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WonderMonkey
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01/24/2022 08:53PM  
I live in Ohio. For those of you who live South of Ely (just about everybody, I assume), have you driven to the north side of Quetico for entry? If so, what was the advantage of doing so?
 
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Gaidin53
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01/24/2022 09:12PM  
I’m doing it this year since it gives me the best chance of being able to trip in Quetico. Most everyone is pretty much agreed but it’s not official and I did talk to the Quetico office today that that it isn’t looking good right now with RABC permits for this year. If RABC’s don’t open the southern entries won’t open. The north entry point in Canada are going to be open for sure. Still have the hoops to jump through to get through the border though during covid.

That being said though I’ve really done my research and can see a lot of valid reason to access Quetico from the North side for some trips. I’m thinking I might make my family trip going in at Beaverhouse in 2023. This is a Northwestern grouping of lakes and you can pretty much access the whole way across the North side about a 1/3 of the way South.

This year I’m going in at Stanton Bay which is a Pickerel Lake entrance and doing a huge loop south. This gives access down through some pretty awesome falls areas, the poet chain and into the North end of Kawnipi. Keep in mind it’s a ways to get to Kawnipi though. Pickerel and Batchewaung also give access to the whole North side of Quetico as well.

I can see coming in from Lac La Croix at some point as well since it allows access to the western area that is slightly south or say like 2/3 down. You can work all area to the East and to the South. Lac La Croix is mostly accessed by boat from the US side. You can get an expensive tow in from Anderson Outfitters. I don’t believe these were able to run last year with the border closed. You can access Lac La Croix by coming in from the Canadian side on the road. They were recently discussing this in another post.

Access from the East is pretty much non existent other than a float plane option over near Mack Lake.

When things open up again to the south side then I’ll absolutely trip in and hit Kashipiwi, Agnes, Saganagons, and Falls chain.
I’m a Quetico newbie who just really wants a big trip in the Quetico this year. Plenty of guys on this board that are truly Quetico experts that can give better more refined answers from trip experiences than me though.

Ryan
Jackfish
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01/24/2022 09:16PM  
We live in eastern Wisconsin and drive to Atikokan to pick up our permit and stay overnight (we generally arrive at the Quetico headquarters around 3:00pm). The next morning, we're driving toward the entry point before first light and are paddling by the crack of dawn. Been doing it this way for years because that's the way we started.

What kind of information would you like?
WonderMonkey
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01/24/2022 09:27PM  
Jackfish: "We live in eastern Wisconsin and drive to Atikokan to pick up our permit and stay overnight (we generally arrive at the Quetico headquarters around 3:00pm). The next morning, we're driving toward the entry point before first light and are paddling by the crack of dawn. Been doing it this way for years because that's the way we started.

What kind of information would you like?"

Do you feel the trips are better or different than if you came in from the South? I know you mentioned you do it now because that's how you started, but do you have any comparison?
01/24/2022 10:01PM  
Before Covid and related border restrictions (2019 and earlier), I believe that a majority of Quetico permits were pulled by folks from the US and entering from the South via LLC, Prairie Portage, Cache Bay.

To your question, presumably entry from the north means fewer crowds (based on the above assumption). At present, it’s the only option until they open the Sand Point Canadian Customs (LLC entry) and/or reinstate the RABC program (LLC, Prairie Portage, Cache Bay entry).
01/24/2022 10:14PM  
Gaidin53: "…I can see coming in from Lac La Croix at some point as well since it allows access to the western area that is slightly south or say like 2/3 down. You can work all area to the East and to the South. Lac La Croix is mostly accessed by boat from the US side. You can get an expensive tow in from Anderson Outfitters. I don’t believe these were able to run last year with the border closed…
Ryan"


This is the way I was doing it for over 15 years. Anderson’s tow to Bottle or McAree until 2020. Rapid and easy access to Quetico. Awesome. In 2020 they gave me a tow to Snow Bay on LLC, couldn’t go any farther and had to stay in the US. Last year I didn’t bother with the Crane Lake based entry. Hopefully we get past all the covid stuff and I can resume my Quetico trips via Crane Lake soon.
Jackfish
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01/25/2022 09:06AM  
WonderMonkey: "Do you feel the trips are better or different than if you came in from the South? I know you mentioned you do it now because that's how you started, but do you have any comparison?"
I've entered from the south on a couple occasions. Prairie Portage is the busiest entry point into Quetico. Keep in mind that Quetico sees only 10% of the people that the BWCA does, so "busy" is a relative term.

