Friday, January 24, 2020
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Kevlar Solo – Northstar RobRoy

16′-6″ 34 lbs – The Prism is our most popular composite solo canoe. Incredibly versatile, it’ll take you comfortably over all kinds of waters. 

Kevlar Solo – Wenonah Prism

16′-6″ 34 lbs – The Prism is our most popular composite solo canoe. Incredibly versatile, it’ll take you comfortably over all kinds of waters. 

Route 7a Morgan to Poplar

Rockwood Canoe Route Morgan to Poplar
www.paddleplanner.com Canoe Route Morgan to Poplar

This trip starts at Morgan Lake to Jake, Vista, continuing through Horseshoe, Caribou, Lizz and back to our dock at Poplar Lake. Seven portages, the first portage is nearly 1 mile.  Two – Three days average. Easy – Moderately Difficult. View route on Paddle Planner.

Canoecopia

We had a great show in Madison this last weekend March 8-10. Thousands of people attended CanoeCopia hosted by Rutabaga, with various canoe vendors and presentations throughout the weekend. We want to thank EVERYONE who stopped by our booth and chatted about the Gunflint Trail and Rockwood Lodge with us. Vinny, the bear, made the trip with us and got into the maple syrup display next to us (Sorry, B & E Trees). My college friend and best man Tom Rebernak showed up with Nikki and Sarah, boosting our ability to talk with guests; Sarah handed out hundreds of stickers! They are awesome friends and I really appreciate their help. A shoutout goes to Laura, Joe, Richard and Mary for swinging through and keeping us laughing. Also a big thank you to Mike Bartz for standing with us all weekend, sharing his expertise and quick wit, it really helped to have a person who has such a connection to the Gunflint Trail share the Rockwood story.

  • Carl doing what he does best
  • Mike Bartz, the LEGEND
  • Vinny the Bear after a hard Saturday Night raid of the neighbor’s bourbon maple syrup
  • Great friends visiting make everyday better! Thank you Laura, Joe, Richard and Mary!
  • Deep conversations about the advantages Rockwood offers visitors to the Gunflint Trail
  • Mike and Carl trying to slow down Mike Seim, who moves TOO fast for photos. Thank you to Joe from WTIP for the photo!
  • Mike knows EVERYONE!
  • Vinny was a little tired after all the shenanigans.

Bridal Veil Falls

Blog post by Kari, Summer 2018

We took a boat down Gunflint Lake a few years ago, landed on a beach near the west end of the lake and took the short hike to Bridal Veil Falls. It was gorgeous and we talked about going back again someday. This spring I read a blog post on easy to moderate day hikes along the Trail, including how to get to Bridal Veil Falls on foot. https://clearwaterhistoriclodge.com/best-day-hikes-gunflint-trail/

With friends from Chicago joining us for a 4th of July cabin week at Rockwood Lodge, I now had at least one daytrip to plan and started doing some research.

Carl’s map

Before starting out on the morning of our adventure, Carl at Rockwood shared his trailhead map with us, adding to our navigation options for the hike.

I had already marked up one of my own maps and we also decided to pre-load a map for the area on our phones. This would give us a real-time reference point with the GPS tracking our progress along the hike. With multiple map sources loaded on our phones and in the daypack, we were ready to show our friends the beautiful Bridal Veil Falls.

Trailhead sign

We loaded the crew in to the van and headed down the Trail from Rockwood Lodge towards N Loon Lake Road and the Crab Lake Spur Trail. This is a turnoff from the Trail that we’ve never taken but it was quite easy to find our way to the parking lot at the Trailhead, located just past Loon Lake Lodge.

It was a perfect day for a hike through the woods. After spending much of the previous day in our rain gear or inside the cabin, the weather was beautiful and we couldn’t wait to be outside in the sunshine. We started out with a fairly easy hike on the first stretch of the Crab Lake spur trail, flat, wide open and grassy along the way.

Wide grassy path

Wildflowers & moss

Ferns and sun

Wolf scat

Forest rebirth

We took our time as we wandered by and through beautiful areas full of wildflowers, multiple varieties of moss, ferns and even some wolf scat. The Ham Lake Fire came through the area in 2007 and I always love seeing the rebirth of the forest.

Once the trail started to follow the Crab Lake shoreline, it became a little less wide open with a few rocks and roots underfoot and an occasional obstacle but this portion of the trail remained relatively flat and easy to navigate. We could see Crab Lake most of the time but thanks to the pre-loaded GPS map we also knew when the lake wasn’t visible that we were still following along the shoreline, though farther back from the water.

Narrower path

Crab lake

Tree in the path

There was a nice short trail down to Crab lake partway down the shoreline and we would end up taking advantage of that on our return trip to use our portable water filter and refill water bottles.

Path to water

BWCA sign

Make sure to bring along a day permit for the BWCA. You will cross in to the wilderness along a portion of the spur trail, though most of the hike is outside the Boundary Waters. We always carry extra permits in our day pack so we are prepared.

We followed the shoreline of Crab Lake for about a mile and when we reached the end of the lake we started to look for the Border Route Trail split. We knew we were supposed to stay to the LEFT as this point and there was a handy trail sign to announce the split. We continued to our left towards the Border Route Trail.

Border Route sign

Crab Lake cutoff sign

It was a little tougher hiking from this point…. Still a moderate hike but more rugged than the mostly flat grassy path we had just left. Rocks, roots, mud, elevation and a few water features sprinkled the trail.

Rocky trail

Tree trunk bridge over water

I sank up to my knee in a wet mud-covered section of the trail at one point because of the previous day’s rain. Unfortunately no photos exist of my mud adventure as I was getting assistance out of the mud and I am the main photog on our trips. The spur trail eventually joined the BRT and the ruggedness continued with the added bonus of beautiful sweeping views of Gunflint Lake along the top. We stopped for a water, snack and photo break along the top. With the added bonus of some blueberries ripe for the picking.

Gunflint Lake

Blueberry bushes

Blueberries!

Despite the semi-rugged nature of the trail and the feeling that not many people travel this stretch, we saw multiple groups and one solo hiker along the way. When you reach the bridge over the rapids that become Bridal Falls, you have several options. Follow the rapids on either side of the bridge to locate a way down to the falls. The series of rapids and water that lead to the falls are gorgeous as well.

Rapids 1

Rapids 2

Rapids 3

We looked on the side BEFORE crossing the bridge based on info we read ahead of time. There were a couple of options to continue down, both fairly steep and requiring agility. Only two of our group opted to go down, based on some physical limitations … And for me… my extreme fear of heights coupled with being short led me to skip it and stay up top with our friends to eat our trail lunch.

Lunch at bridge

Our daughter loved seeing the falls a few years ago so she and my husband chose to make their way down the steep rocky slope to the top of Bridal Veil Falls. They ran in to several people who had come down on both sides of the bridge and it sounds like crossing over the bridge and then heading down was the easier path, at least that day. One family had younger kids and they made the trip down just fine.

Despite a fall that led to sliding partway down and having a bit of road rash to show for it, our daughter loved seeing Bridal Veil Falls from a different perspective and was thrilled to make it down there. She took several photos to share with our friends so they could see it. Less water was cascading over the falls than our previous visit but it was still worth the trip.

Bridal Veil Falls

We finished up our trail lunch and then headed back the way we came. I’m always so pleasantly surprised at how different the trail can look on a return trip and I spent plenty of time taking photos along the way back. The warm dry day made our hike back less wet and muddy. The knee-deep mud no longer was an issue on the return trip. It’s a gorgeous hike… and I highly recommend it, even if you don’t make it all the way down to the Falls. Overall it took our group 6 hours from start to finish but that included lots of meandering, a break along the top of Gunflint Lake and lunch near the bridge over the rapids leading to the Falls. It could be done much quicker if speed was your goal. The info I read said it was about six miles (round trip) and that seems correct. We forgot to track that.

Burnt out tree

Happy hikers 2

Happy hikers

Dried up mud

Tree art

Fall Colors

Come on up the shore and see the fall colors. Most of the Gunflint Trail is yellows, but some of the back roads around Grand Marais and Lutsen are full of Maples and will have lots of color in late September and early October. For a more specific guess, visit this website: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fall_colors/index.html

 

What our customers are saying…

October 2019, 5 stars on Google: We started our BWCA Canoe trip from Rockwood. We stayed the night prior to departure in their bunkhouse. Rockwood has one of the best bunkhouse which is heated and includes a bathroom (with shower). The owners are 2 couples who are very competent and wonderful to work with. – Chuck

October 2019, Facebook Recommendation: Amazing experience! Great customer service. Quiet & relaxing cabin. So much to do right on site & around the area (if you like nature)! Wish we lived closer bc we would come back more often! Our 4 & 7 year left saying we should get rid of our TV. Amazing detox away from society for a bit! – Kate

August 2019, 5 stars on Google:We loved it. Stayed in the”Honeymoon Cottage” which was very cozy. The view of the lake from the front porch is beautiful and very relaxing. It’s so quiet and peaceful. We loved every second there.😍 – Jeannine

August 2019, 5 stars on Google: Highly recommend. Friendly service. 10% for military – Derek

July 2019, 5 stars on Google: We have used Rockwood outfitters for the past 2 years. They have been great in arranging and even modifying permits for us before out trips and have high quality canoes (we chose a 2 person ultralight last year and an ultralight Wenonah.Minnesota 3 this year). My daughter and friend added on for part of our trip this year, also got help with their permit and after joining us (made easier by Rockwood being able to track our location on the satellite phone we had rented there for emergency use and being able to let them know where we had stopped) were able to keep up pretty well in an ultralight Minnesota 2. Since we had flown in to Duluth and rented a car to get there they even refunded the unused gas cylinders we had gotten there.. The low cost bunkhouse for the night after our flight in was convenient and the shower house after our trip most welcome. Helpful and friendly staff who were a delight to work with and went out of their way to provide excellent service. Highly recommend! -Tom

July 2019, 5 stars on Google: The staff here are seriously so nice. They only charged us for the days we used the canoe we rented from them even though we reserved it for several more days. They are very honest, helpfull, and go out of there way to give you a good deal. The five dollar shower at the end of a long canoe trip is so satisfying. Bunk houses are clean. If I could recomend one thing, it would be have quiet hours for the bunk houses. – Adam

Facebook, July 2019 – The beauty found in nature renews my spirit and awakes my soul. I can stand for hours at the edge of a lake while peering down into the infinite heavens above. The stars reach from tips of my toes to the top of my head reminding me that there are no limits to pure joy. My mind is as still at the water and my heart bursts with gratitude. Rockwood Lodge and Outfitters – Laura

June 2019, 5 stars on Google: Used them as an outfitter for a canoeing trip. Spectacular. Great people, welcoming, good facilities, fun, and great gear! – Michael

June 2019, 5 stars on Google: The Rockwood lodge on Poplar lake was beautiful and perfect for our brief stay. The staff was warm, welcoming and accommodating. They were able to knowledgeably answer our questions and gave great fishing recommendations. The bunkhouse was rustic and comfortable before our trip in the BWCA. The equipment they had for rental was in terrific shape and ready for use. Would highly recommend! – Jack

September 2018, 5 stars on Yelp: My wife and I used Rockwood Lodge for a week long outfitting trip into the BWCA the week of Labor Day. This is the second time we have used their outfitting service and it’s for good reason. They have only owned the resort for a few years now and it is so cool to see all the progress they have made on this place over the last 3 years.

