BWCA Advice - LISNorth-Larch?-Isabella? w youngster Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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desertcanoe
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06/11/2024 09:04AM  
Hi Folks.
Wondering if someone can help me think about appropriate EP for paddling with my 8 year old granddaughter.

I have a permit for Little Indian Sioux North this coming Saturday for a 5 day trip that was supposed to be with my granddaughter and an adult friend.
The adult can't make it so now it's just my 8 year old in the bow.

I'm a pretty competent paddler, several dozen BWCA and Quetico trips. But I've only taken three where it was just me and a young child for paddle power - Hog Creek and Bower Trout and Slim.

So I'm concerned about how well LIS North will work for "solo with a kid."
My thoughts...
It's 4 miles before the first campsite on LIS and then if the Pauness sites are all taken, it's into Shell.
Normally I'd think that's quite easy. But my limited experience with a kid in the bow tells me the 4 miles might be no picnic if it's windy.
And then the portage into Shell - a 220 rod portage is no big deal. But leaving my granddaughter on one end while I double-portage a mile and a half without her doesn't seem great.
Okay, those are my hesitations.

SO...I see that there's a permit open for Larch for Sunday and wondering if that would work better.
I've never been in Larch before. Is it as kid-friendly as it looks? Water levels should be good after this spring's rains. Clambering over beaver dams is fine sport so that's fine. Looks like some good campsites on Larch and Clove lakes. And then some paddling on small water for day trips from there.
My one hesitation is whether we'll find a site on Larch or Clove. It's a ways to the next sites on Gneiss.
Am I missing something?

The other permit available that looks kid-friendly is Isabella Lake. I haven't been there since the 90s. Looks pretty burnt out now? Maybe not great for a child on their second BW trip?

Thanks for any experiences or insights.
 
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Deeznuts
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06/12/2024 09:17AM  
I think LIS is still doable. Wind may slow you a little but just balance your load and J stroke. I'd definitely rather be on the river if it was windy anyway.
TuscaroraBorealis
Moderator
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06/12/2024 09:48AM  
06/12/2024 08:24PM  
I’ve been to Larch several times, I was at LIS North last year. If it was me I would do Larch. I’m looking at putting a trip together for next year or year after with another dad and our now 9 year olds. It will be everyone’s first trip but me and Larch is top of my list right now. Clove has decent sites too and the portage is short and easy.

gravelroad
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06/12/2024 09:44PM  
There are sites on Isabella that did not burn. This one is on the east shore, north of the Perent River outlet. One of my trip partners found good fishing from shore. Ignore any indication on a map that it is closed. You’ll see the grate from the water.















desertcanoe
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06/13/2024 10:32AM  
TuscaroraBorealis thanks for the trip report link. Looks great for what I want to do. I'll mark campsites.
And that's quite the blueberry haul!
desertcanoe
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06/13/2024 10:34AM  
gravelroad great to see that some sites survived the burn. I think we're doing Larch this trip but now I'm encouraged to head up to Isabella this fall with my wife.
desertcanoe
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06/13/2024 10:35AM  
Deeznuts I expect you're right about paddling.
desertcanoe
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06/13/2024 10:37AM  
Papa09 I think that's our plan too. Got the Larch permit and we'll see how far we go. Maybe Larch or Clove on day 1, then maybe towards Gneiss on day 2.

Enjoy your trip with your 9 year old. I took each of my kids up on the summer after they turned 7. And now they all love being out in the woods.
And now I'm taking the grandkids. The best.
06/13/2024 12:26PM  
desertcanoe: "Papa09 I think that's our plan too. Got the Larch permit and we'll see how far we go. Maybe Larch or Clove on day 1, then maybe towards Gneiss on day 2.


Enjoy your trip with your 9 year old. I took each of my kids up on the summer after they turned 7. And now they all love being out in the woods.
And now I'm taking the grandkids. The best."


I can’t wait, we are already making plans. Just need to make it happen now!

Also, We have done well fishing from the first campsite you will pass on Clove. It sits on a point with a big granite slab that extends into water from the site.

Chuckles
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06/13/2024 04:34PM  
I've been to Isabella twice in the last 10 months and while I haven't been to the other places you are mentioning, Isabella would be perfect. The portage in is a breeze and the lake is great. Many campsites weren't burnt, but even the ones that did have regrown some.

You can head west across the rapids/waterfalls into the Isabella river (great fishing at the outlet) or east into the Boga Lake Perent river area if you want the 'portaging' experience. Or you could just stay on Isabella.

The island that campsite 1917 wasn't burned and is a great warm-weather site.

Highly recommended lake.
06/14/2024 08:12AM  
Larch is great for kids. You won’t be paddling fast through Larch creek anyway, the beaver dams will make sure if that. Larch lake is a pretty lake with a lot of good northern and walleye fishing there even caught a trophy smallmouth bass there.

The island site is perfect for kids. My boys and I went last year. They were three and seven and had a blast there.

The only Dean here in my opinion Is the crossing the beaver dams to get there.

For fishing, there are a lot of weeds so be prepared.
desertcanoe
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06/23/2024 04:38PM  
Thanks CanoeViking and everyone on this thread. Had a great trip with my granddaughter. Down Larch Creek, stayed at the island site on Larch, and day-tripped into Clove and beyond in the Granite River system.

That island site IS great for kids. My granddaughter found ladyslippers so in case you're wondering, it's now named 'Ladyslipper Island." :)

As for the beaver dams - there are now 10 of them! She was nervous about them at first, but by the return trip she was straddling the bow to hold the canoe steady for me while I walked the boat to haul across the dams. She's pretty proud she didn't fall in - her Mom did when I took her across the Hog Creek dams as a 7 year old.

Great trip. And I've got a pin in Isabella to do next year.

Thanks again all.
 
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