Canoe Trip Routes

Moose Lake - Knife Lake Loops BWCA Canoe Trip Route

If you want options on your BWCA canoe trip, this is the area for you! Three to ten day loops can be found.  Each one having options to shorten or lengthen the trip as you see fit. Sometimes the weather can hold up your travel progress, sometimes finding a great fishing spot can also change your plans! This area, south and east of Knife Lake offers solutions to almost every route variable that comes up.

First of all, to get to Knife Lake via Moose Lake, you'll need to make 5 easy portages. Plan on about 4 hours of travel time when using the towboat service to Birch Lake. From here, paddle Birch Lake (1.5 hours) and make a 40 rod portage into Carp Lake. A very short paddle across Carp takes you to a series of portages along the Knife River. These portages are 25, 15, 15, 15, and 75 rods. Now you're in Knife Lake with miles and miles of superb scenery, fishing and wildlife viewing. Knife Lake can also make a very nice basecamp area. Leave camp set up in one spot and make day trips to surrounding lakes.

A very short route would take you south from Knife Lake through Vera Lake and back into Ensign Lake, Splash Lake (tow available from here), and back to Moose lake. You would have 2 pretty hefty portages on this route, on either side of Vera Lake. These portages are about 1/2 mile each and not flat!

Most canoeists choose to travel along Knife Lake at least as far as the South Arm. You will be paddling the US/Canadian border for this portion of the trip. Dramatic scenery including cliffs and scenic overlooks will be found here. A nice loop of about 5 days total will lead south from Knife Lake into Bonnie Lake (33 rods), Spoon Lake (25 rods), Pickle Lake (25 rods), Kekekabic Lake (80 rods), Strup Lake (85 rods), Wisini Lake (10 rods), Ahmakose Lake (90 rods), Gerund Lake (30 rods), Fraser Lake (15 rods), and Thomas Lake (pull through). Now choose your return route either south into Kiana, Insula... ending at Lake One or northwest into Hatchet, Ima...Ensign...Moose. (See other Moose Loops for details on this section of the routes)

You may also choose to travel to the far eastern end of Knife Lake's South Arm into Eddy Lake. See Eddy Falls, travel isolated Kek Ponds and enter into Kekakabic lake on the far eastern shoreline of the lake. Most portages on this leg of the trip will be 5-25 rods. If you follow the border to the far northeast end of Knife Lake, you'll travel into Ester, Hanson, Cherry, Topaz, Amoeber and back into the South Arm of Knife. These lakes have just a few campsites on them, some with only one site! Portages in this area are again, quite easy with one running about 110 rods, all others much shorter.

There are even more possibilities in this Knife Lake area. With your input, we can help design a route to meet your needs. All along this route, you'll find walleye, northern pike, smallmouth and panfish. Many lakes also hold lake trout and largemouth bass, even a few with brook trout! View Map 1 View Map 2

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