BWCA 1st weekend November recommendations? Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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08/18/2023 12:32AM  
Hi friends,

I am considering heading up north for Nov 4th weekend as a last hurrah of the paddling season. I will be going solo (experienced paddler) and know it will be cold and the possibility of ice is there. Last year I went solo into South Hegman on that weekend and that was open, but North Hegman was already iced over so I just laid low there and fought the wind and cold rain.

Anywho- any recommendations for a good place to solo paddle and camp for that weekend? I would only want to go in a lake or two, knowing that the weather may be an issue. Does not necessarily have to be BWCA but just looking for a nice place for a few days and assuming I will not see many, if any, folks.

Open to any recommendations, thanks!
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08/18/2023 05:53AM  
Brule Lake maybe an option. While the wind maybe an issue, the wind also keeps the lake free from ice. Good choices of camps that give the warmth of the morning sun or give the last of the day's light with the setting sun. One might have to break ice at the put-in, but once you paddle out of the small bay a whole new world of appears with long fetches, quiet areas behind islands, and perhaps the shoreline ice formations created during a cooler evening. Any camps in well protected bays may ice up, but usually the camps that dot the open stretches stay open.

Last year, November 1 was the last day for my wife and me, but we have paddled Brule on Thanksgiving Day--an exceptionally warm fall. These trips have become a yearly tradition. The lake will make you humble with the waves, cold winds, and the sense of winter coming, but the journey is a grand way to finish the paddling season.
08/18/2023 08:14AM  
Slim Lake. EP6 would be a good option. It’s a small and skinny lake. I went there last year for a solo during Halloween weekend. I had great weather, but picked that EP because it would be easy to get out if the weather turned bad. It was only a ten minute paddle to the first site and I still only saw 2 other canoes over the 3 days. I lucked out and it ended up 60s and sunny with little wind. The 2 southern campsites give you direct access to the North Arm trails for hiking.

I’m hoping to get up there again this year for a late solo and Hegman is most likely my destination. Last year I basically made my final decision of Slim over Hegman during the drive up.

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