Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

1st Trip with the kids - Cross River to Snipe Lake
by dbjerknes

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/18/2020
Entry & Exit Point: Cross Bay Lake (EP 50)
Number of Days: 3
Group Size: 4
Trip Introduction:
Over Father's Day weekend my wife and I took our two kids on their first BWCA camping trip. This is a video of our adventure! YouTube link:
The video may tell the story better, but below is a small summary as well.

We drove up from Woodbury, MN Thursday morning, spent some time in Grand Marais, had Sven & Ole's Pizza, and headed out on the Gunflint Trail. We made it to Tuscarora Lodge & Canoe Outfitters by about 5:30pm, checked in, and settled into our Bunkhouse for the evening. The bunkhouse was nice and the separate restroom facilities were very nice.

We woke up at 6am Friday morning packed our stuff and headed over to the dining hall. We paid for the morning breakfast prior to heading out on our family adventure. The breakfast was very good and we left with full bellies. We hit the water on Cross River Entry Point 50 by about 8:30am. Our plan was to check out the southernmost campsite on Cross Bay Lake to see if it was available because of the better fishing and we were told it was a nice campsite. From Cross River, we went through Ham Lake. The location of the actual portage is incorrect on the two map brands that we had. It is much earlier than the rapids and what the map shows. When we finally got to Cross Bay Lake, we could see that the site where we wanted to be was occupied so we turned around and headed to Snipe Lake(our Plan B). After another portage, we made it to Snipe Lake and we had a little trouble finding the NW campsite because we got a little turned around. It's a pretty unique lake with lots of beauty. We finally arrived at our campsite a little after 12 noon. We set up a campsite and had a quick lunch. The site was beautiful and there was a steady breeze to keep most of the mosquitos away. Surprisingly, the black flies were not a problem at all for us. The worst thing about the site was that the fishing from the campsite was not the best, not one bite... We also tried canoeing around the lake and finally, we found a consistent spot where northern pike were biting. My son caught the first fish and he was very proud.

The next day we did a day trip over to Cross Bay Lake to try the fishing over there. We didn't have much luck, but I did catch a smallmouth bass. Full disclosure, we are not the best fishermen in the world :). When we got back we went for another peaceful swim off our campsite. That evening my son and I went fishing again and we spotted 3 bear cubs as we were canoeing. We did not see the mama bear, but I'm sure she was close by. They quickly ran up into the woods when they saw us. Overall, our kids did an amazing job and really enjoyed the beauty and being in the middle of the wilderness. They both said they'd like to go again next year. We lucked out on the weather as well, Mid 70's for highs and 50's for the lows with just a few sprinkles. We can't wait for the next trip! ~Ham Lake, Cross Bay Lake, Snipe Lake

Lakes Traveled:   Ham Lake, Cross Bay Lake, Snipe Lake,