BWCA Favorite mid-September Ely-side entry point Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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01/12/2024 08:17PM  
I have a team of mostly experienced canoeists that are looking to do a Elyside Mid-September trip. I always go on the Gun Flint Trail, so I am out of my region here. What would you recommend for a mid September trip out of Ely?

Trip length 4-5 days

Scenery is a must

Fishing is a bonus

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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distinguished member(1440)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/12/2024 09:28PM  
I have an annual September appointment with #14 - LISN as my favorite mid-September trip. Not knowing how much you like to travel vs. fish, I would suggest Shell, Heritage, and Lynx as an option for the time you mentioned. Several impressive waterfalls, cliffs, rivers, colorful trees, and scenic lakes are on this route.

Other notable mentions to look into: Mudro, Wood, or Crab.

Happy to share more including specifics as you narrow your priorities.
distinguished member(8626)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
01/13/2024 06:27AM  
I'd probably pick Lake One. I'd never go there Memorial Day to Labor day, but September/October (except MEA weekend) is pretty nice. Head to Insula and environs or, if shorter, do the Kawishiwi triangle.
01/13/2024 09:23AM  
Like YetiJedi without knowing how far you travel, how fast, or how you are with portaging, his recommendations are good. I've been in #14 but did the longer route through North Lake, Finger, Pocket, Gebe, Oyster and exited at Moose River North. That's probably more than you want to commit to, but his shorter trip is probably nice.
He did not mention my first trip from #16 Moose River North through Agnes to see the pictos, Pocket, Oyster, out Moose River. A nice trip with a variety of paddling and scenery.
I've also gone in Mudro and it gives you a variety of options.
No experience with Wood.
I've been in Crab Lake and it would work well for you with a couple of options if you're willing to do the first portage - long but not difficult otherwise. We took the tow across Burntside.
I entered at Lake One for the first time last year (9/19) but found it too busy for my liking. It was exceptionally nice weather though and I did not go to Insula.
I've also done Island River and Little Isabella River before the Pagami fire, but doubt they will offer the scenery you are seeking.

I'd also be happy to share whatever I can on specific thing although most have been quite a few years ago. Feel fre to email if you prefer.
01/13/2024 08:21PM  
I’m probably the only fisherman on the trip. So travel is more of a priority. We will likely have one no travel day.
distinguished member (415)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/24/2024 02:55AM  
The areas about the numbered lakes which were impacted by the Pagami Creek fire will be vibrant mid-Sept. While all of the region will be changing in color this time of year, the regions more recently impacted by fires will have more deciduous trees & therefore more color. The time of year you have chosen will also have less traffic than other times of year, which is good as this route can be crowded. I'd target getting a few lakes in as there are short daytrip/tours that go through the area. Vera is also a great option, a beautiful lake, though the portage in from Ensign makes you pay for it haha, Missionary lake is great too though probably a bit much for your trip length.
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