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mfl1776
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
09/29/2022 05:13PM  
Hi Everyone -

Been a while since I've been on these boards. (And a while since I've been to the B-Dub.) Starting to think about a trip next summer. My daughter, who will be 19 then, is interested in going with me. She's become quite fond of the outdoors and is much more up for the adventure now than she was when I made the offer a few years ago.

To that end, I am looking for a few route suggestions for routes that would take a week at most - and preferably shorter. We'd like a mix of travel and fishing. So maybe one off-day and the rest of the days, off the water by lunch.

I have done lots of research in the past but it has always been for the Sawbill area. I am open to other areas and other outfitters. I'm probably right at intermediate with my canoeing skills, having visited the BWCA a couple times and paddled around quite a bit elsewhere. My daughter is a novice. So staying off the big, open water might be best. At least for the most part.

I appreciate any suggested routes. I know I can research this on my own - on this website and others - and I certainly will do that. I just like to hear suggestions from people who've done the routes.

-Matt Lotti
 
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greywolf33
distinguished member (181)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/29/2022 06:16PM  
Spending time with your daughter in the woods...what could be better than that!

I took some newbies in a few years ago and had a spectacular trip. We entered at East Bearskin Lake E.P. 64, and at the very first portage to Alder Lake we saw a moose and her calf. Such a cool experience for first timers! We wanted to be on Canoe lake, but the sites were all full. We were delighted by the north eastern point site and stayed there, catching a number of really nice walleyes from shore and around that site. We day tripped to Johnson Falls doing the zigzagging hike without canoes. Take a look at this area. It's really nice. Good multi-species fishing opportunities, no big water, great hiking and an iconic double waterfall.

No matter what route you choose, cherish the time with your daughter. Cheers!
Michwall2
distinguished member(1308)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/30/2022 02:09PM  
Here are a few great ways to spend a week:

Entry 37 - Kawishiwi Lake - Day 1 Kawishiwi to Polly Lake. (Will take about 4 hours.) Spend the rest of the day fishing.) Day 2 Polly Lake to Malberg Lake or Amber Lake. (Again will take about 4 hours, more fishing time.) Malberg has some nice sights. (A couple with sand beaches.) The first site you get to on Amber Lake has a sand beach. Day 3 - Day trip to FishDance for the Pictographs. You can fish your way there. Day 4 Malberg to Hazel Lake. This will be a longer day. Day 5 Hazel to Grace Lake. Day 6 Fish Grace and/or Phoebe Lakes. Day 7 - Out to Sawbill. Sawbill will give you a shuttle to Kawishiwi to start the trip. The only "large lake" here is Alton. Paddle it as early in the day as you can.

Entry 47 - Lizz Lake - Day 1 Poplar Lake, Lizz Lake, Caribou Lake, Horseshoe Lake (Horseshoe Lake is moose central in the BW) (or Vista Lake). Day 2 Fish Horseshoe and/or Vista Lake. Day 3 Horseshoe to Winchell Lake (Fish Gaskin on the way - It's not far.). Day 4 - Find the waterfalls on the south shore and climb the cliffs for a great veiw and pics. Day 5 Winchell to Ogema or Henson Lakes. Fish Kiskadinna, Ogema and Henson. Day 6 Back to Gaskin or Horseshoe. Day 7 Out to Poplar Lake. Rockwood Outfitters are the logical choice, but we have also used Tuscarora when Rockwood couldn't accomodate us. No "large lakes" in this route. Although with the wind out of the right direction, Winchell can get rocking and rolling. All moves are mostly short. This is a busy area though.

Entry 50 - Cross Bay Lake or Entry 51 Missing Link Lake - Go end to end from here to Lizz Lake Entry. E.g. Cross River, Ham Lake, Cross River, Cross Lake, Rib Lake, Lower George Lake, Karl Lake, Long Island Lake, Muskeg Lake, Kiskadinna Lake, Ogema Lake, Winchell Lake, Gaskin Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Caribou Lake, Lizz Lake. Break it up however you need. Seven days gives you lots of time to do this short roue. Some day trips would be: Frost Lake (from Long Island Lake) to see the golden sand beaches. Cherokee (from LIL) for the scenery and trout fishing. Vista from Horseshoe for the the fishing. Long Island Lake (and maybe Winchell) would be the only "large lake" on this route. Of course this could be done in reverse. Again Rockwood and Tuscarora are the likeliest outfitters.

Hope these help. Have a great trip!
09/30/2022 03:00PM  
TuscaroraBorealis just posted a nice trip report about a Memorial Day trip with his daughter. Check it out for some ideas. He's also posted lots of trip reports about tripping with his daughter in various parts of the BWCAW.

