From Lake Vermillion to Crane Lake. Anybody ever do this? Thinking of it for a spur of the moment 3 day trip with my son (no permit required) sometime when the workload lightens up this summer. Any experience would be helpful.
My neck of the woods
This section is beautiful…fun river, although depending on the time of year you are looking at there will be some rough waters. Good campsites that are under utilized, and great fishing opportunities…
I personally have only done one over night trip, but i’ve done numerous “day-trips” with my white-water kayak: the final section is full of some great rapids.
Try looking up “Loon’s Echo” resort, or “LaCroix Outfitters”…these guys are right there, and willing to help I’m sure for specifics on pick-up and entrance areas or lodging, ect…
Also, think about the next road north and Voyageurs National Park as an option. No permits, no cost to camp, no Park fees…ect. They have a wonderful “interior lakes” chain of several small lakes that are ideal for canoes because they see very little traffic. If you’re a kayaker, there is very few places in the Midwest that compare to the islands and waters of Voyageurs for kayaking.
hope that helps…
I solo’d the river a few years back. I put in about 2 miles upstream of Table Rock Falls, on Hilda Creek I think it’s called. I portaged Table Rock, and ran the rest in my Royalex canoe until the High Falls, but it’s mostly flat water with little current. Then I portaged the Chute. I was tempted to run the Gorge but chickened out and made the last long portage to Crane Lake. It’s a neat river, mostly high ground until Buyck, then rice flats until closer to Crane. There’ll likely be fishermen in boats along the way. I stayed with a friend one night in Buyck, camped 2nd night at site just past the Chute. If you’ve never seen the High Falls, stop and take a look. DNR has very good river maps of many N. MN rivers.
Thank you for the info.
I assume portages are well marked and a father and son (11 yo) team have plenty of time to maneuver to the landings? We aren’t looking to run any white water, and will portage when available. Anything tricky you can remember that a normal “heads up” approach wouldn’t recognize?
Should be fun
You should have no troubles, the portages are pretty well worn. There may have been signs locating them, but I wouldn’t count on that. When you approach High Falls stay left of island and look left for portage. You’ll hear the falls where river turns hard right and drops. It’s really no problem, but years ago a canoe went down it to no good end. The High Falls are a tourist destination and the portage crosses some of the footpaths to the falls, the worst that could happen there is you could carry your gear into the parking lot. After you leave the falls and go under the bridge look for the Chute portage on the left close to bridge. Don’t paddle too close to the Chute (or High Falls, for that matter) – you can see it from the bridge so there’s no surprise. Again, the DNR offices up here have great canoe route maps of this river and more. They are pocket sized, descriptive, and have about every event and portage, by the river mile, detailed. They’re free when I picked mine up in Eveleth and Cook. You can probably get something over internet or mail. ranny
One of my neatest trips ever was solo through Lac La Croix in the BWCA, the Loop River and ending up on the west end of Kab where I met the family for a week’s vaca at a resort. About 130 miles. Took 5 days. Neat area. I did it the first week of Sept. All pretty quiet except for some sea planes. I slept in my canoe, which eliminated having to find camp sites.