Friday, July 29, 2011 We made the drive down the gravel road from 11 to the Lac La Croix Ranger Station. The 50 miles takes a bit over an hour and a half. Top speed was about 40 mph ,however, the last 10 miles of the road are rougher requiring reduced speed. It is a scenic drive with two crossings of the Namakan River. The station is a mile past the 1st Nation village and is essentially the end of the road. Few people make the drive. The majority take the tow boats from Crane Lake. When you park at Lac La Croix, your car is parked in a secured area. This can be an issue if at your exit you are not back at the station by the close of office hours... more on that later.
We set out across La La Croix before noon. The Canadian side has unlimited motor use and has large areas of big water. The MN side is all BWCA and is paddle only with many islands and bays. Few ,if any, campsites are located on the Canadian side so we paddled the 11 miles to Black Robe Portage into McAree and find an island site in the tight narrows just north of McAree Rapids.