Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Big Fork River - Little American Falls to Rainy River
by Valkor

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 05/24/2024
Entry Point: Other
Exit Point: Other  
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 1
Day 2 of 4
Saturday, May 25, 2024

It was 40 degrees, so I wasn't in a hurry to get out on the water. It made the sqeeters go away so that was good. I can finally use the beat up outhouse without having one bite my ass. Started off on the river by scaring away a pair of geese for 2 miles straight. I saw lots of eastern kingbirds on the river and heard flycatchers. After Johnson Landing, there's more cedar mixed with pine. After a few miles in, a southwestward wind spoiled the fun and I was battling it half of the time. I never had much of an issue with the wind until now even on windy days. I was also looking for this so called Grunwald landing so I could take a break there but the state map showed it on private property. There's an unmarked landing 2 miles before it so maybe that's it.

A couple miles before I got to the landing, I saw a black bear on the coast. I personally still haven't seen many black bears in the wild so I thought it was cool. When I got to the landing, I really didn't wanted to bike 11 miles back to my car so I asked someone at a campsite if they would shuttle me and they said yes. I offered money but they declined it.

When I first went into Big Falls to drop off my bike, I was in 4 wheeler country now. I felt a little out of place for bringing a bicycle. I can feel people looking at me wondering where's my 4 wheeler was at. There was a good sized memorial weekend crowd at the park. Most of the camping spots were occupied and a lot of people were wheeling around. I saw a guy with a coon hat driving around in a side by side at the campground.

Coming back to Big Falls, it was almost 4 pm so I chilled at the campground for awhile. I only did 5-6 hours of paddling over 22 miles all day so I had plenty of time throughout the whole day. I wanted to do more but my ass was sore from sitting in the canoe seat for the past 2 days, plus it would add way more biking distance. I was also starting to think that I might not be able to finish it. I went to Kueffner's landing to spend the night. I was impressed with how nice the primitive campground was at Kueffner's. Everything looked nice whereas most of the state managed boat landing campsites looked rundown.