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I've never been to the BWCA and am looking for any suggestions on lakes for a fairly easy/short trip (2-3 days) for someone who has never been to Ely or the BWCA.  I recently picked up a kayak and have visions in my head of paddling out on a relatively small, quiet lake and catching a lot of fish.  However, with a kayak I won't have room for gear or supplies, so I would need to camp somewhere I could drive to, and obviously wouldn't be going very deep into the BWCA.


Maybe the entire Ely area is loaded with lakes that would fit the bill, but does anyone have any suggestions for ones I should research?

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Kayaks are fun but they call it the BWCanoeArea for a reason. All the better fishing lakes I know are at least two or three portages in. Look into the lakes right by Ely and you’ll find a lake where you can camp and kayak and they’ll have fish.

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Posted (edited)

LOTS of options in the Superior National Forest.  Pick a direction form Ely you want to go and you’ll find what you’re looking for.  


North is the Echo Trial and the first area that comes to mind.  East takes you up the Fernberg Road and into more trout type lakes.  South and east is Highway 1 to Isabella.  I haven’t explored that one much yet but have heard some of those small lakes called out as good hits.  West of Ely has some options but seems/feels more commercial with the bigger lakes.  


I think the Highway 1 area might have less traffic than the Echo?  Not sure though.  The Echo can get busy with the hiking trail activity and link to Crane Lake.  The Fernberg seems to be drive by area with folks heading to Basswood.  Tofte is a number 1 trout lake to hit.


Camping can be had in MANY places.  Contact the National Forest Service and order the big plasticized map of the SNP/BWCA and have fun considering your options!  Campsites and trails are marked!

Edited by Wanderer
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Thanks for pointing me in the right direction guys. I'll take a look at some of the places you suggest. 

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Easy trip out of Ely is Lake One, Lake Two, Lake Three. I consider that chain of lakes the cherry-poppers since they are easy, but not necessarily quiet. If you head to the east end out of Grand Marais, Bower Trout is small, pretty quiet, has some walleye, and is an easy walk from the entry. 

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