Tuscarora Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Missing Link Lake #51 Fishing: MN DNR; Lake Trout, Northern Pike
Maps: Fisher F-12; McKenzie #7 Lake Depth: MN DNR; 130 feet
Fire History:
Lake Size: 833 acres
Campsites: 10 (3 visited)
Campsite 1, Campsite 2, Campsite 3
Wildlife Seen on Visit: None
Last Visited: July 23, 2016;
Previous Visits: October 10, 2015
Lake Elevation: 1703 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR

Routes from Tuscarora Lake:
To Ahgoday Lake: Bushwhack for about 30 rods
To Howl Lake: Walk the 125 rod portage
To Missing Link Lake: Walk the 426 rod portage (thru Wish Lake and Contest Lake)
To Owl Lake: Walk the 68 rod portage
To Thelma Creek: Paddle In (this way leads to Thelma Lake)

Tuscarora Lake

Gunflint Ranger District

Tuscarora Lake is a large open lake and is a popular destination even though it takes work to reach. The shortest portage is from Owl Lake to the west, but that is coming from the interior of the BWCA. From an entry point, the most direct route is via the Missing Link Lake portage. That is an arduous 442 rod affair. Another long, swampy portage comes in from the east from Hubbub Lake and over the remnants of Howl Lake.

There are many campsites on Tuscarora Lake. The campsite on the north shore just west of the bay leading to Missing Link Lake portage offers nice southern views and is a wonderful campsite in general. The campsite on the eastern side of the lake near Ahgoday Lake on the map is fairly secluded.

Tuscarora Lake contains a good supply of lake trout, although most are small to average in size.

The last fires to affect the area around Tuscarora were in 1875, 1854 and 1801. In 1875 some of Tuscarora Lake's south shore was burned. 1864 saw the scorching of some of the lakes north shoreline. The western part of Tuscarora Lake has forests still dating back to the beginning of the 1800's.

Tuscarora Lake drains out of the bay extending off the south side of the lake through a creek. This creek flows to the west and pours into Jerry Lake losing 65 feet of elevation over a couple of miles.

Motors were allowed on Tuscarora Lake back in the 1970's.

Exploring Tuscarora Lake

Paddling from the Owl Lake Portage to the Missing Link Lake Portage

Tuscarora Lake in the BWCA
You have reached Tuscarora Lake. From here you are looking west across almost two miles of open water to that far horizon on the east end of Tuscarora Lake. The nearest island, just left of center, is a bit over half-a-mile from where you stand. Notice the clear water of this lake.

You put your canoe into Tuscarora Lake at its far west end at the Owl Lake portage. Waves pick up as you proceed farther east. These waves are pushed by a strong west wind.

Tuscarora Lake cliffs in BWCA
Prominent cliffs along the southwestern shoreline of Tuscarora Lake in the BWCA.

A rolling, bouncing paddle from the south shore of Tuscarora Lake across to the campsite that is just west of the bay leading into the Missing Link Lake portage. This campsite is the one on the point sticking out from the north shoreline.

Tuscarora Lake in the BWCA
Panoramic view looking south taking in much of Tuscarora Lake.

Heading into a strong wind, you hug the shoreline and make your way into the northeeastern bay of Tuscarora Lake. You make for the Missing Link Lake portage landing.

Tuscarora Lake in the Boundary Waters
A view to the south from the back of the northeastern bay of Tuscarora Lake. This is a fairly breezy day. Out on the main lake, the waves were over two feet high so plan your crossing accordingly on this big lake.

Paddling from the Howl Lake Portage to Thelma Creek

A wide view toward the southwest and down the east shoreline of Tuscarora Lake. This view is from the Howl Lake portage. There is a nice beach to be found here.

Paddling down the east shoreline from the Howl Lake portage until you come to the first campsite along your route.

East shore of Tuscarora Lake looking south from the Howl Lake portage.

The east shore of Tuscarora Lake in the southeast part of the lake. In the distance, dead center, is the small bay where the creeks from Ahgoday Lake and Thelma Lake flow in.

From the campsite, continue south to Tuscarora Lake's southeast bay.

Looking north from right in front of the mouth of Ahgoday Creek. Ahgoday Creek, which flows in right behind you, does not seem to provide easy access to Ahgoday Lake. To your left and just out of view is the mouth of Thelma Creek. Thelma Creek is easily navigable up to a short portage that leads into Thelma Lake.

The mouth of Aghoday Creek (not official name). This creek flows less than a 1/4 mile from Ahgoday Lake. It may look more "passable" in the spring when all the vegetation isn't choking it. Expect it is a difficult bushwhack no matter the season.

A short trip from the mouth of (Ahgoday) Creek to the mouth of (Thelma) Creek. Neither of these creeks has an offical name. A couple of loons are feeding in the area.

This large glacial erratic (boulder) is right in front of the mouth of Thelma Creek. The mouth of Ahgoday Creek is directly behind this boulder and thus not visible from your current position. You can easily paddle up Thelma Creek which leads to Thelma Lake.

Paddling from the Howl Lake Portage to the Missing Link Lake Portage

View to the northwest from the Howl Lake portage. The island that is located in the northeast park of Tuscarora Lake centers your view. There is a great stretch of beach at the Howl Lake portage landing.

Leave the beach where the Howl Lake portage begins/ends and paddle north up the shoreline. You pass behind an island (to your left) and then paddle over to the prominent point where a nice campsite is located.

Western view from just north of the island (on your left) that is found in the northeast part of Tuscarora Lake. The point coming out from the right is the location of a nice campsite.

Rounding the northeast point of Tuscarora Lake. After going right around this point, you would be heading north into the bay where the Missing Link Lake portage is found. This point is also the location of one of the lakes better campsites.

Heading north into the modest-sized bay where the Missing Link Lake portage is.

There is a campsite on the northeast point at the entrance to the north bay of Tuscarora Lake where the Missing Link Lake portage is located. You paddle from that campsite to the portage.

View north from the Missing Link Lake portage. The point jutting out from the left has a good campsite.

Route Connections for Tuscarora Lake

From Tuscarora Lake, you can portage to Contest Lake, Howl Lake, Missing Link Lake, Owl Lake or Wish Lake. You can also paddle into Thelma Creek which leads to Thelma Lake. You can also bushwhack to Ahgoday Lake.

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