Paddle - BWCA, Quetico, Sylvania, and other paddling places

Memorial Day - Rush Lake

By RunnerRandy Print Icon Print Report View/Leave Comments (0)
Dates:May 22-25, 2020
Entry Point:49 - Skipper & Portage Lakes (BWCA)
Lakes:Banadad, Iron, Little Rush, Poplar, Portage, Rush, Skipper

Iron Lake Entry.JPGRush Lake Campsite NE.JPGBest cooking surface ever.JPG

Four friends, two canoes, warmer than average Memorial Day weekend, only 20 minute light rainfall on last night. Put in at Iron Lake early afternoon and traveled about 4 hours to great campsite on Rush Lake. First portage to Portage Lake very nice. Second portage up and down but good to One Island Lake. Third portage very difficult to find and quite overgrown, almost as if the portage was rarely used. Area was burnt from fire approx 12 years ago and brush/trees are thick. Portage is located 'in between' two low land areas. Portage goes up on a hill to the right. Took campground near portage on point, northern side of lake. Excellent campsite - open, huge white pine, ideal flat rock cooking surface next to grill, at least three tent sites. One of the top campsites over my many trips. Did not see other canoes and campers.

Rush Lake Campsite.JPGRush Lake Campsite early morning.JPGRush Lake fish for dinner.JPG

Second day, we day tripped to Banadad Lake. Muddy short portage that includes wood bridge for Banadad Ski Trail. One of us caught fish - one Bass, two Northerns. Kept the Bass for eating at dinner. Had lunch on far west Banadad Lake campsite. Nice spot. I did a solo trip across Sebeka Lake portage and walked Ross Lake portage. 95 rod Sebeka portage very muddy - even though it was relatively dry. 180 rod Ross Lake portage was a highway, very nice. Saw canoers this day.

Rush Lake Campsite.JPGRush Lake Campsite late evening.JPGBanadad western campsite.JPG

Third day we day tripped to the east into Little Rush Lake. Small water channel connects Little Rush to Skipper Lake, no need to take portage. We then assessed portage into Poplar Lake. Decided to change our exit plan for the next day. Saw lots of moose signs just like second day, however, no sightings. Also saw an old bear den next to the portage. Saw canoers this day.

Fourth day we packed up and departed taking the Poplar Lake portage. This portage is also a highway that has two wooden walkways across a couple of muddy sections. Blessings to the individuals that built these walkways! We erred and did not exit Poplar at the entry point, but rather at the most northeast portion of the lake. A resident was most kind to drive two of us to Iron Lake Campground to retrieve our vehicle.

Recap: Rush and Banadad Lakes are a bit remote relative to some other BWCA areas. Fishing is acceptable and lakes are nice. Best entry point is Poplar Lake. We found a great campsite on Rush Lake and there were other good campsites in the area as well.

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