There are fewer groups entering from the north. Other than that, it's all Quetico so the differences are mostly just geographical. Give it a try sometime. You might prefer it.
WonderMonkey
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01/25/2022 11:57AM  
Gaidin53: "I’m doing it this year since it gives me the best chance of being able to trip in Quetico. Most everyone is pretty much agreed but it’s not official and I did talk to the Quetico office today that that it isn’t looking good right now with RABC permits for this year. If RABC’s don’t open the southern entries won’t open. The north entry point in Canada are going to be open for sure. Still have the hoops to jump through to get through the border though during covid."

This is something I had not considered. If RABC's aren't allowed but the border is open. Very nice.

Gaidin53: "
That being said though I’ve really done my research and can see a lot of valid reason to access Quetico from the North side for some trips. I’m thinking I might make my family trip going in at Beaverhouse in 2023. This is a Northwestern grouping of lakes and you can pretty much access the whole way across the North side about a 1/3 of the way South. "


I have knees that are going downhill and at times I'm not too far off a surgery. Depending on where I am on that cycle I could want to limit portages. This would give me a chance to do plenty of traveling. Another good idea. That's two for you in the same response!
WonderMonkey
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01/25/2022 12:01PM  
plander: "Before Covid and related border restrictions (2019 and earlier), I believe that a majority of Quetico permits were pulled by folks from the US and entering from the South via LLC, Prairie Portage, Cache Bay.

To your question, presumably entry from the north means fewer crowds (based on the above assumption). At present, it’s the only option until they open the Sand Point Canadian Customs (LLC entry) and/or reinstate the RABC program (LLC, Prairie Portage, Cache Bay entry). "


It would add about 3 hours to my drive, which is 16.5 hrs already. However, if I was going to take two days to get there, no problem. If was a straight drive, then that 3 hours could mean the difference in making it or not. Regardless of all that, if I started to feel that I was seeing too many people, I'd suddenly find a way to do that extra bit of driving.

I think I'm going to speak about this with my main outdoors buddy and see if he wants to give this a try.
WonderMonkey
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01/25/2022 12:05PM  
Jackfish: "WonderMonkey: "Do you feel the trips are better or different than if you came in from the South? I know you mentioned you do it now because that's how you started, but do you have any comparison?"
I've entered from the south on a couple occasions. Prairie Portage is the busiest entry point into Quetico. Keep in mind that Quetico sees only 10% of the people that the BWCA does, so "busy" is a relative term.

There are fewer groups entering from the north. Other than that, it's all Quetico so the differences are mostly just geographical. Give it a try sometime. You might prefer it. "

I think I'll try it. On my lone trip to Quetico it was through Prairie Portage. Being my first trip, no matter what happened for crowds (reasonable so) I'd have been ok, being from Ohio and experiencing what crowded really means. Now that I've taken that first trip and am spoiled, I'll look for even fewer people.
Gaidin53
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01/25/2022 12:48PM  
Based on what you said about the knees but then having options depending on how things are going.

Beaverhouse into Quetico Lake and then figure out secondary options into a loop of some type depending on how you are feeling and doing.

Pickererel Stanton bay entry but you’ll need a shuttle. Access down through Dore Lake and Twin lakes. The Deux Rivers (Moose sightings in here, with some beaver dam lift overs). This gets you into Surgeon which is a huge lake. I’d recommend based on copious research spending a night in Russell lake by Chatterton Falls. You could then work back into Sturgeon and further south down Sturgeon. This would all so far be pretty easy. If feeling good you could head up into Chatterton which then would give you the option of some of the poet chain lakes with multiple falls. The Russell to Chatterton portage is not at the falls. A trail exists to walk the falls but it’s not the portage. Chatterton into is a reall pay short portage. Chatterton into Keats is a getting into the tougher portages but it’s right next to Split Rock Falls. Mcdougal, Keats, and Shelley with a bunch if falls and rapids is pretty amazing. When you’ve gone far enough just turn back. Sources for good information and seeing some of this route would be YouTube episodes 1 and 2 of Lost Lakes which is the posters name. Video name for the first is 2-Week 50 lake canoe trip through the Quetico Wilderness

Another YouTube poster is FishermanBoyle. He’s done a bunch of different videos and routes through Quetico entering from the north.