Their bunkhouse are adequate, their equipment is second to none, and their prices are reasonable. We love the fact that we can take off right from the resort and don’t have to load all our stuff on the car and drive off some place to launch.

But were these guys really shine is their service and how friendly they are. Mike and Carl are such great guys and just so helpful. We got there a bit early and my wife has always wanted to try paddle boarding. Not only did they tell my wife she could give one a try, Carl took her out and gave her a lesson.

We will be back for sure and the next time we would like to rent one of their cabins for a few days as well.

-Brian

September 2018, 5 stars on Yelp: Just completed a Boundary Waters trip using Rockwood Outfitters and I couldn’t be happier. What great service. In the months leading up to my trip Carl was very helpful, arranging for permits and answering all my questions from California. When I arrived they completely outfitted me and thoroughly briefed me on my maps and routes. Mike was especially patient explaining the SPOT GPS device to a techno ignorant geezer. The equipment was top notch and proved worthy, keeping me dry through the worst storm I’ve ever been in. The food was outstanding. They contract out to a restaurant down the road called Trails End that makes their own freeze dried camp chow. They even have vegan/vegetarian options. I stayed in the bunkhouse the day before and after my trip. Very clean with a bathroom and shower attached.
I came in a few days early and they prorated the unused food. Extremely satisfied and wouldn’t hesitate to use them again if I entered off the Gunflint Trail. Would love to stay at one of their cabins sometime for a more pampered visit. Thanks again Carl and Rockwood.

-William

June 2017, 5 stars on Yelp: Just got back from a trip to the Boundary Waters. This was the second time I have utilized this lodge for our outfitting needs, and I wouldn’t go anywhere else.

They were fantastic with prompt reply/communication beforehand.

They were sure to provide us with all of the food and gear we needed. In all honesty we were probably provided more food than we needed. They have switched to a new provider of freeze dried meals that are made just a few miles down the Gunflint Trail. These new meals were definitely a step up from the food we got on our first trip 2 years ago.

The entry point we utilized was fairly busy. We did end up seeing a few other groups per day, while on our first trip we saw two other canoes all week. If at all possible, we would have liked the outfitter to contact us when they noticed our entry point and connecting lakes were going to be fairly busy. We would have gone with our second potential route in order to get further away from other travelers. This decision was on us as well, which is why it won’t impact the excellent rating Rockwood deserves.

Thank you for outfitting this fantastic trip. We will be back!

-Tyler

August 2017, 5 stars on Yelp: Our gear was clean and like new, and the food was fantastic! Don’t miss the wild mushroom stroganoff or butter biscuits. Owners were friendly and very responsive, offering us camp chairs and letting us split our food order in two to accommodate a vegetarian. The only small issue was I think they forgot to pack us cups so we had coffee and cocoa in bowls, not a big deal. Bunk house is basic but comfortable and the breakfast was nice. If you go, my advice is not to stay on horseshoe lake because it’s swampy and there are lots of mosquitoes. Gaskin and caribou were much nicer. We used them for my dad’s 60th birthday trip–we flew in–and it was so great to have everything taken care of. I definitely recommend them! -Rachael

October 2018, 5 stars on Tripadvisor: Rockwood Won’t Disappoint – We stayed in the bunkhouse twice now before entering the BWCA. It’s perfect, you launch your canoes right from their shore and after a short paddle across beautiful Poplar Lake you are almost in the BWCA. Customer service can’t be beat. Rockwood is rustic and charming, that’s what makes it great! If you are looking for a 5-star resort with a golf course, a pool, a fitness center, room service, fine dining, and nightlife this isn’t it. If you are looking for a 5 star experience, this is your place! Kick back and relax, unwind, breathe the fresh air, go for a paddle, take a hike, possibly see a bear, moose, or a bald eagle. Drop a line in the water and catch dinner. Stop by the lodge on a rainy day to play a game or read a book. Sit and chat with the owners. I’m a Rockwood customer for life, I just wish that I would have found it earlier so I could enjoy it that many more years. -Joel L.

February 2019, 5 stars on Tripadvisor:
Hidden Gem of a Cabin
We were looking for a winter getaway, full of nature and outdoor activities that didn’t involve snowmobiles, that also allowed dogs. Rockwood Lodge owner Carl offered us Cabin 12, which is the only cabin he offers in winter. It was perfect. Warm and cozy cabin with gas fireplace, comfortable furniture and beds, kitchen/bathroom has all the basics, unbeatable views, nature surrounding us, peace and quiet. We will come back. –Jennifer

January 2019, 5 stars on Google: Friendly, knowledable staff. They planned a perfect canoe trip to fit our time frame. Great tips. The bunkhouses we’re nice to stay in overnight before our trip. Simple and rustic. No frills. Showers were simple and cheap after we got back. Enough warm water for 2-4 people to shower and then it starts to cool down but just what was needed to return to civilization and they had towels, shampoo, and soap. They provided any equipment you needed. We had backpacking supplies and food so only needed canoes, paddles, and lifejackets but they had anything else you could need. Full camping gear sets and food. Nice restaurants nearby. -Caitlin


November 2018, Recommended on Facebook:
Carl’s shuttle for our canoe trip was excellent. On a different get-away, the cabin rental was great for a quiet retreat with my wife. We hope to be back. -Michael

November 2018, 5 stars on Facebook:
I love this place!!! -Suzanne

October 2018, Recommended on Facebook:
Rockwood does a fantastic job caring for their customers. They are friendly, helpful, and generally just great people all around. They know the area well and are very helpful with route planning, tips, tricks and advice. Can’t wait to go back for the 3rd year in a row. The BWCA is wonderful in its own way, Rockwood just makes the experience that much better. I read a lot of reviews and decided last year to give them a try, I sure am glad that I did. Thanks Rockwood team! -Joel

June 2018, 5 stars on Google: This place is amazing . Cabins are very clean and stocked with anything you really need. They offer a canoe with each cabin rental. The staff is so sweet and very informative, always striving to make your stay that much more amazing. The view is absolutely beautiful looking onto poplar lake . I have been coming back to this place for a few years. Even brought up my friends family to share the experience. This is definitely a place your children will also love. I have children ages 17, 13, and 8. -Kelly

September 2018, Recommended on Facebook:
Yet another great time in cabin 9! Mike and Carol and Carl and Stephanie make great hosts and made us feel very welcome. From the moment we drove in until we had to say good-bye we felt catered to unlike any other Lodge we’ve ever visited! I only wish Carl could have made the smallies bite better 😉.
If you’re looking for a genuine cabin-on-a-lake vacation, look no further – Rockwood is your place!! -Frank and Jolene

September 2018, Recommended on Facebook:
Mike and I have loved our past week there. The guys and gals are great owners!! -Suzy

September 2018, 5 stars on TripAdvisor:
My wife and I used Rockwood Lodge for a week long outfitting trip into the BWCA the week of Labor Day. This is the second time we have used their outfitting service and it’s for good reason. They have only owned the resort for a few years now and it is so cool to see all the progress they have made on this place over the last 3 years.

Their bunkhouse are adequate, their equipment is second to none, and their prices are reasonable. We love the fact that we can take off right from the resort and don’t have to load all our stuff on the car and drive off some place to launch.

But were these guys really shine is their service and how friendly they are. Mike and Carl are such great guys and just so helpful. We got there a bit early and my wife has always wanted to try paddle boarding. Not only did they tell my wife she could give one a try, Carl took her out and gave her a lesson.

We will be back for sure and the next time we would like to rent one of their cabins for a few days as well. -Brian

July 2018, 5 stars on Facebook:
This place is heaven on Earth. The staff is amazing. I was here around 8 years ago and was bound and determined to come back again. This time, I brought the entire family and they fell in love with it as well. Great community of folks who live and breathe the BWCA. Cabin 2 was awesome and am looking forward to coming back next year and getting into Cabin 12. Thanks Rockwood for an excellent vacation. -Lori

September 2018, 5 stars on google:
we had a wonderful labor day weekend at rockwood lodge, cabin #7! the cabin was super clean, and the view of poplar lake from our deck was amazing. we loved having our own dock to fish and swim from, as well as our own canoe. carl at the lodge couldn’t have been more wonderful to work with and host our weekend (including spooking my kids a little bit with the “talking doorbell”!)… they even loaned my kids fishing poles when we realized we didn’t have any. if you are looking to experience the bwca/gunflint trail and get close to the wilderness without having to sleep on the ground, look no further than rockwood. from the loons to the star gazing, the fishing and the bonfires, it was a perfect weekend at a perfect location. -ashley

August 2018, 5 stars on Google:
Love, love, love and will be back next year! Thanks to all you guys! From helping the kids paddleboard, to giving directions for hiking trails, where to get a cocktail and where to find the best milkshakes, the staff was amazing. Love cabin 12. The only sound in the morning is a loon – and they don’t even wake up early! Perfect! Cabin was beautiful, the view can’t be beat, the peace and quiet invaluable. Next year we’ll venture farther into the Boundary Waters. Can’t wait to see you. -Nikki

August 2018, 5 stars on Google:
Very helpful. They have everything you need and don’t push you to buy things you don’t need. -Jonathan

I would definitely recommend Rockwood to anyone interested in exploring this beautiful area. -Ed

June 2018, 5 stars on Google:
Arranged a trip into the BWCA through Rockwood. I had never been to the Eastern area of the wilderness. Mike and Carl were very helpful with my route plan. They took care of our permit for us. Stayed in the Spruce Bunkhouse the night before we headed out. We showed up a couple hours early and everything was clean and ready for us. We only rented canoes, but they were in great shape. Carl had the canoes loaded and the coffee ready for us bright and early. He gave us some nice history of the area on our way to the drop off. I would definitely recommend Rockwood to anyone interested in exploring this beautiful area. -Ed

July 2018, 5 stars on Google: 
This was my second visit to Rockwood Outfitters and it was even better than the last visit! They give you plenty of equipment to ensure a great camping experience, they are super nice and care about you having a great time. We just came back and on Friday experienced a terrible storm and they actually came to the portage to “rescue” us from the storm and gave us a boat ride back to the outfitters cabin. It was fantastic, above and beyond anything we could have expected. The cabins are simple but clean and nice for staying in and even the shower house had extra towels and soaps to use in case you forgot yours or were just low. There aren’t enough stars to give them, i’d give them 10! -Annette

