BWCA Fall Lake to Basswood Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* BWCA is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Trip Planning Forum
      Fall Lake to Basswood     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

lundojam
distinguished member(2730)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/11/2023 07:21PM  
Hey gang. I saw there was an available Day-use Fall Lake and beyond motor permit so I grabbed it. Never been in that part of the park, but I've always wanted to do the portage wheel thing. I've got a 16" Lund (no floor, bench seats) with a 20 hp Merc. My question is this: How many guys should I bring to pull it across those portages into Basswood? It's light enough that I can move it easily with one hand in the garage. I'm 60, but am the strongest man on Earth.
 
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1644)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/11/2023 08:36PM  
lundojam: "Hey gang. I saw there was an available Day-use Fall Lake and beyond motor permit so I grabbed it. Never been in that part of the park, but I've always wanted to do the portage wheel thing. I've got a 16" Lund (no floor, bench seats) with a 20 hp Merc. My question is this: How many guys should I bring to pull it across those portages into Basswood? It's light enough that I can move it easily with one hand in the garage. I'm 60, but am the strongest man on Earth."


I think you’d be ok with 2 and great with 3 — fishing will be more fun with just 2 in the boat :)

Lot of work going in/out in one day, but it could pay off. My days of day use permits on basswood are over. My boat is too heavy for portage wheels, and I can’t justify all the time it takes entering via Moose to get out to the spots I want to fish — especially when Prairie Portage operating hours make it tough to fish low light periods.
09/12/2023 01:48PM  
We went for three days a few years back and took a motor boat from west Fall Lake to Pipestone Bay. First day it took us some time to get to Pipestone because we rented slightly to large of a boat and it took at least three guys to get it up the initial hill at the portage and get started.

Day 2 and 3 we downsized to the smallest boat and motor and it only took two guys and we were able to get from the west side of Fall Lake all the way to the middle of Pipestone Bay in about 45 minutes. Efficiency was super important since we had such little day light at that time of the year. This was last weekend of September.
bottomtothetap
distinguished member(1021)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/12/2023 03:14PM  
Just did a canoe trip that direction over the Fall/Newton and Newton/Pipestone Bay portages. We watched a couple of groups wheel their motorboats across and while these are two of the smoothest portages I've ever been on, their are some loose fist-size stones here and there that may act as wheel chocks and the Newton/Pipestone Bay portage does have just a slight bit of up and down. Moving those boats looked like it's own kind of work. One group of four guys had two 14' Lunds with at least a 20hp motor on each boat. They used all four guys for each boat across the portage and were putting in some effort. Didn't notice how much gear they had loaded into the boats.

One heads up: on the Newton end of the Newton/Pipestone Bay portage, there are two landings. Be sure to go to the western landing if you have a motorboat and portage wheels.
Finnboy
distinguished member (162)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/12/2023 05:42PM  
I wouldn’t go without 3 the first time. You might be able to go with 2 but I wouldn’t until you you’ve experienced it and see what you’re up against. The The Newton to Pipestone portage is up hill both ways. Done it many times with square stearn canoes and small 14’ boats both day tripping and camping.

I’m assuming you’re using platform wheels? Make sure you have adequate ratchet straps to keep the wheels in place.

Think about what you will be grabbing onto to pull and hold the boat back. Most boats don’t have anything to grab onto.

Balance the boat on the wheels. It makes all the difference. Move gear fore or aft to achieve this.
yogi59weedr
distinguished member(2639)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/12/2023 08:20PM  
Just rent a 14 ft with motor.
Just do the 1st portage. Good fishing in Newton, Especially the narrows.Check out the portage into Pipestone for future trips.
Warning they call the portage from Pipestone back into Newton,,,,,,, cardiac hill.
yogi59weedr
distinguished member(2639)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/12/2023 08:20PM  
Just rent a 14 ft with motor.
Just do the 1st portage. Good fishing in Newton, Especially the narrows.Check out the portage into Pipestone for future trips.
Warning they call the portage from Pipestone back into Newton,,,,,,, cardiac hill.
Ohiopikeman
distinguished member (155)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/13/2023 09:58AM  
For a day-use permit, you will likely be fine with two guys pushing a 16' Lund (no wood floor) with a 20hp Mercury.

I've stayed on Fall Lake and portaged my 14' Lund into Basswood a number of times. The boat is heavy with a trolling motor on the front, 3/4" plywood casting deck over the front two seats, and a 25hp 2-Stroke Yamaha on the back. My brother and I can get this rig across the two portages without too much difficulty; we are both early 50's in decent shape. There are slight hills and the start and end of both portages which are difficult, but the other 90% is a walk in the park.

You can rent a set of very solid portage wheels from VNO right in Ely. Make sure to check the tires for condition and proper inflation before you leave! Their portage wheels are built like a tank, but a leaky tire will cause major problems if discovered at the end of the day when heading back. They have a few sets of portage wheels available.... make sure you pick one that has the newest looking tires available. Some outfitters have portage wheels with solid rubber tires; these are good if you can find them.

While we have caught some nice fish in Newton, we ALWAYS do well in Basswood!

Good luck,

Dave
 
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next
Trip Planning Sponsor:
Cliff Wold's Outfitting Co.