TZ
mfl1776
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
09/30/2022 04:34PM  
Thanks! Great suggestion. I’m reading up on the Johnson Falls Loop now.
mfl1776
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
09/30/2022 04:36PM  
greywolf33: "Spending time with your daughter in the woods...what could be better than that!


I took some newbies in a few years ago and had a spectacular trip. We entered at East Bearskin Lake E.P. 64, and at the very first portage to Alder Lake we saw a moose and her calf. Such a cool experience for first timers! We wanted to be on Canoe lake, but the sites were all full. We were delighted by the north eastern point site and stayed there, catching a number of really nice walleyes from shore and around that site. We day tripped to Johnson Falls doing the zigzagging hike without canoes. Take a look at this area. It's really nice. Good multi-species fishing opportunities, no big water, great hiking and an iconic double waterfall.


No matter what route you choose, cherish the time with your daughter. Cheers! "


Thanks! Great suggestion. I’m reading up on the Johnson Falls Loop now.
mfl1776
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
09/30/2022 04:36PM  
Michwall2: "Here are a few great ways to spend a week:


Entry 37 - Kawishiwi Lake - Day 1 Kawishiwi to Polly Lake. (Will take about 4 hours.) Spend the rest of the day fishing.) Day 2 Polly Lake to Malberg Lake or Amber Lake. (Again will take about 4 hours, more fishing time.) Malberg has some nice sights. (A couple with sand beaches.) The first site you get to on Amber Lake has a sand beach. Day 3 - Day trip to FishDance for the Pictographs. You can fish your way there. Day 4 Malberg to Hazel Lake. This will be a longer day. Day 5 Hazel to Grace Lake. Day 6 Fish Grace and/or Phoebe Lakes. Day 7 - Out to Sawbill. Sawbill will give you a shuttle to Kawishiwi to start the trip. The only "large lake" here is Alton. Paddle it as early in the day as you can.


Entry 47 - Lizz Lake - Day 1 Poplar Lake, Lizz Lake, Caribou Lake, Horseshoe Lake (Horseshoe Lake is moose central in the BW) (or Vista Lake). Day 2 Fish Horseshoe and/or Vista Lake. Day 3 Horseshoe to Winchell Lake (Fish Gaskin on the way - It's not far.). Day 4 - Find the waterfalls on the south shore and climb the cliffs for a great veiw and pics. Day 5 Winchell to Ogema or Henson Lakes. Fish Kiskadinna, Ogema and Henson. Day 6 Back to Gaskin or Horseshoe. Day 7 Out to Poplar Lake. Rockwood Outfitters are the logical choice, but we have also used Tuscarora when Rockwood couldn't accomodate us. No "large lakes" in this route. Although with the wind out of the right direction, Winchell can get rocking and rolling. All moves are mostly short. This is a busy area though.


Entry 50 - Cross Bay Lake or Entry 51 Missing Link Lake - Go end to end from here to Lizz Lake Entry. E.g. Cross River, Ham Lake, Cross River, Cross Lake, Rib Lake, Lower George Lake, Karl Lake, Long Island Lake, Muskeg Lake, Kiskadinna Lake, Ogema Lake, Winchell Lake, Gaskin Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Caribou Lake, Lizz Lake. Break it up however you need. Seven days gives you lots of time to do this short roue. Some day trips would be: Frost Lake (from Long Island Lake) to see the golden sand beaches. Cherokee (from LIL) for the scenery and trout fishing. Vista from Horseshoe for the the fishing. Long Island Lake (and maybe Winchell) would be the only "large lake" on this route. Of course this could be done in reverse. Again Rockwood and Tuscarora are the likeliest outfitters.


Hope these help. Have a great trip!
"


Wow. Lots to ponder. Thanks for taking the time to write this out. I’ll look into these routes.
mfl1776
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
09/30/2022 04:38PM  
TrailZen: "TuscaroraBorealis just posted a nice trip report about a Memorial Day trip with his daughter. Check it out for some ideas. He's also posted lots of trip reports about tripping with his daughter in various parts of the BWCAW.


TZ"


Thanks for the tip!
10/01/2022 09:37AM  
Wherever you go it’s going to be awesome. There is nothing better than one on one bonding time in the wilderness with your daughter. I started taking one of my 2 daughters each year(alternating between the 2 of them) when they were 5.