July 2018, 5 stars on Facebook: Back at work this morning after a week at Rockwood. It was hard to leave. We stayed in Cabin 12 and absolutely had an awesome week. Carl, Stephanie, Mike and Carol – hats off to all 4 of you and all the long hours you work to make sure everyone’s stay is enjoyable! Canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, hiking, visiting with Fresca, Jack & Gunner (their dogs), waterfalls, State Parks, Grand Marais, wildlife viewing, FRESH AIR, and no day-to-day city noises. Can’t thank you all enough for what you do there! We look forward to coming back!! -Pete

July 2018, 5 stars on Google: Awesome place to get away! You cant find peace like that anywhere else! -Travis

July 2018, 5 stars on Google: Our family could not ask for better service. No matter what your “adventurous” friends tell you, BWCA is completely attainable for families. Places like Rockwood make it possible. Carl and the crew have been crazy-helpful and I wouldn’t go to another outfitter hands-down. Excellent experience and categorically recommended. -Andy

July 2018, 5 stars on Google: I’ve been to Rockwood twice in the past few years, and had great experiences both times. Can’t wait till next year! -Rachel

July 2018, 5 stars on Facebook: What an amazing place. I think we’ll have to make this an annual trip! -Sharon

June 2018, 5 stars on Google: Our family could not ask for better service. No matter what your “adventurous” friends tell you, BWCA is completely attainable for families. Places like Rockwood make it possible. Carl and the crew have been crazy-helpful and I wouldn’t go to another outfitter hands-down. Excellent experience and categorically recommended. -Andy

May 2018, 5 stars on Google: Beautiful place! Caught a big bass off the dock -Ben

May 2018, 5 stars on Google: Wonderful accommodations, fair price and very pleasant hosts. I’m excited to see the sweat equity they’re putting into the place to make it even better. -Ted

February 2018, 5 stars on Facebook: We’ve used Rockwood the last few years for trips into the BWCA. The bunkhouse is always clean and ready for us before we start our trip. Staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. -Bryan

September 2017, 5 stars on Facebook: Fantastic people, I couldn’t have been happier with the experience I had here. After a tough couple days on the border route trail, the staff adapted to our needs and assisted us in getting to our vehicle early than anticipated. The facilities are clean and the shower house is a god sent at the end of an excursion!! -Chris

August 2017, 5 stars on Facebook: Carl and mike went out of their way to make sure our questions were answered, and our needs were met! You can tell they truly love what they do!! Our trip was a success thanks to Rockwoods!! -Peter

August 2017, 5 stars on Facebook: We had a great experience booking Rockwood Lodge and Outfitters. The bunkhouse where we stayed prior to entry into the BWCA was spotless and the private bathroom was more than we expected. The canoes were high tech and top of the line. We were sent off in the morning by the owners and welcomed back upon our return. They let us use the hot showers when we got off the lake after our stay in the Wilderness. These people did a fantastic job. If you enter the BWCA through entry point 47, I would start your trip at Rockwood Lodge on Poplar Lake. Nice job! -Rick

 
 

5 Star Google review

This was my second visit to Rockwood Outfitters and it was even better than the last visit! They give you plenty of equipment to ensure a great camping experience, they are super nice and care about you having a great time. We just came back and on Friday experienced a terrible storm and they actually came to the portage to “rescue” us from the storm and gave us a boat ride back to the outfitters cabin. It was fantastic, above and beyond anything we could have expected. The cabins are simple but clean and nice for staying in and even the shower house had extra towels and soaps to use in case you forgot yours or were just low. There aren’t enough stars to give them, i’d give them 10!

-Annette, July 2018

Hoodie T-shirt flower purple

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Lightweight hoodie / t-shirt 78poly/22 cotton blend with flower moose and paddles on the back and Rockwood/Gunflint Trail logo on the front. Sizes run small, so order the next size or two up. SHOP

Hat embroidered green

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Green baseball cap Made in USA 100% Cotton, Rockwood Logo embroidered on a Classic cut chino twill cap, 6 panel unstructured soft crown with adjustable velcro strap. SHOP

Hat embroidered white

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White baseball cap Made in USA 100% Cotton, Rockwood Logo embroidered on a Classic cut chino twill cap, 6 panel unstructured soft crown with adjustable velcro strap. SHOP

Hat embroidered navy

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Navy baseball cap Made in USA 100% Cotton, Rockwood Logo embroidered on a Classic cut chino twill cap, 6 panel unstructured soft crown with adjustable velcro strap. SHOP

Hoodie pullover navy

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Navy pullover hoodie made from cotton in the USA. Embroidered moose and paddle logo on the front with the words “ROCKWOOD GUNFLINT TRAIL”, with a large moose and paddle on the back. SHOP

Hoodie pullover green

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Green pullover hoodie made from cotton in the USA. Embroidered moose and paddle logo on the front with the words “ROCKWOOD GUNFLINT TRAIL”, with a large moose and paddle on the back. SHOP

Hoodie zip front red

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Zip Front hoodie sweatshirt with pockets, Brick Red, 80% cotton, 20% polyester. Made in USA.

Hoodie pullover grey

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Grey pullover hoodie made from cotton in the USA. Embroidered moose and paddle logo on the front with the words “ROCKWOOD GUNFLINT TRAIL”, with a large moose and paddle on the back.
SHOP

Ladyslipper on South Lake Trail

Did anyone lose their ladyslipper on South Lake Trail? Photo by guest Kurt Mobroten at Partridge Lake campsite.

Moose on Poplar

We’ve had several reports of moose on Poplar lake, seen glimpses ourselves, but now a guest has captured a couple of photos…thank you to Denise Kauth! Memorial day weekend, 2018.

It feels like SUMMER is here!

Currently the temperature is 50 degrees, but the sun is out and the fish are biting…it’s gorgeous. We have all the canoes out of the cabins, and customers are showing up at all times of the day to sleep in the bunkhouse or one of our 8 cabins. We have new photos on our website, check it out!

Ice Out?

A common question this time of year is “when is ice-out?”. Short answer – we don’t know! My best guess is sometime before the third week of May, I’m guessing May 15. Yes, that’s after the fishing opener.

We currently have 24″ of ice on Poplar with a small layer of hardpack snow on top. The overnight temperatures are still below 32 degrees…

So, the cabins will open on time if the overnight temperatures are sustained at 32 degrees, or more. We can handle a few degrees below, but since our water lines lay on the surface, there’s a significant risk to turning on the water too early.

My best suggestion is to keep watching facebook and this site’s webcam, watch the overnight temperatures on this site (Hungry Jack Lake is close to Poplar).

See you SOON!!!

Rockwood Lodge and Outfitters

Rockwood Lodge and Canoe Outfitters is a historic resort on Poplar Lake 31 miles up the Gunflint Trail from Grand Marais

Poplar Lake


Poplar Lake (764 acres) in Cook County, Minnesota is outside of the Boundary Waters and can have any size boat and motor. Airplanes used to land on on the main body and taxi into Rockwood bay, but that’s seldom seen lately. There are a lot of hidden boulders just under the surface of the water, so be careful throughout the lake. Maximum depth is 73 feet and water clarity is over 10 feet. There are 3 entry points into the BWCA: EP 47 Swamp / Lizz, EP 48 Meeds, and EP 49 Skipper / Portage. The southern shore is managed by the US Forest Service and has no development, while many of the islands and the rest of the shoreline has cabins, docks, resorts, restaurants, gift shops, bait shop, gas stations, bed and breakfasts, and even a public landing / concrete boat launch.

Poplar Lake Webcam
Poplar Webcam

The history of Poplar Lake includes a sawmill by the Meeds entry point, a railhead where Camp Rockwood was formed, and even a resort on an island.

There’s walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, whitefish, burbot, black crappie, pumpkinseed, and yellow perch. Here’s a nice fishing report from Northern Wilds.

November 2014 Northern Wilds

In the winter Poplar Lake is the start and end point for the Gunflint Mail Run, a competitive dog sled race with up to 30 teams on the first weekend of January.

There is a lake association ran by the property owners on Poplar Lake, and the lodging businesses are part of the Gunflint Trail Association.

Average Temperature and Precipitation

Historical weather estimates
Average May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Precipitation 2.52" 3.62" 3.11" 2.72" 2.99" 3.11"
Average Temp 47 54 61 63 55 44
Daily Low 38 44 52 54 47 36
Daily High 56 64 71 72 64 52

Source: www.usclimatedata.com

Boundary Waters (BWCAW) Trip Planning Guide

Excellent trip planning guide for the BWCAW: Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Trip Planning Guide created and shared by the USDA Forest Service.
Excerpt from the guide: GREAT GLACIERS carved the physical features of what is today known as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) by scraping and gouging rock. The glaciers left behind rugged cliffs and crags, canyons, gentle hills, towering rock formations, rocky shores, sandy beaches and thousands of lakes and streams, interspersed with islands and surrounded by forest. The BWCAW is a unique area located in the northern third of the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota. Over 1 million acres in size, it extends nearly 150 miles along the International Boundary adjacent to Canada’s Quetico and La Verendrye Provincial Parks and is bordered on the west by Voyageurs National Park. The BWCAW contains over 1200 miles of canoe routes, 12 hiking trails and over 2000 designated campsites. This area was set aside in 1926 to preserve its primitive character and made a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System in 1964 with subsequent legislation in 1978. Wilderness offers freedom to those who wish to pursue an experience of expansive solitude, challenge and personal connection with nature. The BWCAW allows visitors to canoe, portage and camp in the spirit of those travelers that came before them.
Read more…

Route 10 McFarland Loop

East Bearskin to McFarland Loop. Start at East Bearskin, through Alder, Canoe, Pine (Johnson waterfalls are nearby), McFarland, Little John, and John, back through East and West Pike to Clearwater, Caribou, Deer and Moon returning to East Bearskin. Good fishing, very scenic! Five to seven days average. Moderately Difficult. Link to route on Paddle Planner with detailed map. 

link to detailed map on paddle planner

Interested in viewing Johnson Falls without paddling for days? Between 4 hours and 7 hours total – Here’s a quick route – secure a transport from Clearwater Lodge to the Eastern Clearwater portage to Caribou Lake. Portage to Little Caribou Lake and then to Pine. Hike to Johnson falls, then return through Little Caribou to Caribou Lake, then the western portage to Clearwater lake and back to either the public landing or Clearwater Lodge. Link to route on Paddle Planner with detailed map.

Route 9 East Bearskin Loop

Start at East Bearskin, travel east on a circular trip to Alder, Canoe, Pine. Johnson waterfalls near Pine Lake. Returning through Little Caribou, Caribou, Deer, and Moon, ending at East Bearskin. Excellent bass, walleye and northern fishing. Three to five days average. Moderately Easy.

