BWCA- Lizz Lake

Anyone have experience with Lizz/Swamp/Poplar Lakes in the BWCA? Got a put-in for this summer, but looking for any insider knowledge on that area of the Gunflint. Anywhere I should stay/eat, before/after the trip?

It depends on the experience that you’re looking to have. Do you want to stay in a hotel, lodge, cabin? Do you want to stay in Grand Marais or on the trail?

On the trail, you should eat at Trail Center. In Grand Marais, my hometown, you have a ton of other options. If you want to camp after the trip, you can camp in the Muni campground, get a shower and a hot tub, and then eat out on the town. I recommend the Gunflint Tavern.

Poplar Creek Guesthouse

– Last Updated: Feb-12-09 11:47 AM EST –

Ted and Barbara take Bed and BREAKFAST to a whole different level; best breakfasts I've ever eaten! If you stay there before or after your trip you could just start paddling from their place. You would have a lift-over from Little Ollie into Poplar Lake. And after the trip, the burgers at Trail Center are excellent and the Rhubarb Malt is something special. If you like Pizza, Sven-n-Ole's in Grand Marais is great.

As for your route; if you start out from the Poplar Lake public landing or Trail Center, or Poplar Creek Guesthouse watch your map closely that you don't end up in the wrong bay instead of the one leading to Lizz. Easy to head north one bay too soon. Been there, done that.

Been this route 4 times, but not in over 5 years. There used to be some muskeg on the left side of the landing on Lizz after carrying over from Poplar. Even KNOWING it was there, I've ended up stuck in it. Lizz is a small, skinny lake where you might find a few small, skinny Brooke trout. Many hours fishing over the years has only yielded a few small Brookies for me.

Other side of Lizz is Caribou. There's a campsite directly across from the portage, but don't camp there. Tried it one trip when we decided to stay an extra night and it is noisy being so close to the portage. IMHO Caribou is a decent walleye lake and I'll tell you of a couple reefs in a private e-mail (don't want to tell EVERYONE my fishing spots).

Campsites are o.k. on Caribou, but I'd at least go to Horseshoe. The portage to Horseshoe is across from a campsite also. Good northern fishing in that little bay, especially with a red-eyed wiggler. Horseshoe has fair smallie, good walleye fishing.

I'm not all that crazy about the skinny little lakes off Horseshoe like Henson, Pilsbury, et al, but I like Omega. I also like Vista, Misquah area. But, you HAVE TO get over to Winchell Beautiful lake, poor fishing, but worth it. Hope this helps, and here's a link to the Guest House. WW

You can’t go wrong with the advice given to you by Bryan and WW, but here’s my 2 cents as well.

I like bunkhouses and have stayed at Rockwood right on Poplar Lake. For a small fee you can alos park your car there and you can put in and takeout right at their place.

As stated, Trail Center is right there on the trail and close to Rockwood. IMHO they serve breakfast too late but otherwise it is a great place for food and drinks.

Thank you gentlemen. Your advice is much appreciated. I was looking at the websites for these places (Trail Center/Rockwood) and thought they looked like good options, but it’s good to hear first hand from people who have used them. It’s been a while since I hit the water, so I’m getting excited. Especially because I’m coming from Cincinnati. Glad to get away into the wilderness.