Ryan
01/25/2022 01:43PM  
We're in serious need of a Quetico fix, having been cheated out of our planned 2020 trip by Covid shutdowns, then cheated out of our planned 2021 trip by wildfires. Our commute to Ely, should the southern border be open in August of 2022, is 1250 miles. Our commute to Atikokan is 1410 miles. We hit the Q from Atikokan and had a wonderful 10-day trip several years ago with a focus on the northeast corner of the park. If that's how we have to trip in 2022, that's what we'll do! There are many more lakes in Quetico we need to explore, so either a southern entry or a northern entry will work.

TZ
Jackfish
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01/25/2022 04:07PM  
WonderMonkey: "I think I'll try it. "
Good call. There are three ranger stations in the north - Beaverhouse (northwest corner), Atikokan (central) and Dawson Trail (northeast corner) - with several entry points. There are also several outfitters in the area. Good luck in your planning and preparation.

Looks like you're in the Dayton area. If you want to make a weekend getaway in March, make the eight hour drive to Madison, WI for
Canoecopia. Besides a weekend full of paddling gear overload, there are paddling seminars all weekend long. Rumor has it that there will be a seminar on how to plan a trip to Quetico. ;-)
Gaidin53
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01/25/2022 04:51PM  
Who is giving it? I debated on going to Canoecopia but it’s a good ways. I’ve got the Midwest Mountaineering one nearby in Minneapolis and was definitely planning on attending that this year!

Ryan
billconner
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01/25/2022 06:47PM  
I assume you'd go through Sault St Marie? Some nice provincial parks along north shore of Superior.
WonderMonkey
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01/25/2022 07:01PM  
TrailZen: "We're in serious need of a Quetico fix, having been cheated out of our planned 2020 trip by Covid shutdowns, then cheated out of our planned 2021 trip by wildfires. Our commute to Ely, should the southern border be open in August of 2022, is 1250 miles. Our commute to Atikokan is 1410 miles. We hit the Q from Atikokan and had a wonderful 10-day trip several years ago with a focus on the northeast corner of the park. If that's how we have to trip in 2022, that's what we'll do! There are many more lakes in Quetico we need to explore, so either a southern entry or a northern entry will work.

TZ"


I've only been once, so EVERYTHING is awesome to me. I'm just looking for small percentages in awesome increase.
WonderMonkey
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01/25/2022 07:02PM  
Gaidin53: "Based on what you said about the knees but then having options depending on how things are going.


Beaverhouse into Quetico Lake and then figure out secondary options into a loop of some type depending on how you are feeling and doing.


Pickererel Stanton bay entry but you’ll need a shuttle. Access down through Dore Lake and Twin lakes. The Deux Rivers (Moose sightings in here, with some beaver dam lift overs). This gets you into Surgeon which is a huge lake. I’d recommend based on copious research spending a night in Russell lake by Chatterton Falls. You could then work back into Sturgeon and further south down Sturgeon. This would all so far be pretty easy. If feeling good you could head up into Chatterton which then would give you the option of some of the poet chain lakes with multiple falls. The Russell to Chatterton portage is not at the falls. A trail exists to walk the falls but it’s not the portage. Chatterton into is a reall pay short portage. Chatterton into Keats is a getting into the tougher portages but it’s right next to Split Rock Falls. Mcdougal, Keats, and Shelley with a bunch if falls and rapids is pretty amazing. When you’ve gone far enough just turn back. Sources for good information and seeing some of this route would be YouTube episodes 1 and 2 of Lost Lakes which is the posters name. Video name for the first is 2-Week 50 lake canoe trip through the Quetico Wilderness


Another YouTube poster is FishermanBoyle. He’s done a bunch of different videos and routes through Quetico entering from the north.


Ryan"


Thanks, I appreciate the info.
WonderMonkey
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01/25/2022 07:05PM  
Jackfish: "WonderMonkey: "I think I'll try it. "
Good call. There are three ranger stations in the north - Beaverhouse (northwest corner), Atikokan (central) and Dawson Trail (northeast corner) - with several entry points. There are also several outfitters in the area. Good luck in your planning and preparation.


Looks like you're in the Dayton area. If you want to make a weekend getaway in March, make the eight hour drive to Madison, WI for
Canoecopia. Besides a weekend full of paddling gear overload, there are paddling seminars all weekend long. Rumor has it that there will be a seminar on how to plan a trip to Quetico. ;-) "


I'll head to canoecopia in 2023. Just last weekend I made plans to go to a concert with my wife this year.

