Big Lakes or Small Lakes

As a canoe outfitter we get asked numerous times about our favorite lakes or which one is better than the other. Small lakes are nice because they aren’t as affected by wind so they don’t get as wavy as bigger bodies of water. Big lakes are nice because campsites tend to be more private due to the size of the lake. What size lake do you like to camp on best?

For me it depends upon the type of camping trip I am taking. If I’m with a group of Josh’s friends then I don’t necessarily need a secluded campsite because it won’t be quiet with them around. If I’m on a solo trip then a smaller lake with only one or two campsites is nice because it will be private and I can easily paddle on my own.

The time of the paddling season is important to me when I’m deciding on what size BWCA lake I’ll camp on. If it’s a busier time of the season then I won’t want to stay on a small lake like Duncan because I’ll see more people heading from portage to portage. If it’s a slow time of the season and there aren’t many people out in the woods then I can camp on a small lake and most likely not see anyone.

Every lake size lake has its advantages and knowing what you want out of your canoe camping adventure will help you decide which size lake is right for you.

Boundary Waters lake
Rose Lake in the Boundary Waters


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