" Celebrate Summer - Sun drenched days and starlit nights... -- Gooseberry Patch



By Chelsea



By Chelsea














 Where Did June Go?-

          June flew by and the 4th of July is right around the corner.  After a very warm and dry May we welcomed the almost 6 inches of rain we received this month.  I would have preferred the rain to come in more substantial amounts and less frequently than what it did but I shouldn't complain.  It's just that it rained a little bit over one-half of the days in June and that meant the sun wasn't out as much as I would have liked it to be.

      Most folks were perfectly content with the weather this June.  The average high temperature was 66.59 degrees and the average low was 49.37 for an average temperature of 57.98.  Most days were in the 70's and night time lows in the 40's or 50's making for some perfect paddling and camping conditions.

     The forest's thirst was quenched and the leftovers were given to the lakes.  The overcast days helped prevent evaporation and the water level actually increased in June.  Considering how low it was to start with this season there wasn't much room for it to decrease.  Compared to other years at this time the water level is still probably down a good 1-2 feet in places but the fire danger is also low.

     The forecast for the first week of July looks wonderful.  Temperatures will warm up into the high 70's and low 80's making the lakes of the BWCA even more appealing for swimming.  The bugs have been almost non-existent, the blueberries are ripening and the wonderful weather of the Boundary Waters is waiting for you.     

 Voyageur Canoe Outfitters-

Where the Trail Ends Your Voyage Begins




Kayaking Seagull Lake in the BWCA

Seagull Lake is perfect for Kayaking





View Seagull Lake Base Camp in a larger map





 Canoeing the BWCA

Paddling a Bay of Seagull






 Seagull Lake in the BWCA

A View from the Seagull Lake Palisades







 Seagull Lake Base Camp Route-  

BWCAW Entry Point 54A Seagull Lake Only(2 entry permits) or 54 Seagull Lake (11 entry permits)   Minimum Trip Length 3 Days

      A Seagull Lake base camp provides an excellent opportunity for a BWCA wilderness canoe trip without portaging.  For people who are unable or unwilling to portage Seagull provides a wonderful setting for a wilderness canoe camping trip.  Families with small children or those folks who want to try a kayak trip will want to make Seagull their camping destination.  Beginning paddlers are comforted by the close proximity to civilization and experienced ones are amazed at how peaceful and quiet Seagull is in spite of it.  Everyone who paddles Seagull loves it for the beautiful rock studded islands, sheer granite cliffs and great fishing.  Choose this Boundary Waters route if you are short on time, don’t feel like paddling or portaging long distances or if you want to take advantage of all Seagull Lake has to offer.

BWCA Maps Needed:

·       Fisher Maps: F-19 or F-32

·       McKenzie Maps: 6

·       Voyageur Maps: 6

Fast Facts:


Fish Species

Maximum Depth











·       North         235 rod to Grandpa Lake

·       North         38 rod to Gull Lake or through Trail’s End Campground

·       NW           20 rod to Alpine

·       NW           105 rod to Alpine

·       West          20 rod to Rog Lake

·       South         535 rod to Paulson; formerly J.A.P.

Route Description:

Seagull is most known for its beautiful islands and rock palisades.  There are over 100 islands over an acre in size many with campsites on them.  A person can paddle day after day exploring the many bays and fingers of Seagull Lake without ever paddling the same route twice.


Don’t be surprised if you’re paddling and you see a bridge connecting two pieces of land together.  This bridge belongs to Wilderness Canoe Base on Fishhook Island just outside of the BWCA.  It’s a privately ran wilderness camp that has an outdoor chapel for Sunday Worship and the occasional wedding.   Some evenings you’ll find a white sheet hanging from the bridge with a movie being projected on it.  You’ve heard of drive-in movie theaters before but this is one of the only paddle-in movie theaters around. 


You may notice people climbing or rapelling on a sheer cliff next to Miles Island.  These are most likely campers scaling the 80 foot high cliff known as the palisades.  There is a hiking trail to the top where thousands of pictures have been taken.  Risk takers are sometimes seen jumping into the water from various levels of the cliffs and this is not recommended.


