favorite route in the BWCAW or Quetico

It’s that time when we are starting to get out maps and think about next year. If someone asked you where to go, What route would you recommend, and why? It can either be a short (1-3 day, medium (4-6 or 7 day), or extended (7+).

The route I would recommend for travelers (versus fishermen) for the medium trip would be Fall Lake to Basswood, east to Friday Bay of Crooked, down to Gun, Fourtown and out at Mudro and the Chain Saw Sisters Saloon, or reverse it. It has large, medium, and small lakes, waterfalls, pictographs, large rivers and small streams. It’s around 45 miles, two 1 mile portages that are open and fairly gradual. The rest of the portages were also fairly easy, one 40 rd that was kind of steep, no swamps to wade through. It’s long enough you don’t have a lot of fishing time if you do it in 5 days. We were a coed group with 5 of us 49 to later 50’s in fairly goood shape, including 3 rookies to the BWCAW had no problam doing it, albeit with decent weather.

What are your favorites?

Hard Question
There are some I like for “Quick get away” trips, some I like better for fishing, some that are better for wildlife, some if you want to see waterfalls. I usually ask people I’m taking up there what THEIR priority is, and go from there. Tough for me to pick ONE, but if I have to it begins at the end of the Gunflint Trail. Start going down Seagull river through the little class I rapids to Sag. Go west on Sag, past American Polint (be carefull, it’s easy to veer south into Red Rock Bay and get turned arround), go through all the bays of Sag until you get to Swamp Lake. If you didn’t get a tow, and there was a bit of wind, you may stay on one of those last bays of Sag, Swamp, or go back into the little bay to the south on Swamp and go to Zephyr. Day 2, or end of Day 1 if you got a tow to American Point go into Ottertrack, then Ester. On my “Ideal” trip, I’ll base camp here. I like to go up into two chains of lakes that are pretty, go over to the heron rookery on the north side of the lake, take the little paddle through to Henson and drop down into some swampy “Northern” lakes to catch some Pike and watch for moose, and I like to laze a day on this small sand beach I know about (and aint telling where it is) then catch some of the BIG smallies that tend to suspend in an area close by. I can also take a day trip over to Knife and Thunder Point, see a nice waterfall, etc. At night, this being a decent wolf area, I may be treated to a little bedtime music. And when I’m ready to go, I can take 2 days to go south and out through Knife, Ogish, Kingfisher, Jasper, Alpine, then Seagull, or just reverse the trip of day one and hope the prevailing winds give me a boost, but don’t kick up 3-4’ waves after I pass American Point of Sag. That’s MY ideal trip. WW

Nina Moose to Mudro
Any Boundary Waters trip is a good trip. I am still in search of the “best” trip. I’ll be happy if I never find it.

For anyone considering the Nina Moose to Mudro loop. My recommendation is to start at Nina Moose and end at Mudro. I did this trip last June and started at Mudro Lake. We paddled into the wind for four of the six days. If we had done this trip in reverse we would have had that wind at our backs.