BWCA Sightseeing the Man Lakes Boundary Waters Group Forum: Quetico Afficionados
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06/10/2023 12:13AM  
So maybe this group shouldn’t end. There’s a whole lotta information in here.
One thing I haven’t found is what’s there to see around the Man Lakes?
I’m still debating our route in August. If we do an out ‘n’ back, what’s worth checking out? Is there any particular sights or places to check out? I’m thinking exploring a lake for the day might be interesting. I DO want to do at least a day trip into Blackstone to hunt the giant Jackfish. But a leisurely lake exploring sounds good for another day
Thanks All
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06/11/2023 09:14PM  
I wish I could give you a better answer, but the one and only time we paddled through the Man Chain, we were bucking a headwind straight out of the west on our second to last day of an eight day trip. As I can recall, portages were fairly rugged, beautiful high cliffs surrounded the lakes (at least many of them) and there were islands spaced nicely that helped us get out of the wind.

I'd love to go back and spend some time there (sans the wind). I'm sure it's no windier there than anywhere else, but we were sure glad to get to our camp on Birch.
06/12/2023 05:17AM  
Also interested to hear the scoop on the Man Chain - we were on Blackstone 2 weeks ago for a couple nights and had hoped to day-trip to Other Man. However we were thoroughly whipped from getting to Blackstone in the first place.

We were surprised at how challenging the portage west out of Slate was...and I don't think the fact that we were the first group this season had anything to do with it. Kicked our asses.

We did at least see the portage landing to Bell; that portage is supposedly quite tough and I do not think the Park maintains it is littered with deadfall.

Finally very surprised how challenging the creek route was when we left Blackstone to return to Saganagons. Most portage locations on our maps were incorrect & much time was spent scouting. One spot requires wading the creek mid-portage.

Blackstone was pretty - if the rest of the Man Chain is similar, I would be very glad to return to see it.
06/12/2023 04:34PM  
Thanks for the info sns. I have a couple of quick questions, how long did the portages take going from Slate to Blackstone? Were you single portaging?
We're committed to getting down to double portaging. we've been averaging 2.5 to three. depending if we want to double up on the packs. Yeah we bring too much stuff but we're working on that.

"Finally very surprised how challenging the creek route was when we left Blackstone to return to Saganagons. Most portage locations on our maps were incorrect & much time was spent scouting. One spot requires wading the creek mid-portage."

How long did it take to get to Saganagons. Was the creek navigable for most of the time? I was hoping that would be a pleasant paddle downstream and be able to camp well onto Sag by 2.

It's sounding more and more that if we want to do Blackstone, we should just hang around the Man lakes for our trip. Then do a daytrip for fishing so we can travel light and fast.

Thanks Jackfish, I've heard what you've said from other reports. Sounds like a nice place to hang out. Also seems that most are trying to get somewhere else and just pass through the chain. I think a day or two of paddling around exploring would be worthwhile.

We did a trip last year that KMA. I was beat for like a week after that one. I'm inclined to do an easy and relaxing trip with plenty of time for fishing this year.

06/12/2023 08:58PM  
BonzSF: Happy to help. We were 1.5 portaging (last year we single-portaged, but could not pull that off this year). Little Sag to Blackstone via the Slate Lake route took us right at 4 hours, starting at the Saganagons>Slate portage & ending at the island campsite on Blackstone. We're not rookies and I like to think we can move with pace...but this one was hard.

Exiting, we traveled downstream to Saganagons & there are four portages plus three beaver pullovers (with the high water we were able to go over all three by hitting chutes at top speed, but one had gravel in it and damaged the boat...some repairs will need to be made this summer).

My recollection is that the first two portages were shown as being on the right on our maps but were actually on the left. Not too bad once we found them....took 3.5 hours from camp on Blackstone to the end of the final, 90-rod/450m portage, loading up on Saganagons once again. Probably 30-45 minutes of that was hunting for the portages. The rest of the creek was a lazy river with little to no noticeable current & an easy paddle.
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09/27/2023 06:22PM  
Without looking at my maps I believe it was This Man that had the old mining camp on it. I'm thinking I recall reading about an Indian battle above Silver Falls. I believe the women and children hid in a cave behind the falls. Again I'm going from memory that was 20 plus years ago I read the stories. I probably have them stored someplace.
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