Round Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Missing Link Lake #51 and Brant Lake #52 Fishing: MN DNR; Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye
Maps: Fisher F-12; McKenzie #7 Lake Depth: MN DNR; 45 feet
Fire History: 2007 Ham Lake Fire
Lake Size: 154 acres
Campsites: 0 Wildlife Seen on Visit: None
Last Visited: July 23, 2016;
Previous Visits: October 9, 2015
Lake Elevation: About 1744 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR

Routes from Round Lake:
To West Round Lake: Walk the 77 rod portage
To Missing Link Lake: Walk the 142 rod portage

Round Lake

Gunflint Ranger District

Starting in Grand Marais, Minnesota, head up the Gunflint Trail (County Road 12). The turn off for Round Lake and Cross River is well signed. It is also the same turn as Tuscarora Lodge and Canoe Outfiitters. The road first takes you past the Cross Bay Lake Entry Point #50. Shortly after passing this entry point, there is an intersection. The sign here indicates one mile to Round Lake (take a right) or go the other way if you are heading to Tuscarora Lodge and Canoe Outfitters. You will want to take the road to Round Lake if you are looking for Missing Link Lake #51 or Brant Lake #52 entry points.

Round Lake lies entirely outside of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA). There are two routes leading out of this lake each leading to a respective entry point. The canoe landing and parking lot is for both entry points. Tuscarora Lodge and Canoe Outfitters lies just to the east of the entry point in the northeast corner of the lake. There are usually a good number of boats out on this lake during the prime fishing times of early morning and also in the evening. Most of the people fishing are coming from Tuscarora Lodge and Canoe Outfitters which has its operations on the northeast side of the lake.

The northwest shoreline of Round Lake was impacted by the 2007 Ham Lake Fire. At the southwest corner of the lake, just as you reach the end of the burned shoreline is a small bay where you will find the portage to West Round Lake. Go this way if you are heading to the Brant Lake Entry Point #52. Note that you still have to cross two portages and two lakes before you even enter the BWCA heading in this direction. The other route out of Round Lake is to Missing Link Lake. This involves a 142 rod portage to Missing Link Lake.

Given its bowl-like shape and the lake of forest cover on the west side of the lake, this lake can get pretty choppy when the wind is up.

There are at least 59 lakes in Minnesota that are called "Round Lake". Round Lake drains to the northeast into the Cross River which flows to the northeast and eventually empties into Gunflint Lake.

Exploring Round Lake

Paddling from the Missing Link Portage to the Entry Point

View of Round Lake from the Missing Link Lake portage.

Round Lake west shoreline just south of the BWCA entry point parking lot found along the shore in the northeast part of the lake.

Paddling across Round Lake from the Missing Link Lake portage to the entry point landing in the northwest corner of the lake.

Paddling from the Entry Point to the West Round Lake Portage

Beginning from the entry point landing on Round Lake, you paddle along the west shore of the lake down to the small bay in the lake's southwest corner. In this bay, you find the portage leading to West Round Lake.

Round Lake near BWCA
View of the small bay where the portage to West Round Lake is located.

Paddling from the Entry Point to the Missing Link Portage

Paddling generally straight across Round Lake, starting from the dock at the canoe landing traveling to the Missing Link Lake portage landing.

Finishing up the paddle across Round Lake. This portage leads to BWCA Entry Point 51 - Missing Link Lake.

Route Connections for Round Lake

From Round Lake, you can portage to Missing Link Lake or West Round Lake. Round Lake also provides access to the BWCA for Entry Point 51 - Missing Link Lake and Entry Point 52 - Brant Lake.

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