I am trying to determine if there is an easier way to get into Mud Lake than starting down the 4 mile portage that connects Basswood and Fall. On my McKenzie map it shows the only way to get to Mud Lake from Fall is start up the long portage and make a right into the north end of Mud. However when I was looking on line there seems to be another portage (not listed on my map) that starts off at the same place on Fall but cuts straight into the southern half of Mud. It looks as though it might be 173 rds? Does anyone know if this exists? Have you been on it? Are Mud or Ella worth seeing or should I just bear the motorboat noise and head north ino Newton and Pipestone?
I had the same thought when I went that way in 2009. The 4 mile portage is the only way to go, the portage directly to Mud is grown over. With that said, the 4 mile is not bad. At that time, I ran across an area where the portage was flooded (see below). I pulled through it and kept going to the portage over to Mud, but on the way back I paddled right up the 4 Mile. The portage from the 4 Mile to Mud is pretty narrow and rocky and the portage from Mud to Ella Hall is relatively easy but not used much and overgrown a bit. Ella Hall is definitely worth seeing, Mud not so much.
Spot where you can get to Mud directly from the 4 Mile.
I would like to hear an update on this, as we are faced with the exact same decision for a BWCA trip scheduled for next month (July 2020). Our intended destination is Ella Hall Lake, and we're putting into Fall Lake, and presumably routing via Mud Lake.
Was the Muskeg Creek navigable from the 4 mile portage as it appears so in the photo? Was the southern portage to the SW part of Mud Lake open/available?
What's the best (least strenuous) route from Fall Lake to Ella Hall Lake? Has anyone tried using canoe wheels for this portage?
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