BWCA Pick my EP: I can't believe you haven't been to ______! Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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newguy
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01/23/2023 09:54AM  
I'll be headed up in early/mid September with my father-in-law (3rd timer) and his brother (first timer). There are no health/fitness limitations. What area do you love that you can't believe I haven't visited yet? See list below.

The only restrictions I might add:
1) we'll need to pick up a solo canoe from an outfitter to go with my two-person, unless I buy one and figure out how to trailer it
2) I'd like to drive up the Grand Marais side so father-in-law's brother can see Superior (we can break this rule if your can't-miss EP recommendation is Ely side)
3) father-in-law and I did not enjoy slow miles-long weedy river paddles like we did on LIS North once.

So.. what's the EP you can't believe I haven't visited yet? Trip log:
1. Mudro-Fourtown-Boot-Fairy-Gun-Gull-Beartrap-back (2x, diff group)
2. Poplar-Caribou-Horseshoe-Gaskin-back (2x, diff group)
3. Brule-Winchell-Cone Lakes-Brule
4. Hungry Jack-Bearskin-Duncan-Rose-back
5. Pauness-Shell-Lynx-Hustler-Oyster-back
6. Kawishiwi-Square-Kawasachong-Polly-Koma-Malberg-back
 
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01/23/2023 10:51AM  
Cross Bay/Missing Link/Brant
ockycamper
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01/23/2023 10:52AM  
Our groups did several trips in the Ely area, then a couple off Gunflint before we discovered Seagull, Alpine, and Red Rock lakes. We have base camped in those lakes the last 6 years.

I am assuming from your post you don't fish or base camp, but like to paddle through your days. Check out the views at Seagull Lake. It is a lake you can spend years on and not explore it all.
newguy
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01/23/2023 10:53AM  
boonie: "Cross Bay/Missing Link/Brant"

What do you like about the area?
newguy
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01/23/2023 10:55AM  
ockycamper: "I am assuming from your post you don't fish or base camp, but like to paddle through your days. Check out the views at Seagull Lake. It is a lake you can spend years on and not explore it all."


My bad, love to fish! Father-in-law appreciates some downtime vs. full-time fishing, but with a solo I could go out alone.
ockycamper
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01/23/2023 10:57AM  
newguy: "
ockycamper: "I am assuming from your post you don't fish or base camp, but like to paddle through your days. Check out the views at Seagull Lake. It is a lake you can spend years on and not explore it all."



My bad, love to fish! Father-in-law appreciates some downtime vs. full-time fishing, but with a solo I could go out alone."


If fishing is your ticket, I would recommend picking a lake (like Alpine) and base camping on the lake, fishing it hard. Then try the nearby lakes.

Many try to fish while traveling all day and they miss the best fishing holes. Our guys (we are a church group that brings up 15-20 men that divide into 3 groups) tend to stay on one lake and fish it hard all day long and from every venue. Once we locate the fish, we stay in that area for the trip
straighthairedcurly
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01/23/2023 01:54PM  
boonie: "Cross Bay/Missing Link/Brant"


+1 and use them to drop into Little Saganaga, and the portage from Little Sag to Mora...beautiful.

Also #4 on your list, but don't be afraid to do the long portage and go see Mountain Lake. You can drop into Clearwater and portage from Clearwater Lodge to the public landing on the east end of West Bearskin to return to Hungry Jack. The vistas along this stretch of the border are not to be beat. And day hikes along the Border Route Trail change things up a bit.

#6 I enjoy this area a lot and am making a couple trips back this way during this upcoming season. If you make it to Malberg, plan a day trip to see the pictos on Fishdance. Beautiful paddling scenery along the way.
01/23/2023 01:57PM  
newguy: "
boonie: "Cross Bay/Missing Link/Brant"

What do you like about the area?"


Checks the boxes. You get to drive The North Shore all the way to Grand Marais and way out the Gunflint. There are plenty of outfitters nearby for canoe/bunkhouse. And you haven't been there. Depending on how much time and inclination you have to travel, there are many options.