Route 8 Bower Trout to Poplar

Start at Bower Trout, go through Marshall, Dugout, and Skidway, on to Swan and Vernon, continuing to Brule Lake; Through the Cones, Cliff, Wanihigan, Winchell, Omega, Henson, Pillsbery, Allen, Horseshoe, Caribou, and Lizz, returning to Poplar. Winchell has a small hidden waterfall on the southern shore. Twenty-two lakes, remote with good fishing and wildlife. Seven to ten days. Rugged.

Route 7 Ram to Poplar

Rockwood Canoe Route Ram to Poplar
www.paddleplanner.com

This trip starts at Ram Lake to Kroft, Rum, Little Trout, Misquah, and Vista, continuing through Horseshoe, Caribou, Lizz and back to our dock at Poplar Lake. This remote trip goes through scenic Misquah hills and offers many opportunities for side trips. Three days average. Moderately Difficult. View route on Paddle Planner.

Route 6 Bearskin to Gunflint

EP 60 to EP 58. Start at Bearskin Lake (Duncan Lake Entry Point is on Bearskin Lake, also called West Bearskin Lake, off of Hungry Jack Road between Hungry Jack Lodge and the YMCA Camp Menogyn), to Duncan, Rose, Rat, South, North, Little Gunflint and finishing at Gunflint. Includes the famous Stairway Portage and is part of the Voyager Highway route along the Canadian border. Seven portages. Four to seven days average. Moderately Difficult.

Stats from Paddleplanner.com – 22.1 total miles, 19 miles of paddling, 8 hours 54 minutes, 6 portages for 337 rods, maps: Fisher F-12, Fisher F-13, Voyageur 9, McKenzie 4, McKenzie 5

Trip report from bwca.com

Route 5 Cross Bay to Poplar

Three variations on this route: middle, North and South.

Middle route: Start at Ham Lake, go through Cross Bay, Rib, George, Karl, Long Island, Muskeg, Kiskadinna, and Omega continuing to Henson, Pillsbery, Allen, Horseshoe, Caribou, Lizz and ending at Poplar. Very remote with sixteen portages. Excellent walleye, northern and trout fishing. Four to seven days average. Moderately Difficult. View route on www.paddleplanner.com

Article written by one of our guests about a variation on this route.

www.paddleplanner.com – Middle route Cross Bay to Poplar

North route: Start at Ham Lake, go through Cross Bay, Rib, George, Karl, Long Island, Cave, Ross, Sebeka, Banadad, Rush, Little Rush, Skipper, and ending at Poplar. Very remote with fourteen portages. Excellent walleye, northern and trout fishing. Four to seven days average. Moderately Difficult. View route on www.paddleplanner.com

Rockwood Lodge Canoe Route Cross River to Poplar
www.paddleplanner.com – North route Cross Bay to Poplar

South route: Start at Ham Lake, go through Cross Bay, Rib, George, Karl, Long Island, Gordon, Cherokee, Town, Gasket, Cam, Brule, Lily, Mulligan, Wanihigan, Winchell, Gaskin, Horseshoe, Caribou, Lizz and ending at Poplar. Very remote with twenty-five portages. Excellent walleye, northern and trout fishing. Six to eight days average. Difficult. View route on www.paddleplanner.com

www.paddleplanner.com – South route Cross Bay to Poplar

Route 4 Poplar Brule Loop

Rockwood Canoe Route Poplar Brule Loop
www.paddleplanner.com

Start at Poplar, Skipper, Rush, Banadad, Ross, Cave, Long Island, south to Gordon, Cherokee, Temperance Lakes, Brule, Cone Lakes, Cliff, Wanihigan, Winchell, Gaskin, Horseshoe, Caribou, Lizz and back to Poplar. Excellent walleye, northern and trout fishing. Winchell has a small hidden waterfall on the southern shore. Beautiful and very remote trip with twenty-seven portages, three are long ones. Seven days average. Rugged. View route on Paddle Planner.

Route 3 Poplar Winchell Loop

Rockwood canoe route Poplar Winchell
www.paddleplanner.com

Start at Poplar, through Lizz, Caribou, Horseshoe, Gaskin, Winchell, north to Omega, Henson, Pillsbery, Meeds, and back through Caribou, Lizz, returning to Poplar. Winchell has a small hidden waterfall on the southern shore. Excellent walleye, northern, and trout fishing. Very scenic and remote with thirteen portages. Five to seven days average. Moderately difficult. View route on Paddle Planner.

Route 2 Poplar to Horseshoe

www.paddleplanner.com

Start at Poplar, go through Lizz to Caribou, Horseshoe, Vista, and return. Super walleye and northern fishing. Beautiful country and short portages. Three to four days average. Easy. View route on Paddle Planner.

ROUTE 2A: Vista via Meeds – Start at Poplar, go through Meeds to Caribou, Horseshoe, Vista, and return via Lizz. Super walleye and northern fishing. Beautiful country and short (after the first mile long one) portages. Three to four days average. Easy. – View route on Paddle Planner.

Route 1 Skipper to Banadad

Rockwood Canoe Route Skipper to Banadad
www.paddleplanner.com

Start at Poplar, go to Skipper, Rush, Banadad, and return. Great walleye and northern pike fishing. Very scenic and remote. Two days average. Moderately difficult. View route on Paddle Planner.

Save 10 percent on Cabins – promotion ended

Thank you for an outstanding 2017 season at Rockwood Lodge; we couldn’t have done it without our great guests.

This promotion ended on December 31st, 2017.

This year we replaced the main road sign, expanded our fleet of kayaks, purchased new pillows, linens and kitchenware, and installed firepits at Cabins 2 and 6. Next year we’re adding a firepit to Cabin 7, finally opening Cabin 12, adding another 4 person Kevlar Canoe and a pair of stand-up paddleboards, as well as general updates and improvements throughout.

BWCAW Permits will be available January 31st at 9am. Call or email us if you have a particular entry date in mind!

Mike, Carol, Stephanie and Carl – 218-388-2242

https://www.rockwoodbwca.com/cabins/cabin-availability-june/

Fishing

Fishing and Rockwood Lodge often go hand-in-hand. When you stay at Rockwood we will always point you in the right direction to catch walleyes, lake trout, smallmouth, panfish and northern pike. We can connect you with guided services for fishing. We have a fish house where you can clean your catch, and the cabins have full kitchens to help you prepare your feast.

Cabins

Our 7 cabins are cozy little areas for you to get away from everyone and be right on the lake; each has an outdoor charcoal grill, two have wood burning fireplaces, two have gas fireplaces, all have full kitchens and CLEAN bathrooms with showers, sinks and toilets. Fresh linens and towels are provided as you need them. We are pet friendly but require a one-time fee for each pet. Each cabin comes with a canoe, and we have boats and kayaks for you to try.

Relax and enjoy

Rockwood Lodge has a great environment for those who want to wind down, take things slow, enjoy the views. Are you writing a book or working on a painting? Need time away from the city? Want to see some amazing waterfalls and sample everything the Gunflint Trail has to offer? Spend some alone time with yourself? Have a vacation with a family member? Looking for Moose, Lynx, Wolf, Fox? Rockwood is your place.

Day Trips

Day trips are a great way to get started or for those of us who are not interested in a tent; rent one of our cabins for a couple nights; each cabin comes with a canoe, which you can take into the BWCAW, bring a lunch and come back home each night to sleep in a warm bed and enjoy a warm shower.

Outfitting

The Outfitting building shares the same area and is a complete outfitters for beginners to seasoned pros. High quality Kevlar, Royalex and Aluminum canoes, bent shaft paddles, high quality tents and sleeping bags are all available for your trip. We carry enough food for your entire group so you do not have to spend your time preparing for your trip. We even have a bunkhouse with showers in each room, so you can drive up late the night before and still get a good night’s sleep and one last shower before heading into the Boundary Waters.

Complete Kevlar Canoe Package

Price Per Person
3 Days 4 Days 5 Days 6 Days 7 Days
2- 4 people $333 $414 $492 $565 $629
5-9 people $311 $381 $449 $519 $581

Complete Kevlar Canoe Package is designed to give you all the quality equipment, food, and expertise in packing you need for an excellent trip in the Boundary Waters. You don’t have to invest in camping gear or haul dirty gear, sometimes with a strong smell, home to be cleaned.

Experience peace of mind, even if this is your first trip. You will have to bring some personal items and other necessities (click here for a “What to bring list”) but the rest is up to us.

An excellent outfitting package – better than most ultra-light packages includes:

__Ultra-light kevlar canoe
__Bent shaft paddles
__Life Vests
__Padded canoe seat with backrests
__Platypus Gravity Water Filter
__Alps Mountaineering dome tents
__Wiggley’s Lamilite sleeping bags with compression bags
__Self-inflating mattress pad
__Granite Gear packs with hip belts
__Cascade Designs dry bags
__Stainless cook kit
__Lexan utensils and utensil roll
__Folding saw
__Propane stove and fuel
__Choice of meals from our menu https://www.rockwoodbwca.com/outfitting/menu-planner/
__Tarps, first aid kit, rope, and misc. items for your comfort and convenience
__Showers after your trip (towels and shampoo included!)
__One night stay in a bunkroom with private bathroom
__Personalized routing and complete orientation with topo maps, map case and compass
__Transportation to and from entry point on the Gunflint Trail

Our rates are per person, 9 person maximum.

Outfitting Deposit: A deposit of one-third the total is required within 7 days of making a reservation.

Youth under 16 accompanied by two adults, deduct 20% from 2 – 4 person rate. Youth duffer (3 and under) no extra canoe required – $35 per day. 10% discount from 2-4 person rate for trips started before June 23rd or after September 2nd. $15 credit per person if you prefer NOT to stay overnight in our bunkhouse.

Complete Aluminum or Royalex Canoe Package

Price Per Person
3 Days 4 Days 5 Days 6 Days 7 Days
2- 4 people $303 $372 $439 $504 $562
5-9 people $276 $340 $403 $460 $521

Complete Aluminum or Royalex Canoe Package is designed to give you all the quality equipment, food, and expertise in packing you need for an excellent trip in the Boundary Waters. You don’t have to invest in camping gear or haul dirty gear, sometimes with a strong smell, home to be cleaned.

Experience peace of mind, and know how even if this is your first trip. You will have to bring some personal items and other necessities (click here for a “What to bring list”) but the rest is up to us.

An excellent outfitting package – better than most lightweight packages includes

  • Lightweight aluminum or Royalex canoe and paddles
  • Life jacket
  • Alps Mountaineering dome tent
  • Hollofill sleeping bags
  • Therm-a-rest self inflating mattress pad
  • Lightweight Granite Gear packs with hip belts
  • Waterproof bags
  • Cook kit
  • Utensils and utensil roll
  • Folding saw
  • Single burner stove and fuel
  • Choice of meals from our menu https://www.rockwoodbwca.com/outfitting/menu-planner/
  • Tarps, first aid kit, rope, and misc. items for your comfort and convenience
  • Showers after your trip
  • One night’s stay in a bunkroom with private bathroom
  • Personalized routing and complete orientation
  • Transportation to and from entry point on the Gunflint Trail

Our rates are per person, 9 person maximum.

