Quick Trip into the BWCA

     Last Saturday I was invited to go on a quick BWCA canoe trip with two friends. One of them had to work until 4pm on Saturday and the other one had to be back to work by 8am on Monday morning. Time with good friends especially in the Boundary Waters is too good of an offer to refuse.

     We drove to Brule Lake which is the entry point lake we planned to camp on. We just wanted to find a campsite to hang out at and do a little fishing. The parking lot at Brule was quite full so we shouldn’t have been shocked when we paddled past campsite after campsite filled with BWCA visitors. 

     The closest campsite to the public landing was open but everything on our way to the east end of Brule was occupied.  We decided to check out the portage into Vernon Lake to determine if there was an open campsite on that lake.  After hiking the wet, muddy, rocky and very steep portage we decided we wouldn’t be carrying our coolers across no matter if there was a campsite available. 

     We made our way back out of Brule Bay and onto the main part of Brule Lake. We checked out the campsites in North Bay as the sun was beginning to set. All 3 of those campsites were occupied as well.  We planned to paddle back to the landing to take the site we hoped was still open. As we made our way south we found an open campsite on the tip of an island.

     With headlamps on we set up camp, made dinner, enjoyed a campfire and went to bed.  We were all pretty tired since we had paddled for about 3 hours, half of which was with a strong wind in our face.

     The next morning the wind was still blowing. We attempted to take the canoe out to catch fish but were blown back to our campsite. Whitecaps prevented us from any more paddling or fishing but we did catch one smallmouth in the short time we were out. 

     The rest of the day we swam, hiked to the other campsite on the island and enjoyed each others’ company.  The next morning we were up before the sun rose and back to the landing just as it was rising.  It was a quick but wonderful trip into the BWCA.


View Brule Lake BWCA Basecamp in a larger map