As a compromise for missing out on Independence Day festivities last year, we settled on a mixture of day paddling and tourist activities in Minocqua, WI. After poring over maps of the area over the winter, I decided I wanted to try paddling/portaging around Lost Canoe Lake, partially because of the name and because there are a number of canoe campsites in the area. The NHAL offers a number of canoe routes (pdf) with both reservable and first-come campsites.
|DNR Map of Escanaba Lake area|
|GPS track showing portage|
|GPS track on Lost Canoe Lake|
|Kid napping at Lost Canoe Lake campsite landing|
|We paddled through this looking for the portage|
Despite feeling like whatever the opposite of an explorer is and having our daughter basically sleep in the canoe the whole time and act like a bump on a log, I had a good time on our paddle. We paddled and portaged a total of 8.4 miles and saw a few common critters, and it felt good to get in some miles before our upcoming Boundary Waters trip. Although this was not exactly wilderness, we didn't see very many people, and I don't think a lot of people travel these routes, especially compared to some of the other places, such as the BWCAW, that we travel. I certainly am interested in trying out some of the routes suggest in the above DNR publication, but I will expect and consider contingencies for missing/closed portages and campsites.
I would love to hear from anyone who has paddled this area or who is interested in doing so.
|I guess she did manage a smile, and I look like the one not having fun.|