BWCA Hurn to Milt portage Boundary Waters Group Forum: Quetico Afficionados
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11/30/2010 09:04PM  
Starting to plan for next year...on the Fisher map there's a portage shown from Hurn into Milt. Anyone ever explored that option? We have found several indications that there was a trapper active in that area many years ago. We found an old beaver set wired to a cedar near the Milt portage once and behind our campsite on Elk we found evidence of an old garbage dump with lots of Mason jars and a Virginia Dare wine bottle that looks like it was made in the early 1950's. Bill Rom says in his book that there was a trapper's cabin on Cone although we looked hard and could see no evidence of it.
 
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11/30/2010 11:33PM  

This shows a portage between Hurn & Milt....? WE are headed that way in June too. It's from that PDC site.
fishguts
 
12/01/2010 08:17AM  
I've got a feeling it would be a bit of a bushwhack. My guess is it was used by trappers in the winter. We did notice deep scratches on all the boulders on the portage into Ted a few years ago--snowmobile or dogsled we guessed.
 
12/01/2010 07:09PM  
Interesting that the PCD shows a portage there. It's not shown on the "official" park map. Would be fun to explore. Springer, which campsite on Elk had the dump?
 
12/01/2010 07:58PM  
The dump was behind the campsite on the peninsula on the south side of the lake--the one with the nice rock balcony and the crummy tent pads. Here's the view--one of my favorites.
 
12/01/2010 08:59PM  
HoHo-We're also interested in the Joyce to Kash portage and I think I remember you described that in one of your trip reports. Any chance there's still a link to that?
 
12/01/2010 09:23PM  
Springer, here is a link to that part of my 2005 report. (Let me know if you want a link to the whole report.) Sorry the maps are no longer there, but the rest of the report is. Ho Ho
 
12/01/2010 11:04PM  
Thanks HoHo--I have heard there's a new bridge across the bog on the portage.
 
12/01/2010 11:42PM  
Sorry that I can't offer any info on the Hurn/Milt portage. I believe it is on the 98 version of the park map (but don't know for sure because I can't seem to locate it). Went through Milt in October and intended to scout for the portage, but it began pouring and I cut short the exploration. Great area.

The new "bog bridge" makes the passage to Joyce much easier. Of course you still have to contend with the change in elevation.
 
old_salt
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12/02/2010 11:18AM  
No firsthand knowledge, but my Quetico Foundation map, produced by the Ontario MNR shows a portage from SE bay of Hurn to N tip of Milt.
My Chrismar does not show any portage. Let us know what you find.
 
h20man
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12/02/2010 05:33PM  
Springer2,

Last May we did the trip from Burt to Kash in the opposite direction from HoHo. I think I recall that the area that HoHo went in the mud has been improved as mentioned by others. The rest of the description seems very detailed and accurate to what we experience in 2010. That is really a nice area to explore and very quiet.
 
h20man
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12/02/2010 05:33PM  
Springer2,

Last May we did the trip from Burt to Kash in the opposite direction from HoHo. I think I recall that the area that HoHo went in the mud has been improved as mentioned by others. The rest of the description seems very detailed and accurate to what we experience in 2010. That is really a nice area to explore and very quiet.
 
12/02/2010 09:44PM  
I have to admit, I'm totally bummed out that they built a new bog bridge on that portage! At least, I'm bummed out until we do it again. I'm glad we have the memory. It was pretty crazy, that's why I love Quetico.
 
12/02/2010 09:51PM  
Also, Springer, we stayed at that Elk campsite in 2004, it's a great site. The northern point is great too. I just looked back at my trip report though and don't think we saw a dump there, thought we've found some elsewhere in the area.
 
12/02/2010 09:54PM  
We've camped at both sites also. The northern point has more room and is closer to Cone and Ted but for sentimental reasons I prefer the south point--that's where we camped on our first trip to Elk and it was a special trip for a number of reasons. Difficult place to put more than a couple tents though, and there's not much soil overlaying the bedrock for tent stakes, which has been a problem since every time we've been there in late May the wind has been rather ferociously out of the northwest, and that campsite seem to get the brunt of it. Here's a photo of the big beaver pond you cross to access the west end of Elk, coming from Gardner Bay, in a low water year (2003). Always seems to be a challenge landing here. We have tried to find the one long portage from Gardner to Elk shown on the Fisher map without success. Maybe it's a Lord of the Rings thing--know the password--"Speak Friend and Enter" and the portage trail will magically appear.
 
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