there is good fishing up the Vern River and I have had pretty good luck just fishing from camp at both of the Vern campsites, walleyes and smallmouth.

Juno Lake might be worth a night or two also, you could rotate camp between these lakes on an out and back trip any way you wanted to, or you could actually do a loop by going the length of Juno and taking the portage to Brule Lake, maybe a good place to stay the last night? But with this option you would have to arrange a ride back to the car at Homer or be willing to walk a few miles back to get it.

In my experience it is a quiet but nice area and you will for sure not see anything approaching crowds on this route, maybe a canoe or two each day - maybe not.

Here is a trip report from a few years ago if you are interested:

Homer Lake entry


Good Luck, let us know what you decide on
hfpedersen
member (26)member
 
01/16/2022 12:25PM  
Thank you all so much for the help! These are all great suggestions and it has definitely helped me make up my mind. I think the plan will be to do a loop out of Missing Link, looks like lots of options for different trips leaving out of there. Depending on water levels, even toying with the idea of the Frost River loop.

 
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