Outfitting Deposit: A deposit of one-third the total is required within 7 days of making a reservation.

Youth under 16 accompanied by two adults, deduct 20% from 2 – 4 person rate. 10% discount from 2-4 person rate for trips started before June 23rd or after September 2nd. $15 credit per person if you prefer NOT to stay overnight in our bunkhouse.

Non-Profit Group Complete Outfitting Package

Rockwood Discounted Canoe Outfitting Group Rates are for non-profit groups such as a church or school.
– 6 Person minimum, 9 Person maximum
– 3 day minimum

– Must have an official tax-exempt status & number to qualify as a non-profit organization

Price Per Person
3 Days 4 Days 5 Days 6 Days 7 Days
Aluminum/Royalex
6-9 people
$235 $275 $315 $355 $395
Kevlar
6-9 people
$265 $305 $345 $385 $425

Outfitting Deposit: A deposit of one-third the total is required within 7 days of making a reservation.

Rates based on calendar days. Does not include BWCA permit.

Change in group size must reach us at least 14 days prior to arrival at Rockwood. We cannot adjust for any changes after that time and you will be charged for the number of people requested originally.

Rockwood Group Package is an excellent discounted group outfitting package, including:

One night stay in bunkhouse
Transportation to entry and exit point
Personalized routing/orientation
Food while out on the trail https://www.rockwoodbwca.com/outfitting/menu-planner/
Aluminum Canoes
Life vests
Paddles
Tents
Sleeping bags
Duluth packs
Cook kits
Utensils
Stoves and fuel
Folding saws
Tarps and rope
Other misc. items
Showers after trip

Bunkhouse: The bunkhouse has 4 separate rooms that open to a shared deck. This is a perfect place to start a trip into the boundary waters. Each room has a heater, 4 bunkbeds and a bathroom with a shower and towels. Outdoor carpeting in each room makes it a great place to pack and repack your gear. You can park directly behind the building. Bedding is available at an extra cost, these rooms are designed for you to use your sleeping bag on the bunks.

What to bring list:

2 pairs of shoes (tennis and hiking boots for around camp, aqua socks, sport sandals, boots for canoeing and portaging) , 3 or more pairs of socks, clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate the changing weather (T-shirt, flannel shirt, sweatshirt), swimsuit, pocketknife, jacket or sweater, hat with brim, toilet articles, bath towel, sunglasses, flashlight, camera, first aid kits, fishing gear (if desired), sunscreen, bug repellent, good book

These items are important to the success of your trip. Remember to keep it light because you will have to carry it.

Kevlar Canoe and Equipment Package – bring your own food

Canoe Preference 3 Days 4 days Each Extra Day
Aluminum or Royalex $147 $189 $31
Kevlar $168 $217 $31

This is the basic outfitted package for those who want to supply their own food and snacks. You supply the food that you prefer and pack it in our packs after you arrive. You don’t have to invest in camping gear or haul dirty gear, sometimes with a strong smell, home to be cleaned.

All of our equipment from our gear packs to our dome tents have been selected to provide comfort while meeting the demands of canoe camping. The canoe and equipment package includes all of the camping gear listed for our Complete Kevlar Package, bunkhouse the night before, parking during your trip, showers after your trip and transportation to/from your selected entry point within 17 miles from our lodge. Permit fees are not included.

An excellent outfitting package – better than most ultra-light packages includes

The finest equipment available includes:
Ultra-light kevlar canoes with portage pads; 2, 3 or 4 person
Bent shaft, straight or wooden paddles
Life Vests
Padded canoe seat with backrests
Platypus Gravity Water Filter
Alps Mountaineering dome tents
Lightweight sleeping bags with compression bags, pillows
Self-inflating mattress pad
Granite Gear packs with hip belts
Food packs or insulated food packs and/or bear barrels
Cascade Designs dry bags
Stainless cook kit
Lexan utensils and utensil roll
Folding saw
Propane stove and fuel
Tarps, first aid kit, rope, matches / lighters, toilet paper, and misc. items for your comfort and convenience
Showers after your trip includes towels and shampoo
One night stay in a bunkroom with private bathroom
Personalized routing and complete orientation with topo maps, map case and compass
Transportation to and from entry point on the Gunflint Trail

 

Our rates are per person, 9 person maximum.

Outfitting Deposit: A deposit of one-third the total is required within 7 days of making a reservation.

Kevlar Solo Canoes
Canoe Seats Length Weight Gunnel Waterline Fishing Speed Stability Notes Daily
NorthStar Northwind Solo 1 15′-6″ 28 lbs 26.5 in 27 in Nimble & Responsive $38
NorthStar Magic 1 16′-0″ 28 lbs 23 in 25.5 in Fast Cruiser $38
Wenonah Prism 1 16′-6″ 34 lbs 26 in 29.75 in All-around Canoe $38
Kevlar 2 Person Canoes
Canoe Seats Length Weight Gunnel Waterline Fishing Speed Stability Notes Daily
NorthStar Polaris 1 or 2 16′-9″ 40 lbs 31 in 34.5 in Small tandem or large solo $46
Northstar B 17 2 17′-0″ 42 lbs 36 in 33 in Gear Hauler $46
NorthStar Northwind_17 2 17′-6″ 40 lbs 36 in 32 in All-around Canoe $46
Wenonah Minnesota II 2 18′-6″ 42 lbs 33.5 in 33.5 in Fast & Skinny $46
Wenonah Escape 2 17′-6″ 41 lbs 33 in 33 in MN II’s little brother $46
Wenonah Spirit II 2 17′-0″ 42 lbs 35 in 35.5 in All-around Canoe $46
Wenonah Boundary Waters 2 17′-0″ 42 lbs 36.5 in 35 in Very Stable $46
Wenonah Champlain 2 or 3 18′-0″ 46 lbs 36.5 in 36.5 in Gear Hauler $46
Souris River Quetico 17 2 17′-3″ 44 lbs 35 in 34 in Stable Cruiser $46
Kevlar 3 and 4 Person Canoes
Canoe Seats Length Weight Gunnel Waterline Fishing Speed Stability Notes Daily
NorthStar Northwind_18 3 18′-9″ 43 lbs 36 in 32 in All-around 3-Seater $52
Wenonah Minnesota 3 3 20′-0″ 55 lbs 34 in 33.5 in Fast 3-Seater $52
Souris River Quetico 18.5 3 18′-6″ 49 lbs 36.5 in 34 in Stable 3-Seater $52
NorthStar Northwind 20 4 20′-5″ 48 lbs 36 in 32 in Bring the Family $52
Royalex Canoes
Canoe Seats Length Weight Gunnel Waterline Fishing Speed Stability Notes Daily
Wenonah Adirondack 2 16′-0″ 64 lbs 35 in 34.5 in Rugged & Quiet $32
Aluminum Canoes
Canoe Seats Length Weight Gunnel Waterline Fishing Speed Stability Notes Daily
Alumacraft Quetico 17CL 2 17′-0″ 62 lbs 36 in 35 in Rugged $32
Alumacraft Quetico 185CL 2 18′-6″ 67 lbs 37 in 35 in Rugged $38
Alumacraft Quetico 185CL 3 18′-6″ 69 lbs 37 in 35 in Rugged $38

Canoe rentals include paddles, portage pads, parking and life vests. Solo canoes can choose kayak paddles and a yoke. Sorry, no half-day rentals, any portion of a day is a full day rental. If you rent a cabin, you get an aluminum canoe to use, and can rent another canoe (aluminum, kevlar, royalex, or kayak) at half price.

You can rent our equipment per day, per trip, or as part of a package.
per day/per trip
Alps Mountaineering 2 – 3 Person Tent with oversized rain fly $14.00/$45.00
Alps Mountaineering 3 – 4 Person Tent with oversized rain fly $16.00/$50.00
Kelty Noah’s Tarp 12 Rain Fly $5.00/$16.00
— Canoe Packs —
Traditional #3 & #4 Duluth Style Packs $4.00/$13.00
Granite Gear #3.5 & #4 Packs $6.00/$20.00
Kondos Outfitter Packs $8.00/$24.00
Granite Gear & Kondos Food Pack w/ Liner $6.00/$20.00
CCS & Kondos Insulated Food Pack $8.00/$24.00
Bear Food Barrel (60L or 30L) with Kondos Harness $10.00/$32.00
Seal Line dry bags (55L) $5.00/$17.00
Bending Branches wooden bent shaft canoe paddle upgrade $2.00/$8.00
Canoe Seat pads $2.00/$6.00
Life Vest $3.00/$5.00*
Sleeping Bag $5.00/$15.00
Sleeping Pad $5.00/$12.00
Camp Pillow $3.00/$3.00
MSR MiniWorks Water Filter $5.00/$15.00
Platypus GravityWorks 4 liter Water Filter $8.00/$24.00
Propane Stove (Single Burner) $2.00/$6.00
Propane Fuel ( 16.4 oz. bottle) $5.00 each
Cook Kit with Utensils (returned in clean condition) $5.00/$15.00
Mess kit with Utensils (returned in clean condition) $2.00/$7.00
Percolator Coffee Pot (returned in clean condition) $2.00/$7.00
Basic Medical Kit $6.00/$6.00
Camp Saw $2.00/$2.00
550 Paracord nylon rope 50ft/100ft $6.00/$11.00
Heavy duty poncho $5.00/$5.00
Tarps $2.00/$2.00
Fisher and McKenzie waterproof canoe maps $7.00
Waterproof map cases $2.00/$2.00
Compression bags $3.00/$3.00
Small clothing/gear bags $2.00/$2.00
Bag liners $2.00
InReach Satellite Texting $15/day + 50 cents/text
Fishing net $3.00/$3.00
Live large leeches dozen/pound $3.00/$30.00
Nightcrawlers dozen $2.50
Shower and Towel $5.00
Parking (per day / vehicle) $5.00*
Transport along Gunflint Trail starts at $40
Transport to other Entry Points starts at $100
1 person Food Package – you choose from our menu – we assemble the food into individual meal packages and organize them into a standard food canoe pack ready for your trip $43.00 per day
*Free with canoe rental

DUCKS-151009-103907The bunkhouse has 4 separate rooms that open to a shared deck. This is a perfect place to start a trip into the boundary waters. Each room has a heater, 4 bunkbeds, each has a private bathroom with toilet, shower and towels. Outdoor carpeting in each room makes it a great place to pack and repack your gear. You can park directly behind the building. Bedding is available at an extra cost, these rooms are designed for you to use your sleeping bag on the bunks.
With the optional roll-away bed, each room can sleep up to 9 people!

