Picket Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Mudro Lake #22 and Mudro Lake #23 Fishing: MN DNR Fish Survey; Northern Pike, Bluegill, Rock Bass, Walleye, Largemouth Bass, Pumpkinseed
Maps: Fisher F-9; McKenzie #12 Lake Depth: MN DNR Lake Map; 9 feet
Fire History: 1917
Lake Size: 68 acres
Campsites: 1 Wildlife Seen on Visit: None
Last Visited: September 8, 2019 Lake Elevation: 1370 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR Routes from Picket Lake:
To BWCA Entry Point 22 and 23: Walk the 2 rod portage
To Mudro Creek: Walk the 30 rod portage (this is the way to Mudro Lake)
To Nels Lake: Walk the 160 rod portage (this route will get you over to South Hegman Lake, but it is difficult)

Picket Lake

Kawishiwi Ranger District

Access to the east side of the lake is by a simple portage down a flight of about six steps to the shore of the lake from BWCA Entry Point 22 and 23 parking lot. The west side of Picket Lake is reached by paddling along a creek and lugging your gear over two portages (the fairly long portage is about 165 rods and reportedly difficult -- shorter portage is 11 rods) from Nels Lake. The creek may have beaver dams and fallen trees to work around. This is probably a difficult route. From the east end of Picket Lake, just cross the road (N. Grassy Road) and you will be at the start of the portage to Mudro Creek. This is a 30 rod portage (if the water is normal level, longer if water is low). Mudro Creek leads to Mudro Lake.

Picket Lake is shallow and covered with lily pads and other water vegetation by late summer.

Back around 1912, a railroad spur built by Swallow and Hopkins, a logging company, was constructed. The spur ended at Picket Lake where the company also established a logging camp. The Virginia and Rainy Lake Company company also logged the area around Picket Lake between 1912 and 1929 (Source: Heinselman).

There is a single campsite on Picket Lake. Since Picket Lake is not in the BWCA, you can camp there without a permit. Campsite is located on the north shore of the lake toward the west end.

Looks like northern pike and bluegill are the best fish to go for in this lake (according to recent (2014) MN DNR fish survey). The lake is quite shallow at 9 feet, but it does have a creek flowing through it so probably maintains good oxygen levels through the winter.

Water enters Picket Lake from the creek flowing into it's west end which comes from Nels Lake and Bushmen Lake. Flowage from Picket Lake is to the east via Mudro Creek which drains a half-mile to the east into Mudro Lake.

Exploring Picket Lake


This view is to the west from the bridge over Mudro Creek next to the BWCA Entry Point 22 and 23 parking lot. There is a portage just to your right out of view that provides access. The portage is just a staircase of about six steps down to the shoreline. This is during low water in early Fall 2019.



Picket Lake in early spring just after ice out on May 2, 2015. The portage stairs are just visible at your feet to the right. Mudro Creek flows out of the lake to your left just out of view by passing under the bridge. (Compare with the image above which is in early Fall on September 8, 2019.)



This is the very east end of Picket Lake. Mudro Creek flows out through those culverts under the road. This view in in early spring on May 2, 2015.



View of Picket Lake from the east end looking west. This is in early Fall 2019.



Nearly the same view as shown above, but this is in Spring 2015.

Route Connections for Picket Lake

From Picket Lake, you can portage to BWCA Entry Point 22 and 23 and follow that portage to Mudro Creek. You can also portage to Nels Lake which is outside of the BWCA. The route to the west through Nels Lake allows travel to South Hegman Lake which is in the BWCA This route is very difficult.

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