Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Border Paddle

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/19/2023
Entry & Exit Point: North Fowl Lake (EP 70)
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 1
Trip Introduction:
This was my first solo trip into the BWCA wilderness. I was told at the ranger station prior to launching that there was significant bear activity in this specific area of the boundary waters which definitely didn't calm my nerves about my first solo trip. My overall goal for the trip was to relax both at camp and during traveling time in addition to seeing some beautiful wildlife.
Day 1 of 4
[Saturday, August 19, 2023~McFarland Lake, Little John Lake, John Lake, Royal Lake, North Fowl Lake.] I got off to a very late start for the first day of the trip not reaching my entry point until nearly 5:00 PM. Entry in McFarland lake was well marked and easy to find. There were several houses on McFarland Lake which took away from the feeling of uninterrupted wilderness; however, these quickly disappeared as I got into Little John. Travel was smooth and the portages were relatively pain free until I got to Royal lake. The weeds were completely overgrown to the point that I was unable to see the path forward. I was able to find the next portage by using my compass to keep a constant direction and pulling myself and my canoe through the weeds. To complicate matters more I could tell that I was quickly losing daylight while I was lost in this overgrowth. After I got through this rough section I walked alongside my canoe and gear down the rest of the Royal River onto North Fowl as the water level was low. Got into my site just as the last bits of daylight were disappearing

Lakes Traveled:   McFarland Lake, Little John Lake, John Lake, Royal Lake, North Fowl Lake,