Trip Route: Lake One to N. Kawishiwi to Ojibway Lake

Entry Point:   Lake One

Trip Length: 3 days

Apex: N. Kawishiwi River

Exit:  Ojibway Lake

Level:  Moderately Easy (Perspective – to get from Lake One to Ojibway Boat Landing with an empty canoe takes about 2 hours, 10 minutes)

Pace: 2 miles per day

Scenery:  Beautiful country, lots of sulfide bearing rocks all along the way, rapids

Busy Times: Last week of July – First week of August,

Features:  Moderate fishing, but easy short portages in granite, sulfidic rocks that can sparkle in sunlight, jackpine country with abundant reindeer moss and other beautiful flora.  This is copper-nickel country.

Problems:  Rapids.  Look inviting to try.  Portages can be very close to strong currents and difficult to see.  Longer, rugged portage from Kawishiwi River to Ojibway.  Campsites are a bit limited but there are some nice ones.

Solutions:  Follow your map closely.  Fishers are most accurate here.  Know where to expect portages and plan getting to them with your canoe.  Do not walk away from a floating canoe at the top or bottom of the portage.  Do not even think about running any rapids with our canoes unless you would like us to think about running your credit card to its financial limits.  We have done so in the past ans won’t hesitate to do so in the future.  Travel and set up camp early.  If need be, travel down stream and set up camp and then come back up.  There is no discernible currents when you are not near the rapids.The River is more like a long skinny lake.

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Lake Insula Base Camp

Entry Point:  Lake One

Trip Length: 5 Days

Apex: Insula Lake

Exit:  Lake One

Level:  Moderate to more difficult

Pace:  8-12 miles per day (land & sea combined) depending on your canoeing skill

Scenery:  Beautiful – rocks, stick, water, rapids, portages

Busy Times: Last week of July – First week of August

Features:  Excellent fishing, still a lot of campsites on Insula despite USFS attempt to burn it completely away

Problems:  Serious Rapids with portages around them.  Leaving a floating canoe unattended while loading up gear could result in said canoe going down rapids by itself.  This results in paying for extensive canoe repairs and maybe extraction costs (literally $$$$).  Bottom third of Insula is burned away.   Seeing the rapids makes a small percentage of paddlers turn to complete fools and they think they can run the “un-runnable” rapids from Insula.   We’ve had some of our clients do this over the years.  It was quite expensive for them and unnecessarily so.  Insula can be windy and rough.

Solutions:  Do not leave canoe unattended at any rapids, ever.  By that I mean, someone either stands there with a rope tied to it or the canoe is pulled up completely on shore.  Do not run ANY rapids ever and particularly with our canoes.  If you do, we are going to test the financial limits of your credit cards and maybe take your first-born as well and that will be regardless of whether or not you are alive, injured mightily or even dead.   For camping, plan on paddling further north on Insula.  Lots of nice sites available.  When it is windy and rough, you need to be in a Souris River Quetico 17.  If you are in some other Brand X canoes with a load aboard, plan on hiding for hours behind the multiple islands afforded you by Mother Nature on Insula.

Trip Route: Lake Three/Four Base Camp

Entry Point:  Lake One

Trip Length: 3 Days

Apex: Lake Three

Exit:  Lake One

Level:  Moderate

Pace:  6 – 8 miles per day (land & sea combined

Scenery:  Beautiful – rocks, sticks, water, rapids, portages

Busy Times: Last week of July – First week of August

Features:  This is an easy trip but due to the insanely handled Pagami Fire (our government helping us all with a “controlled” (HA! My butt!) burn), there are less campsites available in Lake Three.  There are still sites available on the north shores of Lake Three and Four.  Unfortunately a bunch of sites to the south did get removed by Uncle Sam.  That being said, this is still a neat area to visit and easy to access with only two piddly portages.

Problems:  With only two piddly portages separating  Lake Three from Lake One, the city folk think it’s a really big deal to go to Lake Two and jam up the campsites, nowadays.  Apparently, a 30 minute paddle is now considered a “canoeing adventure” for many.  As a result, they haul a ton of silly crap along and plug up the portages as well.  My personal favorite was the travel cooler with the little wheels on it. Technically, very much illegal, but they suck so bad as camping gear the US Forest Service allows them in just for entertainment purposes.  Don’t forget that the USFS was in charge of burning down 10% of of the BWCA in the Pagami fire as well.  So, allowing the little-wheeled, illegal travel coolers makes sense to them.

Solutions:  Travel early.  Today’s “new adventurers”  usually finally get going at around 10-11 AM.   Hit the water early and go to Lake Four.  Stick your flag with the family crest in a campsite on the north shore and defend your claim against confused insurgents who will bumble by much later in the day.  Most will stay on Lake Two because getting wilderness on you is only done with an app anymore.