 

Bunkhouse Rates Based on 2 people
up to two people each additional person deposit
$40 / night $17 / night $20
Extra youth age 4-16 $15 / night
children age 3 and under no charge

Canoeing solo through the BWCA can be a great way to take your spirit to the next level. Taking a solo trip connects you closer to the wilderness, giving you more opportunity to recognize all that the BWCA has to offer. Smaller campsites means that you can go to the next lake with confidence that any campsite you find will be more than adequate for one person, one tent. Less noise from your campsite can mean additional wildlife viewing opportunities and expanded fishing options. Just relying on yourself can help build your confidence, giving you the drive you need to seek the next challenge. Planning a solo trip is much easier than planning a group trip; there is only one calendar you have to satisfy, one set of needs, one timeline.

We offer several solo canoes and a solo outfitting package to help you with the challenge. We can provide just the canoe, the canoe and equipment, or the complete package of canoe, equipment and all the food you’ll need, completely organized and packed for your trip.

Add peace of mind with our inReach satellite texting device ($15 a day plus 50 cents per text each way, you should reserve this well in advance), giving you an emergency SOS feature and your family a website to follow your progress. You can even send texts, two-way, so you can keep up to date on family events. Or you can just stash it in your canoe pack and use it only if necessary. It pairs through bluetooth to your smartphone as an awesome GPS, and allowing you to use your smartphone’s keyboard for texting or emails.

Solo Kevlar canoe only is $38/day, includes yoke, portage pads, both kayak and std paddle, and parking.
Our ultralight Kevlar canoes range in size from 15′-6″ to 16′-9″ and weight from 28 lbs to 40 lbs.
3 Days 4 Days 5 Days 6 Days 7 Days
Complete Package $383 $476 $566 $650 $724
Canoe and Equipment Only $340 $438 $516 $597 $668

Lodge

Rockwood is a unique and historic resort on the Gunflint Trail on the Eastern half of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Located on the 31st mile of the 57 mile long Gunflint Trail, we actually have a section of the original gravel trail that goes through our resort! Even the Lodge (built between 1926 and 1932) is an original building, handcrafted from native Pine with a large meeting room and gift shop next to the front counter.

A Childhood Dream Come True

One of our customers posted a very well written trip report to www.bwca.com

http://bwca.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=trip.report_view&sel_trp_id=4934

A Childhood Dream Come True
by mashpotatomezzo

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 07/20/2017
Entry & Exit Point: Lizz and Swamp Lakes (EP 47)
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 2

Trip Introduction:

After growing up listening to my father tell stories of his adventures in the Boundary Waters as a Boy Scout, I have spent the last two decades dreaming of paddling the serene wilderness of the Boundary Waters. I had finally had enough of the procrastination on putting together an extended family trip, so I spent a considerable amount of time researching and reading, lurking on these boards, and then booked a permit and began working with Rockwood Lodge and Outfitters to set out on a trip with my husband to celebrate our fifth anniversary. We couldn’t have picked a better place, and had an amazing first trip!
Day 1 of 5

Wednesday, July 19, 2017My husband got out of work early, so we loaded the car, said goodbye to our two toddlers, and dropped them and our dog with Grandma and Grandpa. We left our little Northwest Iowa town by 10:30 in the morning.

We had a gift card for Cheesecake Factory, so we stopped at the one in Edina for a late lunch around 2:30.

After lunch, we did a quick Google search for a good donut shop and found YoYo Donuts. We grabbed some breakfast for the next morning there and continued on our way, making a lot of jokes about the name of the delicious smelling donut shop. It became a trip-long joke. Continue Reading

Solo trip article

Photo Shawn James

 

https://www.rapidmedia.com/canoeroots/categories/skills/8168-why-your-next-canoe-trip-should-be-solo

 

CANOE TRIPPER SHAWN JAMES ON THE UNIQUE APPEAL OF SOLO CANOE ADVENTURES

WRITTEN BY SHAWN JAMES

It is four a.m. and I lie awake, mesmerized by a spectacular display of the aurora borealis dancing just above the horizon to the north of my fly-less tent. A billion twinkling stars slowly fade as the eastern sky erupts in the subtle colors of a wilderness sunrise. The haunting cry of a loon breaks the morning silence, amplified by the stillness of the placid lake.

Fall 2017

The leaves are beginning to change. I drove to McFarland Lake on the Arrowhead Trail on Tuesday (Sept 12), and I noticed many individual trees already with color. The road that I took, Shoe Lake Road, is a narrow forest road that goes north of Greenwood lake but just South of the BWCA. It’s barely a lane wide so when I met 4 gravel trucks, they won the road and I took the shoulder. The gravel is loose and it was dusty so I kept my speed low as I went to Entry Point 68 to recover a canoe that a guest rented. The conservation officer, Mary, was very nice and I continued down the Arrowhead Trail to Highway 61 and some fuel at Grand Marais.

White Pines on Arrowhead Trail – Noncommercial
by BRIAN ZINNEL

There were several Plein Air painters on the arrowhead, where a nice tall stand of White Pines crowd the road.
The Plein Air competition runs from September 9th through the 15th, and artists are competing in several categories, read more at http://grandmaraisartcolony.org/event.cfm?eid=2.
One of the artists in the competition is staying in our cabins, and is painting our outfitting building. I’m very excited to see the end result, I surprised by her stamina, painting day and night, always standing!

Summer is in full swing

We’ve had a lot of moose sightings and walleyes caught already in 2017, with about 10 weeks of the season left to go. The moose have been seen on the Gunflint Trail, near the bunkhouse at Rockwood Lodge, and in the Boundary Waters around Horseshoe Lake. Walleye have been caught in Poplar Lake, with a new secret spot that only our guests know about. Caribou and Meeds lakes are also great for catching these fish, making for a memorable trip into the BWCA.

Our cabins have been full so far and the bookings are tight for the rest of the season. Check out our monthly availability calendars and see if you can find a few days that works with your schedule.

Bring your camera! We have some amazing views that make every photographer happy. Our recent guests in Cabin 2, the Paskus’s, have captured some real beauties, including this shot of their son riding a stand up paddleboard with a rainbow behind him. Check out their company at http://www.candnphoto.com/

We’ve had some awesome guests already this year, come on up and be a part of Rockwood!

Reflection of the Northwoods by Laura Patrick

Sunrise
The dogs woke up at first light on day one of our trip.  After spending hours last night gazing upon the heavens that seemed to reach from straight above all the way down to my feet due to the mirror like surface of the lake, I was not too happy that my dogs wanted to go outside.  Using my flashlight so not to wake Joe, I stumbled through the unfamiliar space of cabin 5 trying to locate the leash for our wandering Libby.  After a quick peek out the window to make sure the area was clear of bears and other critters that would cause a furry, we urgently made our way outside. Shortly after the important business was complete, Ellie decided to take a dip in the lake.  Captain Fun, as we refer to her on trips, decided to take her sleeping father up on his offer that she could get back in the lake in the morning.

Spring 2017

Spring is here and Rockwood is ready for it…yet we are excited to have a bunch of projects coming to completion and will be welcoming guests as early as next week!  We’ve remodeled the gift shop in the lodge and are putting the finishing touches on a ‘new to us’ cabin, Cabin 12… The former owner’s lakeside house !  We can’t wait to show it off …  we think you’ll really like it!

This morning a volunteer crew is walking the South Lake Trail hiking trail that leaves Rockwood and winds 3.5 miles north to the Canadian border.  It crosses the border route Trail  which you can take West all the way to Ely and East nearly to grand portage … http://www.borderroutetrail.org/maps.html

Spring!

It’s really feeling like spring. The lake is still 20″ thick with ice, but there is water forming on the top. It won’t be long now and we’ll be talking about ice-out. The projects on the resort are coming along nicely, we want to have Cabin 12 ready for large groups this summer. It’s a beauty, can hold up to 10 people, and has an awesome view towards Voyageur’s Point. The canoes are still nestled in the cabins and bunkhouses, soon they’ll be pulled out, cleaned up and prepped for the season. We have several new ones to add this year from Souris River, Northwind and Wenonah.

Our dogs are loving the warm weather; it was a balmy 47 degrees today with lots of sunshine. I cannot wait until I can hike the South Lake Trail, 7 miles round trip, and get back into the Wilderness. The snow is nearly gone but the mud is beginning to show!

The month of April is called a “shoulder season” and is very slow up here. Trail Center completely closes, and we go up to Gunflint Lodge or down to Grand Marais for dinners. The wildlife is really getting active, we have a resident Fox that is setting up camp under one of our Cabins. There’s lots of prints of smaller critters running around, and enough birds to cover the entire lawn under the bird feeder. We saw several moose on the trail, and there’s a photo from February of three of them next to our main entrance! This is Northern Lights season, and we’ll be watching the prediction websites, scanning the skies for those beautiful greens.

We still have some great openings in our schedule, please come up and visit us this Summer!

Permit Reservations 2018

Planning your trip for next year? January 31st (at 9am) is the go-live date for reserving the perfect entry point for the perfect day! –

Reservations for all entry points may be made on a first-come, first-served basis beginning January 31, 2018, 9 a.m. Central Time. Reservations are for dates from May 1 to September 30, 2018.

If you want we can make the reservations for you, but we NEED to know before hand so I can plan for that very busy morning…

I cannot wait until the 2018 Canoe Season!!!

Three Rockwood Canoes for sale

The canoes we planned on selling this spring are all sold. Save this page for updates on future canoe sales: https://www.rockwoodbwca.com/outfitting/canoes/canoes-for-sale/

Booking for 2018

Booking is now available for 2018! Click on this link to see cabin availability. Click on the calendar to book a room or call us for more information at 888-898-2922.

Prices will increase, on average, 10% next year. Book and pay your deposit before January 1st, 2018 and you can enjoy our 2015 prices (our current prices haven’t changed since 2015!).

See you next year!

Late September

It’s late September and we are beginning to wrap things up for the season. We’ll close for a month on September 30th, and open again in late October with our first winter cabin! We are excited to have a winter cabin, it’s a large house right on the lake that used to be the owner’s house. Initially it will sleep 8-10 people, but we plan on adding bedrooms to increase that. The first big step is to get the well connected to the house and to get the state to test and approve the well.

We have 6 canoes for sale, two canoes that have 3 seats and four tandem canoes, all Kevlar. The prices range from $900 – $1100, each has less than 3 years of use, some have repairs, all have scratches! Call us for more information, we’ll get you pictures and details. We expect they’ll sell fast, so let us know right away if you are interested.

We picked up a used truck, and will bring it down to Duluth to get a snow plow installed. This one is a 3/4 ton so we’ll be able to move a lot more snow this winter. We plan on having the main road open all winter long, and cannot wait for the Mail Run dog sled races in early January. If you haven’t seen it, Trail Center is raffling off a GORGEOUS wooden canoe to raise money for the race. Come on up and get some tickets!