I hope to go there and pick up a new canoe. I don't know if they have deals there but I'm sure I can do plenty of chatting with the vendors and put my hands on the options.
WonderMonkey
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01/25/2022 07:08PM  
billconner: "I assume you'd go through Sault St Marie? Some nice provincial parks along north shore of Superior."

My map has me going through International Falls from Ohio to Atikokan.
01/25/2022 08:32PM  
WonderMonkey: "I'll head to Canoecopia in 2023. Just last weekend I made plans to go to a concert with my wife this year.

I hope to go there and pick up a new canoe. I don't know if they have deals there but I'm sure I can do plenty of chatting with the vendors and put my hands on the options."

Yeah definitely deals if you buy a canoe off the floor at Copia. Usually -15% I got my Swift at Copia 2019. My deal was a good one because the canoe was a few years old and they were discontinuing the model.
WonderMonkey
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01/25/2022 08:47PM  
TomT: "Yeah definitely deals if you buy a canoe off the floor at Copia. Usually -15% I got my Swift at Copia 2019. My deal was a good one because the canoe was a few years old and they were discontinuing the model."
I am hoping it's for the same month/weekend each year as I put that same weekend on the calendar for 2023.

How far in advance would you suggest making hotel reservations, if you do that? Also is there a BWCA.com meetup during the event?
billconner
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01/26/2022 07:09AM  
WonderMonkey: "billconner: "I assume you'd go through Sault St Marie? Some nice provincial parks along north shore of Superior."


My map has me going through International Falls from Ohio to Atikokan."


I don't know where in Ohio you are so I picked Toledo as being north west. My gmaps to Atikokan is quicker through Sault St Marie than Chicago, longer to Beaverhouse parking. I also find any route through Chicago to usually be longer than predicted - and I lived there 30 years. YMMV
01/26/2022 08:18AM  
WonderMonkey: "billconner: "I assume you'd go through Sault St Marie? Some nice provincial parks along north shore of Superior."


My map has me going through International Falls from Ohio to Atikokan."


The north shore of the big lake is worth the extra hour for the scenery alone.

One other consideration - don't think you mentioned what time of year, but if you want to cross at IFalls anytime around the fishing opener the lines at the border can add significant time. I've been backed up a full mile there in years past.
WonderMonkey
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01/26/2022 08:41AM  
billconner: "WonderMonkey: "billconner: "I assume you'd go through Sault St Marie? Some nice provincial parks along north shore of Superior."

My map has me going through International Falls from Ohio to Atikokan."


I don't know where in Ohio you are so I picked Toledo as being north west. My gmaps to Atikokan is quicker through Sault St Marie than Chicago, longer to Beaverhouse parking. I also find any route through Chicago to usually be longer than predicted - and I lived there 30 years. YMMV"


I've only gone through Chicago very late at night, and it wasn't bad at all. I've heard from too many about doing it at any other time.

I'll look at the route you mentioned.
Argo
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01/26/2022 05:30PM  
WonderMonkey: "billconner: "WonderMonkey: "billconner: "I assume you'd go through Sault St Marie? Some nice provincial parks along north shore of Superior."


My map has me going through International Falls from Ohio to Atikokan."



I don't know where in Ohio you are so I picked Toledo as being north west. My gmaps to Atikokan is quicker through Sault St Marie than Chicago, longer to Beaverhouse parking. I also find any route through Chicago to usually be longer than predicted - and I lived there 30 years. YMMV"



I've only gone through Chicago very late at night, and it wasn't bad at all. I've heard from too many about doing it at any other time.


I'll look at the route you mentioned."


I'm not familiar with the route through Illinois. But if it's just average, definitely drive the north shore of Superior. The tradeoff of the lost hour is well in favour of the memories and photos. Just make sure you do it in daylight hours.
WonderMonkey
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01/26/2022 05:46PM  
Argo: "WonderMonkey: "billconner: "WonderMonkey: "billconner: "I assume you'd go through Sault St Marie? Some nice provincial parks along north shore of Superior."



My map has me going through International Falls from Ohio to Atikokan."




I don't know where in Ohio you are so I picked Toledo as being north west. My gmaps to Atikokan is quicker through Sault St Marie than Chicago, longer to Beaverhouse parking. I also find any route through Chicago to usually be longer than predicted - and I lived there 30 years. YMMV"




I've only gone through Chicago very late at night, and it wasn't bad at all. I've heard from too many about doing it at any other time.