Area’s that have been a hit with them that are small water and give you lots of options for long or short routes are.
Lizz
Cross Bay
Baker
Sawbill
East Bearskin

Places that I’ve soloed that are similar are
Mudro
South Kawishiwi River
Kawishiwi Lake

You are kind of at an opposite place with your daughter. My oldest (17) loved going to the bwca when she was younger, but no longer wants to camp in the BWCA. We have found a good compromise where we get to spend that quality time together. In May we stayed at an outfitter and did a canoeing day trip one day and day hikes the other 2 days. When it’s her turn again at 19 she wants to stay on the north shore and do waterfall hikes.
Fishman53
senior member (75)senior membersenior member
 
10/02/2022 09:52PM  
Wanted to pass along that my son (13) and I made our first BW trip (5 days) last year out of Clearwater (EP 62). Had researched and planned to do a loop, but did not attempt as we were hearing reports of low water on Royal River. We did travel to Pine and Mountain lakes. The Clearwater Lodge website along with the Podcast Tumblehome were very good sources of information for our planning. The website outlined 2 loops from Clearwater. It also has campsite reviews along the loop. The fellas on the Podcast use to work out of Clearwater - one most recently as last July. In fact, they assembled the information for the campsite reviews on the website. Their older shows talk in depth about Clearwater and that area, to include the 2 loops. The Lodge itself is a great story as they are getting ready to celebrate 100 years. We have had 2 trips from there - one with previous crew (July 2021) and one with current owners, Chris and Ann this past May. Both were great and very friendly! There is also a Youtuber, BWCA Wild, who films campsites and portages within the BW. He most recently put up a few in and around the Clearwater area.

Lots to do in that area, loop or no loop. Johnson Falls (keep walking up that trail until you come to the head waters of the falls - it is worth it); BRT access can take you to various lake overviews; Clearwater has the Palisades you can hike for a gorgeous view; fishing on Mountain (smallmouth and lake trout) and Caribou (smallmouth/walleye/pike) is generally very good. We also had good luck with smallmouth on Pine. There are some brook trout opportunities off of Mountain and West Pike, but you will earn it from what I have read. We enjoyed the quick paddle west down Mountain from the Clearwater portage to the boundary marker showing the division between US and Canada.

Like you, we were also concerned with paddling some of the larger lakes in that area: Mountain, Pine, Clearwater, etc…. We were (and still are) novice paddlers! So, we made sure to leave as early as we could on our travel days. Granted the weather also cooperated - only confining us to camp one afternoon for a few hours on Pine, but you should be fine with a little caution and not straying to far from shore.

This summer we went through EP 47 and very much enjoyed the trip. Fishing was off or we were off while fishing, haven’t figured out which during the trip, but the area is great. We stayed on Gaskin and saw a bull moose swimming from an island to shore in full velvet. It was hard to dodge those moose pellets on some portages. Traveled down to Vista and would have stayed longer but weather told us to leave a bit early. We used Rockwood Lodge and they were great - highly recommend. From reading other reports in and around that area most have good experiences with their particular outfitter, so seems hard to pick a bad one.

Enjoy the research and as you know, your trip will be great just based on the company you will be keeping.
mfl1776
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
10/03/2022 07:40PM  
Thanks, Ducks and Fishman53 for the great suggestions. Both of my previous two trips have been out of sawbill so I definitely want to see a different part of the area this time - I’m liking the suggestions for East Bearskin and Little Johnson Falls. That might be the ticket.
10/04/2022 02:01PM  
Glad to hear that your daughter is interested in a trip with you! I am heading into the Mudro area with one of my girls (now 25; she has been tripping with me since she was 7) on 10/10, That area gives you a lot of options.

Another EP not yet mentioned (unless I missed it) is Little Indian Sioux North. Smaller lakes and different loop options.

Kawishiwi Lake EP is another favorite of mine with my daughters as is Lizz and Swamp.

Check out these (or any mentioned in this thread) on a map, and ideally with your daughter to get her input. I did that with Allie last night for our upcoming Mudro entry, and she is deciding between a big loop or to simply futz around the Fourtown area and basecamp/fish/daytrip for the 6 days that we have together.

Getting input from your daughter, I believe, is more important than what you want out of the trip. Find out what she wants to see and doo and take it from there.
mfl1776
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
10/05/2022 09:28AM  
Thanks, Frenchy 19. Great suggestions. I will ponder these for sure. It's good to hear your daughter is still enjoying tripping with you.
TuscaroraBorealis
distinguished member(5147)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/05/2022 09:47AM  
TrailZen: "TuscaroraBorealis just posted a nice trip report about a Memorial Day trip with his daughter. Check it out for some ideas. He's also posted lots of trip reports about tripping with his daughter in various parts of the BWCAW.


TZ"


Thank you for complimentary shout out.

I think the East Bearskin trip is a great introductory trip. In fact, just brought in a couple of newbies on that route this past August.
Fishman53
senior member (75)senior membersenior member
 
10/06/2022 11:08AM  
mfl1776: "…I’m liking the suggestions for East Bearskin and Little Johnson Falls. That might be the ticket."

YouTube: BWCA Wild

Here is a link to BWCA Wild’s channel, mentioned above. This video shows E. Bearskin EP. His channel also contains videos of campsites and portages in this area. He just put up the hike to Johnson Falls. It is a nice source of information!
 
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