Rainbow over Rockwood

One of our guests took this amazing shot of a rainbow over Rockwood Lodge (click here to see it large). Thank you Kevin!

Family of 4 on Ram Lake

Nice video of a family of 4 paddling across Ram Lake in the BWCAW, on the Eastern side of the wilderness near Grand Marais, MN.

Cabin 4 opening this weekend for 7 days

cabin-4-from-lakeDue to a late cancellation, Cabin 4 is now available from August 13th – 21st (Saturday to Sunday). This gorgeous cabin rents for $1200 for a week or $205 a night, minimum of 2 nights. Call now 888-898-2922, email us, or book online!

Outfitter’s roof is DONE

outfitters-new-roof_2016_08-08The roof on the outfitters is DONE! (view large image here) We have a hundred excuses why it took us 34 days to complete it…from completely removing the old porch, removing both layers of shingles, replacing rotting sheathing, custom building new corbels, mortise and tenon joints for the porch lintel, to a new custom sign bracket at the top. However, we are glad it’s finally done and we can move on to other projects…

90 years today!

rockwood-90Today marks 90 years of operation for Rockwood Lodge and Outfitters! Originally Camp Rockwood, the land was purchased on July 16, 1926.

Big day at Rockwood

outfitting-half-roof2Link to big version of photo. Several big events just happened at Rockwood, one week before our 90th anniversary. First, we completed half of the outfitter’s new roof! Yes, it’s still got a monster bow in it from 80 years of use, but it’s on good and tight. Second, we made our first of 79 payments on our commercial loan! I know, that’s not exciting, but I like to think that we’ve come a long way from dreaming about Rockwood to actually making payments…

Busy few months

IMG_1574Nearly Summer!

We’ve had a busy few months here at Rockwood. Our first outfitting trips seem like yesterday even though they were over 7 weeks ago! The bunkhouse and cabins have been full several times, and the bookings are looking very strong. In addition we have every one of our Tandem canoes rented out the last week of July, even the new ones we bought! We also took delivery of a 4-person Kevlar canoe, and it is beginning to rent out as well. It’s 20’5″ and only weighs 48 lbs! The middle two seats can be removed, so you can vary the loading of the canoe to maximize the stuff you bring into the wilderness.

Wildlife

We continue to see lots of wildlife, from Moose to fox, beavers and loons. Our guests from Alabama showed us that fishing on Poplar lake is alive and well. As a result they caught their limit of Bass and Northerns. Others have found great fishing on Swamp and Banadad lake. Furthermore, the moose viewing on Horseshoe lake is second to none right now!

Projects

The shingles for the outfitters were delivered today, we look forward to getting them installed. We went with Forest Green, to keep the traditional look of the outfitting building. Most noteworthy we are slowly progressing on the upstairs apartment. Thanks goes to my Sister visiting from Iowa for spurring on the project!

Outfitting

Guests have enjoyed the new outfitting gear we have purchased, to include the Bending Branches wooden bent shaft paddles and the 4 liter gravity water filters. We even found a source for wind resistant, storm proof matches! Especially relevant – the Camp Chow food is a big hit, and we want to thank the good people at Trail Center for making such great food.

Cabins

In addition, one of the cabins sprung a leak in the roof, but a tube of tar quickly resolved that issue (we think!). Guests are coming from throughout the US, including the fishermen from Alabama, Alaska, Iowa, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Colorado. We even had a visitor from as far away as Ely, Minnesota!

Brochures

We have finally created our brochures, we are able to mail them as needed. Let us know if you want one, two or several dozen! We could use your help spreading the word about Rockwood, and putting these brochures out into the places where people meet. Send us your mailing address and we’ll put them in the mail today!

Moose and calf on Gunflint Trail

A nice video of a Moose and her calf on the gunflint Trail – https://youtu.be/UROcBpATobg

Moose Twins

DSCN0574We’ve had several sightings of moose twins at Rockwood, and now we have photographic evidence – thanks to our Guests! 

Fox and her Kits

Shirley Wilson was in Cabin 2 and took some amazing video of a fox and her kits!

 

update: This video clip made it to Almanac, a Minnesota PBS television show, look for it at 21:34 on the June 10th show- http://www.tpt.org/almanac/

Trail clearing, building prep

bridge-1Today was filled with a lot of activities at Rockwood. We had two awesome guests in Cabin 2 all week, celebrating their honeymoon at Rockwood Lodge! They reported seeing a cub bear, moose, and many different animals on their hiking trips. They especially liked getting up and personal with a Loon on Poplar Lake while they were canoeing. I saw two fox today myself, or maybe just one fox that really liked to scoot.

cabin-4-new-beds
Cabin 4 new beds

We are prepping other cabins, getting new mattresses in and taking old mattresses out. Each one is getting a thorough cleaning, with Stephanie and Carol looking at furniture arrangement while Mike and Carl are fixing things. It’s a good thing we each have over a decade of experience in the maintenance and construction industries. Bonus: we get to use ALL of our tools!

south-lake-trail
South Lake Trail

I cut a bunch of the trees that fell across our section of the South Lake Trail that’s on our property. Using a chainsaw when trees are leaning on each other is an interesting task. The loppers also turned out to be a very handy tool.

Overnight the last two nights Mike and I have been watching the temperatures drop below 32 degrees. Mike turned on the waterlines to most of the resort last week, it was very nice and we had guests. Well, now with a low of 23 degrees, the fact that the waterlines are above ground leads to some tense moments. We kept the tap on in some cabins, covered some waterlines, and checked everything a couple times each night. So far, so good!

Our bunkhouse has been busy lately. The fishing opener drew a couple different groups to Rockwood, who left at Sunrise to go test the lakes for Lake Trout and Walleye. An awesome feature of owning a resort is sometimes the guests bring back fish to share! I can’t wait to put that beauty trout on the grill. Maybe I’ll get Mike to fire up the smoker…

aluminum-canoes
Aluminum Canoes

The new canoe stickers are looking really good. With my military background I’ve always wanted each canoe to have it’s own number, and now I’m starting to get that task done. However, the temperatures need to be rather warm to get good adhesion. I’ll have to wait another week!

detail-glass-globe
Glass Globe

The Lodge is looking great. We found a place to purchase a replacement glass globe for the cool lanterns on the front of the Lodge. Once we get LEDs lamps in there and a day/night timer, we’ll have gorgeous lights on the Lodge again! The gift shop is looking good, with Carol and Stephanie working hard to re-imagine the store. The software isn’t playing nicely, but we’ve got workarounds. The good news is that all of our new t-shirts, sweatshirts and hats are Made in the USA! And at $20 for a t-shirt and $55 for a zip-up hoodie, they aren’t too expensive. The hats will be here this week and we’ll figure out prices.

cabin-3-creek
Creek by Cabin 3

Big Bear has a great dining room in their Lodge called The Dancing Bear. We paddled over there last week (we could have drove, but the canoe is so stylish) and enjoyed some amazing meals. It’ll be a great resource for our guests.

canoe-paddles
Canoe Paddles

Windigo is really doing a great job with their menu, and we are proud to offer their breakfasts served at Rockwood to our outfitting guests! Rockwood Lodge used to be a destination steak house, and from 1979-1999 was “the” place to be. When I was first here in 1989 we had a great breakfast in the Lodge before we paddled across Poplar, and I wanted to bring that back. With the good people at Windigo, we are now able to!

We met some awesome neighbors that live on Loon Lake, dropping off their lake water samples, using Rockwood as their collection point. Mike and Lin had so many agreements going on, it’s good to honor them! Another neighbor was checking on her island, watching her husband motor across the lake for the first time this season. Did you know that Poplar Lake has 30 islands?

van
Transport Van

I found some time to get the Van ready for a hiking transport for tomorrow, and I stuck some canoe stickers on the rear window. Not bad for a 26 year old van! We’ll get it replaced in a season or two, but it’s running fine.   ROCKWOOD-WEBSITE-250-A

New graphics!

We are getting the new graphics printed and painted and on t-shirts. Check out some pictures!

 

South Lake Trail April 30, 2016

I walked the South Lake Trail from Rockwood Lodge, passing by Birch to South Lake, which borders Canada, on April 30, 2016. Here is my report.

south-lake-trail-fisher-f13The overall condition is fair to poor. Many stretches of the trail are in top shape, as good or better than the summer time because of the lack of bugs and heat. The section from the Gunflint Trail to Birch Lake was fine, with just a few areas where the bushes (Tag Alder or Speckled Alder Alnus Incana subsp. Rugosa ) overhung the trail. The diameter of the branches that overhung were from 1/2″ to 2″, and each side bent over the trail, locking together to form a Abatis. (plural abatis play \ˈa-bə-ˌtēz\ or abatises play \ˈa-bə-tə-səz\
: a defensive obstacle formed by felled trees with sharpened branches facing the enemy). Early in the path these were easily stepped aside, or over, or under.

File_001 (70)The planks placed over the standing water were in fine shaped. Two parallel 2x10s, sitting on 6×6 treated timber, made for a fine bridge. However, Moose Scat was artfully placed in several spots, making for precise steps around that obstacle. I noticed a pattern – whenever there was something blocking the trail, there was a pile of Moose Poop. Like they had to stop to figure out their next course of action and decided it was time to relieve themselves.

At one point I noticed big and small clustered together – must have been a mom with calves that a local UPS driver photographed the other dayups driver. Some of the path had standing water, with branches across for fun. I found a bow saw before the snowmobile trail, must have been left last fall by a trail clearing group. No markings.

File_007 (28)Several spots still had snow on the path, and I could tell I was the first human since the last snowfall to walk this path. The moose tracks, however, were big and deep, with a long pace between them. Must have been a good size moose that wanted to walk the South Lake Trail.

File_009 (13)At one point before you get to Birch Lake there’s a fork in the road. If you go straight you end up at a dead end with a large Survey Marker. Back track a few steps, and the correct path has a large pile of debris blocking it. You need to walk around this pile to go Northeast and follow the path. I was corrected by the USFS that the path needs to go by the Survey Marker. Go straight north at the fork, continue on the path near the survey marker. Do not step around the debris pile, as this section of the trail is closed.

File_000 (142)A 8″ tree was down across the path just at the hill before you descend to Birch Lake. Easy to get over.File_006 (28)

I keep forgetting how much grade change is between Birch and Partridge. Down, and up again, and down again. It’s not so bad when you are fresh, but on the return trip these hills get OLD!

Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking ‘cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking out the door

A chipmunk decided to tell me he didn’t like my presence. Oh well, the poor dude would just have to file his complaint as I was not going to be easily detoured.

File_005 (40)File_006 (31)It’s awesome walking through the trees that are 2-3 feet in diameter. Very majestic. Deep forest in the lower 48. Love it.

At Birch lake there’s a small stream to cross, easy enough with a few stepping stones strategically placed to make it easy. I love watching the water flow through mini-waterfalls. Gorgeous. As is the view through the trees to Birch Lake. There’s an island that’s just sitting out there, no big deal. Come visit me some day, Carl.

