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Canoe to Loon Lake from Entry #14

Tower, Minnesota


Added by Derek Tice

This is a multiday canoe trip (we spent 3 days/2 nights) for groups of up to 9 people (4 canoes). Permits are $16/person and $8/youth. Along this trip, there are 4 portages (longest = 160 rods). 

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is located in the northern portion of the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota. What once used to be covered by glaciers is now home to approximately 1.1 million acres of land with 1,200 miles of canoe routes. Permits are required for access to the area at a rate of $16/person and $8/youth.

Entry #14 at the Little Indian Sioux River (north) allows 6 people per day. The adventure starts with a 40-rod portage (1 rod = 16.5 ft). After the portage, the paddle takes you along the Little Indian Sioux River. Once you're into the swing of things, the river hits a 60-rod portage that bypasses rough water and puts you back onto the Little Sioux River. Paddling for another 1.5 miles brings you to Upper Pauness Lake with 8 designated camp spots (camp spots may differ year to year since they move camp locations to decrease human impact on the land). These camp spots are located with fireplaces and a metal grate, and most often have some form of seating around/near the fire.

Lake Pauness is divided by a peninsula giving two route options: take a hard right and hit a difficult 8-rod portage or paddle halfway through the lake and take a 40-rod portage. Once back in your canoe/kayak it is a short paddle to the edge of the lake where the longest, 160-rod, portage starts. After a rest from the long haul, the route continues on the Little Sioux for about another 1.5 miles before it starts opening up into Loon Lake. Motors are allowed in Loon Lake so be wary of heavier traffic. Once into the lake it's a good idea to claim a camp spot that suites your taste before heading out on the lake to fish or adventure.

As for a scale of time, two of us paddled the distance to Loon Lake easily the first day. We spent the second day fishing and paddling around the lake (and still didn't see the entire lake). We were able to catch 6 Northern and 3 bass. We kept 3 of the largest Northern Pike, which we enjoyed for a fish fry the second night. The third day was dedicated to paddling out the way we came in.

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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