I'll look at the route you mentioned."



I'm not familiar with the route through Illinois. But if it's just average, definitely drive the north shore of Superior. The tradeoff of the lost hour is well in favour of the memories and photos. Just make sure you do it in daylight hours."


I'll do that. Great scenery can keep me awake at times.
01/26/2022 07:44PM  
I drive up to Ely or Crane Lake from Indianapolis a few times a year. Typically get on US 53 in Eau Claire, WI after passing through Madison. I stop before International Falls, obviously, but US 53 will take you all the way there. I find it a nice drive on a good but not busy road. If I was headed to Atikokan thats the route I would take. And I just may this summer.
WonderMonkey
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01/26/2022 08:20PM  
plander: "I drive up to Ely or Crane Lake from Indianapolis a few times a year. Typically get on US 53 in Eau Claire, WI after passing through Madison. I stop before International Falls, obviously, but US 53 will take you all the way there. I find it a nice drive on a good but not busy road. If I was headed to Atikokan thats the route I would take. And I just may this summer. "

I live not far from I-70 and would take that over to Indy and then be on the same path as you would be.
schucanoe
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01/31/2022 05:41PM  
If traveling to the Canadian side of Quetico and entering through I. Falls be mindful that if traveling from a large distance that you must present evidence of a negative PCR-COVID test within 72 hrs. of crossing the border which likely means leaving for your trip by the following day after receiving your negative test results. Difficult to say whether this criterion could possibly change by the time the 2022 canoe season starts.
Gaidin53
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01/31/2022 08:58PM  
Was looking at some of the test requirements.needs to be within 72 hours and a rapid PCR or some other tests are good as well. I saw a price of $299 to get a rapid test locally here in Minneapolis area. That seems crazy. I saw a different site with the NaAT which is accepted in Canada as well for like $180. That at least seemed a little more realistic.

From reviewing my insurance it didn’t seem like testing for travel would be covered. They have the disclaimer if not ordered by a Dr. for medical reasons.

Hoping one of the easier tests is OK’d by this summer.

Ryan
billconner
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02/01/2022 05:51AM  
When we drove to Canada shortly after they opened border, free drive through tests at local pharmacy. Maybe that's NY or maybe Medicare? They said 3 to 5 days for results, Wednesday noon test, early Friday morning results. (We'd planned to go Saturday but changed plans and went Friday.) Avoided weekends - they Fed Ex swab to lab and figured mid-week was best.

Someone - university - is working on a phone app test, with initial small sample claimed to be as accurate as PCR. Wouldn't count on it soon.

PS: I find a lot of sites that claim testing is free - required to be paid by insurance or paid by government - everywhere in US. Perhaps you were exposed to someone....
02/01/2022 07:33AM  
billconner: "When we drove to Canada shortly after they opened border, free drive through tests at local pharmacy. Maybe that's NY or maybe Medicare? They said 3 to 5 days for results, Wednesday noon test, early Friday morning results. (We'd planned to go Saturday but changed plans and went Friday.) Avoided weekends - they Fed Ex swab to lab and figured mid-week was best.


Someone - university - is working on a phone app test, with initial small sample claimed to be as accurate as PCR. Wouldn't count on it soon.

PS: I find a lot of sites that claim testing is free - required to be paid by insurance or paid by government - everywhere in US. Perhaps you were exposed to someone...."


Our August 2021 experience was similar to Bill's. We had "ID Now" tests at a local (western NC) Walgreen drive-thru August 24. ID Now meets Canada's border crossing requirements, and while the Walgreen website states that results will be available within 24 hours, we had our test results in less than an hour. The tests were free to us, covered by insurance. We crossed the border at the Buffalo/Fort Erie Peace Bridge August 26, having pre-registered for that crossing via the ArriveCAN smartphone app. No issues.

TZ
WonderMonkey
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02/01/2022 02:45PM  
Thanks for all the border crossing Covid information. I'm taking a fly-in trip at the end of May and this info is relevant.

I appreciate it.
billconner
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02/01/2022 06:50PM  
cool. changed again.
mapsguy1955
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02/19/2022 05:16PM  
Came in 7 times from Florida... 2000 mile drive each way to Atikokan...
It's worth the drive to me...

Now i'm in NH so it's a bit shorter. I use Canoe Canada and they are awesome
 
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