There are a lot of little lakes a person can access from Seagull Lake.  If a person wants to do some hiking then the portages leading out of Seagull Lake are the perfect place to stretch your legs.  A hike to Grandpa Lake and back is almost 1.5 miles and to Alpine and back it’s just under a mile.  With the Paulson portage distancing 515 rods one way it is over 3 miles round trip.  Paulson Lake was once known as Jap Lake but the harsh sounding word caused a stir even though the lake name just stood for the initials of local Gunflint Trail folks.  J.A.P. stood for James and Ann Paulson.


If you want to explore some different lakes and don’t mind carrying your canoe and fishing gear then Seagull is a great lake to use as a base camp.  You’ll find plenty of trout in the area with brook trout in Rog Lake, rainbow trout in Meditation Lake and lake trout in Paulson Lake.  Grandpa Lake has northern pike and Alpine Lake has walleye, lake trout, northern pike and smallmouth bass.  There’s really no need to leave Seagull Lake in search of fish since there are plenty to be caught right there without having to portage.


On the north shoreline of Seagull Lake you will notice trees all uniform in size.  These trees are relatively young as they just started growing after the Roy Lake Fire in 1976.  Younger looking trees are most likely the result of the Cavity, Alpine or Ham Lake Fire or quite possibly from a prescribed burn.


On the west side of Three Mile Island you can find cedar trees that are over 300 years old.  If you see cabins and boats with motors then you are East of Three Mile Island.  Boats can use up to a 10 horsepower motor in these waters as cabins and resorts existed before the area was made into the Boundary Waters.  In spite of the proximity to the civilization on the shores of Seagull Lake it is a very peaceful place for a wilderness canoe trip.



According to the book, “A Taste of the Gunflint Trail,” “When Russell Blankenburg first came to Seagull Lake, the road ended there.  The lake had no homes or inhabitants.  The only way to get to Saganaga Lake was to go down the river from Seagull.  And all of this was happening in the late 1920’s.  It wasn’t that long ago!”

Since then there have been a number of resorts and cabins on Seagull Lake.   Some of them were located in what now is the BWCA and were moved to make room for wilderness travelers.   Seagull Resort was the first resort on Seagull Lake and was located on what is now Blankenburg Landing.  It was owned by Russell and Eve Blankenburg and the site was chosen for the beautiful beach; a rare treat on the Gunflint Trail.  The beach is still there for people to enjoy as well as a plaque denoting the history and contributions of the Blankenburgs.

A Short Story:

Seagull Lake was home to a great restaurant called Sea Island.  It was owned and operated by the Lande family until the year 1999 when they served their last meal.  Mike and I enjoyed many meals at the beautiful log lodge and were always impressed the previous owners had only paid $500 for the building.  It was 1956 and the lodge had to be auctioned off and moved from the west end of the lake because of the Wilderness Act.  It was purchased by the Cushman’s who were then responsible for moving it to its present location on the northeast shore of Seagull Lake.  I’ll never forget the wonderful meals that always began with warm rolls and an onion pie.  You can find the recipes for these in “A Taste of the Gunflint Trail”, a cook book with a little bit of history intertwined.














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Grand Opening of Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center-

     The long awaited opening of Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center is on the 4th of July.  I was able to preview the museum and was absolutely amazed at how awesome it is.  I would have never guessed there would be enough room for everything we wanted in the museum yet Split Rock Design Studios got it all in.  It is a state of the art museum with interactive displays and something for everyone to enjoy. 

     There is so much information and so many displays you will want to spend an entire day or two at the museum.  A northwoods scene is complete with taxidermy including a moose calf, bear, fawn, pine marten and more.  There are real antlers and a stuffed beaver you can even touch.  The fishing section has a ton of fancy lures to look at and a unique mounting of different species of fish.  Ther is information on logging, native people and a great display of resort life.  There are flip books, photos, films and more to browse through and comfortable chairs where you can relax and read. 

