Exploration of Saganaga Lake
- Skill Level
- 6 +
- Entry Point
- Portage Rods
- Longest Portage
Massive Saganaga is a destination in its own right, worthy of as much time as you can give it. For those who dislike portaging, you’re in luck. You won’t portage on this route, but you do need to keep careful track of your position on a map, as the dozens of islands and bays can prove confusing. This route is suitable for most visitors, but less experienced canoeists should be careful on the big stretches of open water during windy conditions.
Detailed Route Info
From your start at one of the public landings (or from an outfitter’s dock), head north to the main body of Saganaga. The campsites immediately north of where the Seagull River widens into Saganaga Lake are a great spot to spend a first night.
Apart from being aesthetically stunning, Saganaga has a fascinating human history. Native Americans have made Saganaga home for centuries, and prehistoric archaeological sites have been discovered at a number of locations on Saganaga. French traders established at least one post on Saganaga in the 18th century, and later the British had a trading post on these waters, connecting them with the activities at Grand Portage on Lake Superior.
Keep in mind that motors up to 25 horsepower are allowed on the American side of Saganaga, east of American Point, and don’t forget that Saganaga is big water, and can get very rough if it is windy, so take caution.
*Route information provided courtesy of Dan Pauly, and have been modified from his book, Exploring the Boundary Waters: A Trip Planner and Guide to the BWCAW. University of Minnesota Press, 2004
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