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BWCA Portage 769 (Shell to Lower Pauness)

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Approximate Length:
1115m (222 rods)


Climb/Descent Meters:

"Hilliness" Index

# of Comments:

On 8/28/2023 9:42:24 AM, paddle_pilot said:
Visit Date:

Low water on both sides meant for a muddy put in / take out. The dreaded beaver pond was much reduced, but still present. In past years this was a 'must paddle'. Not really 'floatable' this year. I watched a few people wade across up to thigh deep water. There are some logs on one side if your balance is good...
On 1/22/2023 11:50:05 AM, Don P said:
Visit Date:

The portage is well used and not too difficult. However the middle beaver dam broke washing away portions of the portage as well as some trees. The middle pond that had to be floated was gone this spring. It may return if the beavers rebuild.
On 1/21/2023 12:10:05 AM, RougeCanoe said:
Visit Date:

Beautiful beaver pond in the middle, definitely count on paddling the pond. Enjoyed listening to the frogs serenade us on the shortest paddle of the trip.
On 10/22/2021 1:14:07 PM, eagle98mn said:
Visit Date:

From my visit in 2018: Wow, this is a beautifully maintained portage and really quite flat and easy despite its length. The beaver pond in the middle breaks it up, forcing you to reload your canoe. A beautiful walk through the woods in the fall... Updated Review 2021: Everything pretty well holds up. Water levels were low in the beaver pond in the middle, but it was the right decision to paddle across. It still got pretty deep in the middle.
On 7/10/2021 11:54:19 AM, bioteachk said:
Visit Date:

Depending on water levels you may be able to paddle across the beaver pond near the middle. Water levels in 2021 were low and we were still able to paddle/pole across this section. Takeouts are a bit challenging on either end, otherwise this is a long walk through the woods with a short paddle in the middle.
On 7/15/2020 10:11:14 AM, khyler said:
Visit Date:

Well maintained and fairly easy portage, despite the length. Heading towards Shell Lake, there is a slight incline most of the way to the beaver marsh... but nothing extreme. After the marsh, the rest of the portage was downhill and easy! The beaver marsh broke up the portage so it felt more like a 100 rod portage with a 10 rod paddle, then another 90 rod. Over all, well worth the portage to head to a beautiful lake with amazing campsites!
On 9/20/2019 7:19:43 AM, PHerrd said:
Visit Date:

Fairly easy portage, some rocks along the way. The beaver pond has covered the trail and boardwalk, it's 3 feet deep across the trail, but you can line or paddle your canoe across that part. If you run out of leaches for fishing, stock up here.
On 6/6/2018 5:15:47 PM, Bradford said:
Visit Date:

typical portage, no extremes up or down BUT there is a large beaver pond about 2/3 of the way to shell from pauness that must be crossed. best to load the boat and paddle/pole across it.
On 7/5/2017 10:45:45 AM, kuddus87 said:
Visit Date:

Definitely need to canoe across the pond about 3/4 into the portage. A little steep in the beginning from lower pauness.
On 7/18/2016 9:15:15 PM, tom.jordan23 said:
Visit Date:

Beaver pond is deep enough to paddle across. Don't try to portage through it.
On 5/10/2014 9:28:03 AM, bwbrian said:
Visit Date:

Portage landing at either end are a bit shallow and muddy but once you are on the trail it is fairly easy going. The first third of the portage heading toward Shell is uphill, though not steeply, and the remainder is a gradual descent. There are two notable features along the way. First, near its highest point, the portage is intersected by the Sioux Hustler/Devil's Cascade hiking trail. A hike about 15 minutes north on that trail will bring you to a beautiful overlook of the Devil's Cascade. Second, near the Shell Lake end is a beaver pond along the south side of the trail which is frequented by moose in the evening. There is a substantial section of boardwalk to keep you above the water.
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start of portage on pauness side
start of portage on pauness side by Bradford
shell lake portage beaver pond
shell lake portage beaver pond by Bradford
shell lake portage
shell lake portage by Bradford
shell lake portage 2
shell lake portage 2 by Bradford
garden walk in the fall
garden walk in the fall by eagle98mn
Portage by Chadd
beaver dam flooding on portage
beaver dam flooding on portage by colandene
Beaver Pond mid Portage
Beaver Pond mid Portage by Crystal Magiera
Beaver Dam
Beaver Dam by RougeCanoe
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