     Outside there are picnic tables, numerous trails for hiking and the serenity of the woods surrounding the museum.  Chik-Wauk is located on Saganaga Lake and the Boundary Waters is just a short paddle away.  This is a place you will want to visit time after time because you will always discover something new.  

     After the grand opening on the 4th of July it will be open every day from 10-5pm until mid-October.  The most amazing thing about Chik-Wauk is it only costs $2.00 per person or $5.00 per family to see.  If you become a member of the Gunflint Trail Historical Society for $25.00 then you and your friends and family can accompany you to the museum and not pay a thing.  It's a wonderful deal and I encourage all of you to become a member and visit Chik-Wauk as often as you can.      

     You can find more Chik-Wauk photos on my facebook site and check out my Chik-Wauk videos on you tube.

What people are saying about Chik-Wauk...

I don't know what I was expecting but not anything that nice...  It was really professionally done...  I was impressed...   I'm going back to spend some time with the videos...  It's very easy to tour... It's really a neat place..


Water's Edge II


 Plan to Paddle or Vacation at Voyageur-

     We want to see you at Voyageur this summer.  We still have openings in our cabins and would love to see you here.  Our Black Bear Cabin is receiving rave reviews after our remodel and folks absolutely love it. 

     Our large groups who have stayed at Water's Edge have been amazed with the transformation of Water's Edge II.  New cupboards, counters, flooring and more have really made the place comfortable.  The little cabin has a queen sized bed, a twin bed and sofa sleeper for up to 4 or 5 extra guests in addition to the big cabin.  The big cabin has two private bedrooms with queen sized beds in each and in the front room there are 3 twin sized beds and a sofa sleeper. 

     There are ripe berries to pick, fish to catch, trails to hike and the Chik-Wauk Museum to visit while vacationing at Voyageur.  But if you'd rather camp then there are still plenty of Boundary Waters and Quetico Park permits available for this season.   Give us a call and we'll help you plan your wilderness canoe camping trip today! 1-888-CANOEIT




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Catch and Release Technique-    

     We encourage catch and release fishing not only because it helps to ensure the future stock of fish but also because often people’s eyes are bigger than their stomachs and fish tend to be wasted.  Keep in mind fish live in the water so it is very important to limit the time the fish is out of the water while releasing it.  Try to cause the least amount of harm when releasing the fish so it has a better chance at survival and reproduction.          

  1. Increase the rate of survival by not playing the fish too quickly, too slowly or excessively.  Retrieve the fish deliberately and you will help reduce the amount of stress and fatigue the fish experiences.
  2. The use of barbless hooks can aide in a quick release that does less damage to a fish.
  3. Gather tools that will facilitate in a clean and quick release.
  4. Keep the fish in the water while releasing it if at all possible.  Reach over the side of the watercraft and use a needle-nosed pliers to gently remove the hook from the fish white it remains in the water.
  5. If the fish has swallowed the hook then cut the line as close to the hook as possible.  Do not try to remove the hook from inside of the fish.
  6. If you must touch the fish then wet your hands first and do not put your fingers in the gill or hold the fish by its eyes.  
  7. Do not use a net or gloves because it can remove mucus and/or scales from the fish and that can result in infection.
  8. Handle the fish gently preventing it from battering itself on hard surfaces.
  9. Return the fish to the water headfirst pointing it straight down allowing the fish to plunge into the water.
  10. If a fish is exhausted and needs to be revived then hold the fish in their normal swimming position while supporting its belly, holding both the mouth and gills open.  Move them forward or hold them facing into a current to allow water to pass through their gills.  They should swim away under their own power.

     If all efforts to release a fish fail then consider it as part of your catch.  Otherwise give each fish the best fighting chance at survival so they may go on to live and reproduce for other generations. Follow these guidelines and let them go so they can grow or so they can spawn and make even more fish for others to enjoy.


 We hope you enjoy our newsletter and tell others about it!

  Mike, Sue and the Voyageur Crew  

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