Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Island Life In The Boundary Waters
by rdgbwca

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/22/2022
Entry & Exit Point: Lizz and Swamp Lakes (EP 47)
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 6
Trip Introduction:
This would be the first time I took the whole family to the boundary waters. The family consists of my wife NG, oldest son MLG age 15, son CTG age 12, daughter RBG age 10 and son AAG age 7. My wife and youngest son would be making their first trip into the boundary waters. My wife wrote a trip report. RBG also wrote up her perspective on the trip. I had to cancel my spring permit because of a death in the family. Making a plan for this summer trip was uncertain because of permit availability. I was happy to reserve a permit for entry point 47 about three weeks before our entry date after someone canceled. I knew from experience this would be a good entry point for the first timers. We base camped on an island site on Meeds Lake and completed one of the shortest loop trips possible in the boundary waters.
You can read my wife's report. My daughter's perspective. The day by day report and photos are on my website.


This trip went well. We found an island site on our intended lake. The rains held off until we had camp set up and could take shelter under a tarp. The first timers were treated to a variety of weather including glass calm paddling, rain storms and majestic sunsets. They also got to experience portages with nice landings, rocky portages, short portages and a long portage. We caught enough fish to have two meals.

We have come a long way since our first trip where I had to help carry MLG’s canoe. He continues to grow and has shown he can portage his own canoe for a mile.

Meeds lake is a beautiful lake with many islands. Even though it is an entry point lake we didn’t see many people, perhaps because of the one mile portage. We saw about one group per day. Some of those groups were two people in one canoe. We camped at the site nearest to the entry point portage. As far as I could tell, we saw one group enter with camping gear and spend the night on the other island site. We also passed a group on their way in as we exited. The other groups were out for the day fishing.

As I think back, the two amazing sunsets were the highlight of the trip. It is not every day where the conditions are right for a sunset. Sitting quietly on an island with an unobstructed view of a wild shoreline brings peace and serenity. This time is special because it passes. There is about a magic hour before the sun goes down and the night takes over. These moments are what make it worth it to paddle and portage after all the careful planning and preparation that precede the trip.