More forested area with moss on the ground and moss on the trees. Love it. The sunlight is dappled by the trees, and there’s still snow on the ground. It’s hard to describe how beautiful it is, tall trees with blue skies. You need to see it for yourself. It’s like the paintings my Grandmother used to paint. A woodpecker is diligently slamming an old tree, looking for a snack. I’ll let him have it, he’s working so hard for it. They need to study woodpecker brains for concussions – why don’t they have Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

File_004 (44)A creek (or crick if you are from Iowa) going through the middle of the trail. More strategic stepping. More snow on the trail. And ice! Wild. Of course, I had to slip and fall on it. What good would it be if there was ice with no one to slip and fall on it?

File_001 (72)At East Otter Lake there’s a significant gap on the creek at the trail. Looks like there are abutment stones on either end, as if someone was planning to span it with a bridge. But right now that’s too far to jump, so you have to be selective and find a set of rocks to step on to the east. A little iffy, this crossing. Would be better if someone would move a large boulder into the center for a strategic pier/stepper.

The trick to navigate South Lake Trail near East Otter Lake is to turn left as soon as you see water directly in front of you. There’s a steep grade with a small piece of orange tape near a tree with the roots exposed, go up the hill. If you instead continue on the path in front of you, you’ll see that the lakes level has risin and the path is underwater. You want to know why?

File_003 (55)Beavers have been hard at work on this section of the East Otter Lake. They have made quite a dam and their handy work is easily seen.

East Otter Lake has a marshy area in front of it, with a gorgeous lake beyond, to the West. It doesn’t look like you can get into the lake from here, but looking at the cleared area someone has and continues to get into this lake from the East. Gorgeous day, partly cloudy. I like to call these clouds “The Simpsons” from the opening sequence.

Before you get to Partridge Lake you cross BWCAW Entry Point 59. It’s hard to tell that anything has changed, as the sign is broken and leaning against a tree a few yards up the trail. The trail is in good shape from here to Partridge, with a nice crossing that’s marked by a small piece of tape. Really, it’s the only way to get from Point A to Point B, so after a few minutes of reconnoitering the area you’ll come to the same conclusion I did: Time to cross another creek. These rocks are well spaced, and it’s easy to cross. The trail hugs Partridge Lake on the Western shore, sometimes so close you think you are going to step into the lake. There’s ice on Partridge, but not much and it won’t last the day. Note to anyone who keeps track of these things: Ice Out on Partridge Lake is May 1, 2016.

File_000 (147)

File_002 (60)A very interesting view is an uprooted tree that decided to take some rocks up with it, in the roots.

Next is a campsite, beautiful. A 14′ aluminum canoe with a flat transom and camouflage paint is resting here. It was here last September as well.

At Partridge you have to turn North / Northwest over a small hill and into a valley. The valley is full of the Alder brush that is folded over the path, so much so that it is another Abatis. VERY THICK. Incredibly hard to walk through. Sometimes you can go left or right, but it’s hard to tell when you’ve left the path and when you are on the right path. There’s tape every once in awhile, but it’s very very hard to cross.File_002 (62) Again, the majority of the stems are 1/2″ to 1-1/2″ in diameter, about 10′ tall, crossing from each side interlocking with each other over the path. Moose find a way to barrel through, so I tried it as well. They have little stamens that give off a puff of green pollen when hitting them; so much so I was covered in green dust. Sometimes I leaned very hard into the shrubs to try and get through, other times I was able to lift one side aside and push the other aside, making my way through. I crawled through at one point. I walked on top at one point. I tried everything. The fun part, like I mentioned before, is after breaking trail sometimes you lose the original trail, and have to search around for it.

It’s at this point I heard voices. Not in my head, this time. A male and female voice, very excited. I kept on going, thinking I could travel as fast as they could, having at least a 100 yard advantage. But within minutes they caught me – his name was Carter and hers Sam. They wore short sleeve shirts and long shorts, with legs that were cut up from busting through the same brush I just did. They were doing a loop through Moss Lake Trail, up the South Lake Trail, and were heading for the Border Route Trail to take them back to the Duncan Lake area. Very fast, I felt like I was slowing them down.

We pushed through a lot more heavy growth until we reached the forest again, where it cleared up considerably.

Before long we were at the Border Route Trail (BRT). This is where I learned they heard a speech from Ed about the BRT and they showed me very nice maps. They had plans to come back later and do the entire BRT. A nice couple, but I was glad to be on my own again and go back down to my leisurely stroll. Less than a quarter mile to South Lake!

File_001 (74)The last section is in deep woods, and the grade drops off quickly. Pretty soon you can see the lake through the trees. Oh and what a lake! South Lake is a gorgeous, large lake that stretches East – West. Just north of this campground is a portage between South Lake and Rat Lake, EP 57. I was told there is an international marker there, but I’ll have to visit again another day to see that. I just sat on campsite and enjoyed the view. A ham sandwich and a new pair of socks and I was ready to return!

The trip up the hill went quickly, but soon I was struggling with the large shrubs again. It doesn’t help to curse their name, but I tried, in vain. And again. Nope, still doesn’t help. So I began to push really hard through the shrubs, and lost my way. I looked around, and found a trail. It didn’t look familiar, but it was a trail, and trails usually lead somewhere.

I went over a rock outcropping and a mile further before I realized I was walking straight towards the sun. Shouldn’t it be on my right if I’m going South? Just a little?

iPhones north of the Sawtooth Mountains are little to no good. However, the GPS unit still works fine, and I downloaded some ‘offline’ maps to google, so I can get a rough idea where I’m at. Yeap, way too far west. I’m on the BRT! Time to double back. I’m getting winded and frustrated. Back down the rock outcropping, and within a couple of hundred feet there’s South Lake Trail! Found it. It’s funny because I was telling Carter and Sam how I couldn’t see the BRT to the west. Well, I stumbled upon it and found it just fine.

Now I’m tired, and I still have to navigate the shrubs between here and Partridge Lake. More cussing, more realization that cussing doesn’t help. Somewhere my sunglasses are dangling on one of those shrubs. If you see them, please return them, and I’ll give you a nice bow saw I found.

I left on this adventure at noon, and made it back to Rockwood just at 7pm. 7 hours for 7 miles. Pretty slow! Guess at 48 I need to get into better shape.

Thanks for reading, please stop by Rockwood and say hi!

Ice on Poplar Lake, April 28th

rwl_blog_2016_04-28Lots of movement on the ice today, Poplar Lake. It opened a large area next to the island in our bay and the stream between the shore and the island is completely open. There’s still a large sheet in the middle of the bay. Small stacks of snow where I piled it with the snow plow, and some in around trees in the deep shade. I’ll walk part of South Lake Trail on Saturday and report the status.

Ice on Poplar Lake, Gunflint Trail, Minnesota April 25

Ice on Poplar Lake,  Gunflint Trail, Minnesota April 25 – lots of rain and sleet today. The wind is pushing the ice around. We figure less than 10 more days for this ice!

Spring rains melt the snow

Rockwood Lodge and Outfitters on the Gunflint Trail still has some snow, but the rain is melting it fast. The lake has a glassy look and the trail is clear.

Haines solo trip 2011

solo-canoe-campsight-david-haines_2011

A nice blog post about a solo trip in 2011 through Rockwood Lodge and Outfitters:

http://www.photosbyhaines.com/2012/02/travel-davids-2011-bwca-solo/

Flyer

Here’s a flyer you can download and print. Put a copy up at work, give one to your friends and family!

Flyer

Inside a Snow Globe March 16, 2016

A nice snowfall at Rockwood Lodge on March 16, 2016.

Ice and Snow on March 12, 2016

March 12, 2016 – after some rain and sunny days, there is still ice and snow on Poplar Lake near Rockwood Lodge and Outfitters. Turn up the volume and listen to the melting ice and the birds. Enjoy this video at full screen, turn up the sound, and make sure you have selected “HD” for a crisp video.

Excellent Story

james-michael-tbPlease take time to read this excellent story by our friend James Michael from his upcoming book “From a Rustic Cabin”.

Into_The_BWCA_3-6-2016_james_michael

Posted with limited permission by the author; use is limited to this website and not passed onto any other publisher without written permission.

Availability Calendar

Cabin Availability
Cabin Availability

Our website has a new page where you can see Cabin availability – by month! It works out really well when you have a certain time frame for your vacation and want to see what is available:

Availability June ’18

Entry Permits

PermitsToday was an exciting day, we helped a bunch of our customers book their Entry Permits into the BWCAW. It’s great thinking about the summer when it’s 20 degrees outside. I just checked and all three of our Entry Points on Poplar Lake (Lizz/Swamp 47, Meeds 48, Skipper 49) are wide open, with just a couple of days in June and July getting close to maxing out for Lizz Lake EP 47. Max number of permits for that portage per day is 4. Please contact us at 218-388-2242 if we can help you book your overnight stay in the BWCAW! Otherwise, day trips are a great way to see the Boundary Waters and stay in a comfortable cabin with a nice bed and a hot shower!

Webcam is up and running!


The Rockwood Webcam is up and running! Bookmark this page: www.rockwoodbwca.com/webcam and visit it often as the image is updated every 15 minutes.

Gunflint Mailrun Dogsleds

On January 9, 2016 the Gunflint Mailrun Dogsled competition ran by Rockwood Lodge and Outfitters.

http://www.gunflintmail.com/

Afternoon:

morning:

Thank you Mike and Lin

mike-and-linAs Mike and Lin start the next chapter of their lives I want to take this time to say thank you to both of them for taking such good care of us during this transition. It would be hard to find two nicer people and if you had a chance to meet them you know what I’m talking about.

Gunflint Trail Snow December 18, 2015

Gunflint Trail a day after a nice snowfall. It’s hard to describe how beautiful this drive is. North of Grand Marais, Minnesota on County 12.

Snowfall Rockwood Lodge December 16 2015

Lots of snow coming down 10:30am on Wednesday December 16, 2015 at Rockwood Lodge.

Poplar Lake Breathing

Poplar lake is mostly ice covered but the edge has a couple of inches of water, and when the ice moves up and down it seems like the lake is breathing.

Roaring fire

roaring-fire-aaron-wichmann_2014
roaring-fire-aaron-wichmann_2014

New guest photos

loon-2-Carol-Sebek-Kelley loon-2-Carol-Sebek-Kelley

Carol gave us some of her favorite photos from 2014!

Snowy Thursday

rockwood-road-mediumThe snow is really thick and is hanging on the trees.

Carl and Lin

Previous owner Lin Sherfy and new owner Carl Madsen standing next to Poplar lake Previous owner Lin Sherfy and new owner Carl Madsen standing next to Poplar lake

We were going through some old stuff in storage and stopped to take a photo. The trees are heavy with snow, and everything looks like a Christmas Card.