You can start at Cross Bay or either of the two Round Lake entries - Brant or Missing Link - finish at the other with a 10-minute walk between. You can do a point-to-point with a shuttle from the Poplar side to either and finish at Poplar through any of the three entries there so you have multiple route options. Rockwood shuttled me to Cross Bay and I went through Kiskadinna, Omega, and Horseshoe. I've also exited through Meeds.

You can go south to Long Island, Frost, or Cherokee. You can go to Snipe, then Tuscarora via Copper and Howl. You can go from Tuscarora to Mora. From Mora you can go to Little Sag or Mesaba. You can through Brant to Little Sag a couple of different ways. Combine to make loops. You could go to Gabimichigami and Ogishkemuncie.

Lots of different options and a variety of lakes and scenery. Not an exhaustive summary. I think Snipe is a cool lake, I like Tuscarora, Little Sag is nice. Frost and Cherokee too. Hub and Mesaba are off the beaten track.
01/23/2023 02:54PM  
Kawishiwi Lake down the lady chain to Sawbill. Requires a shuttle or 2 cars, but the mix of lakes and a little river paddling is really stellar. Great opportunities for seclusion on the smaller lakes. I did not find the river to be weed choked.

Sawbill to cherokee and back through temperance, baker, smoke, flame. Just a really pretty loop with some decent fishing. Can be pretty busy earlier in the season, so your timing would be good to enjoy it with fewer crowds.
Michwall2
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01/24/2023 06:11AM  
Yup. I will second several here:

1. Little Saganaga - My first trip here was out of Kawishiwi. Do it from Missing Link.
2. Lady Lakes Chain - My very first trip. Marvelous.

Some other Ideas:

1. South Arm of Knife - Sea Gull to Ogish and up over Eddy Falls into SAK. Return via Saganaga Lake
2. You can also get to Little Sag from Sea Gull. When you get to Ogish, turn south toward Gabimichigami. Don't forget to visit Mueller Falls.
3. Louse River. Start at Sawbill
4. Frost River - Start at Cross Bay entry
5. Cherokee Loop - Start at Sawbill and head north to Cherokee. Come back down the Temperance Lakes and Temperance River watershed.


TuscaroraBorealis
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01/24/2023 07:00AM  
A less popular route...Bower Trout, in and out
01/24/2023 08:16AM  
dogwoodgirl: "Kawishiwi Lake down the lady chain to Sawbill. Requires a shuttle or 2 cars, but the mix of lakes and a little river paddling is really stellar. Great opportunities for seclusion on the smaller lakes. I did not find the river to be weed choked."


I will second the Lady Chain. It is very beautiful and something everyone should do once. You can do an in and out route from Sawbill and save on the gas/drop off. I did this on my first trip and went as far as Pheobe.

Another great option that gets overlooked is Brule to Cherokee. Brule to South Temperance is a long paddle but easy to get done in an hour and a half. South Temperance itself is a great lake and I have gone back there a few times. From there to Cherokee is only 3 portages. If you really wanted to, you could get to Cherokee from the Brule EP in one day, but having a day on South Temperance and catching walleye is tough to pass up.
01/24/2023 09:49AM  
Try Quetico; it will not disappoint.
01/24/2023 08:10PM  
South Temperance is indeed a worthy goal, beautiful lake. Enter at Baker Lake and go up through Kelly, Jack etc.. Out and back or two loop options NW to Cherokee and back to Sawbill or east to Brule with a shuttle pickup or even through Juno to Vern and Homer which I highly recommend, again with a shuttle/pickup or two vehicles.

Out and back is the simplest and easiest, it looks different on the way back. Avolid the big water potential issues of Brule. Great area known for moose sightings.
Jackfish
Moderator
  
01/24/2023 09:01PM  
Frenchy19: "Try Quetico; it will not disappoint. "

What Frenchy said.
Hammertime
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01/24/2023 11:24PM  
EP 55 big Sag.

Get a tow to American point. Head to Cherry on day 1. Head back through south arm of knife, ogish and seagull.

This is definitely the most scenic trip I’ve ever taken and we caught more fish than anyone could ever ask for.

Highly recommend seagull outfitters for this trip.
newguy
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01/25/2023 08:39AM  
Some excellent options! Thank you, everyone! I've got a spot picked for this year (assuming I snag a permit), but am definitely saving these recommendations for future trips.
 
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