Long Island Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Cross Bay Lake #50 Fishing: MN DNR; Northern Pike, Lake Trout
Maps: Fisher F-12; McKenzie #4 and #7 Lake Depth: MN DNR; 85 feet
Fire History: Famine Lake Fire 2006
Lake Size: 884 acres
Campsites: 14
Campsite 1
Campsite 2
Campsite 3
Wildlife Seen on Visit: Loons
Last Visited: June 16, 2019 Lake Elevation: About 1762 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR

Routes from Long Island Lake:
To Cave Lake: Walk the 109 rod portage
To Karl Lake: Walk the 35 rod portage
To Long Island River: Paddle In
To Muskeg Lake (via two portages along Muskeg Creek): Walk the 20 and 4 rod portages
To Yogi Lake: Bushwhack about 85 rods

Long Island Lake

Gunflint Ranger District

Campsites can be hard to find on Long Island Lake during the June through August months as everyone seems to head to this lake.

Western end of Long Island Lake saw logging activity in the 1950's. This logging activity was carried out by Consolidated Papers of Wisconsin and the tract covered about 38 square miles. The logging tract also included Cash Lake due south of Long Island Lake (Heinselman 1996).

Long Island Lake has many tributaries feeding it. From the south is the Long Island River flowing north from Cherokee Lake. Water from Ash Lake flows in via a small creek. Toward the east end of the lake, Fun Lake drains into Long Island Lake. Muskeg Lake comes in on the far east end as well as Finn Creek and Banadad Creek. On the far west end of the lake a small drainage comes in from both Yogi Lake and Plug Lake. These last two lakes are in the Hairy Lake Primitive Management Area which lies to the west of Long Island Lake. Long Island Lake drains through the channel to Karl Lake. Karl Lake is sort of a large bay on the north side of Long Island Lake (the division point between the lakes is somewhat vague).

You may be able to skip the 4 rod portage along Muskeg Creek on the way to Muskeg Lake if water levels are good. The portage to Karl Lake is easy with a nice beach on the Long Island Lake end of it.


Exploring Long Island Lake

Paddling from the Karl Lake Portage to Mouth of the Long Island River


Long Island Lake in the early evening at the beginning of the summer season. View is from the Karl Lake portage. Great beach here if you want to go swimming.



An extended paddle from the Karl Lake portage to the mouth of the Long Island River. Generally paddling to the southwest to the east of the central islands in the northwest bay of Long Island Lake. It is late evening by the time we reach the area where the Long Island River flows into the lake.


Paddling from Mouth of Long Island River to the Campsite just up West Shoreline


This is the mouth of the Long Island River where it flows into Long Island Lake. The current is very minimal.



A quick paddle from the mouth of the Long Island River just up the west shoreline to a campsite. This is not a very good campsite, but would do in a pinch. Campsites often fill up early on Long Island Lake during the peak summer season.


Paddling from Campsite next to Long Island River Mouth to nearby Campsite on Point


There is a campsite just a couple hundred feet or so north of the mouth of the Long Island River along the western shoreline of Long Island Lake. This isn't a particularly good campsite. Paddling from that campsite over to a better campsite located just a few minutes paddle to the northeast on the point. That is a pretty nice campsite.


Paddling from Campsite just Northeast of Long Island River Mouth to Mouth of Long Island River


Looking to the east from the campsite just after setting off from shore in the canoe.



A brief quarter-mile paddle from the campsite on the point just to the northeast of the mouth of the Long Island River over to the river itself.



Your view as you enter the Long Island River from Long Island Lake.


Paddling from Campsite on Point on West Shoreline to Yogi Lake Bushwhack Starting Location


The canoe is loaded up. About ready to pull away from the campsite.



Paddling generally north from the campsite on the prominent point along the west shoreline of Long Island Lake up the the inlet to the tiny bay due south of Yogi Lake on your map.



If you are adventurous, this is where the going starts to get a little tougher if you are planning to bushwhack up to Yogi Lake which is in the Hairy Lake PMA. This is the inlet to the small bay just south of Yogi Lake on the map.


Paddling from Yogi Lake Bushwhack Starting Location to the Karl Lake Portage


This paddle commences at the inlet to the small bay just south of Yogi Lake and continues to the Karl Lake portage generally following the northwest shoreline of the lake.



Unloading your gear after reaching the portage to Karl Lake.

Route Connections for Long Island Lake

From Long Island Lake, you can portage to Cave Lake, Muskeg Creek (which leads to Muskeg Lake) and the north end of Karl Lake. You can also paddle into the south end of Karl Lake or into the Long Island River. In addition you can bushwhack to Ferret Lake or Fun Lake by following the short creeks that connect them to Long Island Lake. Banadad Creek and Finn Creek also connect to Long Island Lake, but they are basically impassable. From the northwest part of Long Island Lake you can also bushwhack up a creek to Yogi Lake which is in the Hairy Lake Primitive Management Area.

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PMA #1: Weeny PMA #4: Tick PMA #7: Pitfall PMA #10: Hairy
PMA #2: Canthook PMA #5: Spider PMA #8: Mugwump PMA #11: Weasel
PMA #3: Sundial PMA #6: Drag PMA #9: Humpback PMA #12: Fungus
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