Wood Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Wood Lake #26 Fishing: MN DNR Fish Survey; Bluegill, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Yellow Perch
Maps: Fisher F-11, F-31; McKenzie #17 Lake Depth: MN DNR; 21 feet
Fire History:
Lake Size: 617 acres
Campsites: 5 (only found four - the one in NW corner of lake may not exist any longer) Wildlife Seen on Visit: Loon, Bald Eagle
Last Visited: July 22, 2018
Previous Visit: September 4, 2016
Lake Elevation: 1343 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR Routes from Wood Lake:
To BWCA Entry Point #26: Walk the 180 rod portage
To Hula Lake: Walk the 40 rod portage
To Madden Creek: Paddle In (during high water before vegetation grows up only)

Wood Lake

Kawishiwi Ranger District

Wood Lake is a sizeable shallow lake that is the home of BWCA Entry Point #26 which is one its southern most tip. You won't find much solitude on this busy lake as it hosts the entry point with most traffic heading north to Basswood Lake.

Campsites on Wood Lake:
All the campsites on this lake are pretty good. However, because the lake is so busy, most have been cleaned out of firewood so expect to do a bit of dead timber harvesting with the canoe. Most campsites lack good food pack hanging trees too. The campsite near the middle of the lake seems to have the best accomodations for large groups. The campsite in the north arm of the lake closest to the Hula Lake portage offers the most solitude. There is one campsite on an island on the east side of the south bay of the lake. Another campsite is just across the south bay of the lake on the western shore. So the two campsites in the south end of the lake are relatively close to each other (you will hear the other group if they are noisy).

The lake has a lot of shallow water which contain abundant aquatic vegetation. The bay at the northeast end of the lake is shallow. The lake is entirely within the BWCA and its shoreline forest consists of aspen, birch and balsam firs with a scattering of pines.

Madden Creek flows into the southwest area of Wood Lake. Another unnamed stream drains Rookie Lake and flows into the very south end of Wood Lake. Another small unnamed creek drains into the east side of the south arm of Wood Lake. Wood Lake itself drains through Madden Creek from its north bay into Hula Lake. Madden Creek passes through Wood Lake and Hula Lake before emptying into Basswood Lake in Wind Bay.

The lake supports a good population of walleye and a descent number of northern pike. Smallmouth bass and largemouth bass also inhabit the lake..

The only route from Wood Lake is to the north into Hula Lake via a 40 rod portage. A couple portages beyond Hula Lake is Basswood Lake. The Wood Lake entry point does not offer good loop route options as paddlers must come back through Good Lake, Hula Lake and Wood Lake to return to the entry point located here.

Maps of the lake show five campsites. However the campsite indicated on maps in the northwest corner in the lake may not exist (or I just didn't see it as I passed through the area...).


Exploring Wood Lake


Wood Lake from the entry point landing on the very south tip of the lake. View is north. (Note: I believe the canoe is an 18-foot Chief model. Think Chief Canoes are made in Florida.)



Paddling from BWCA Entry Point 26 landing on canoe lake to the island campsite on the east side of Wood Lake.




The shallow south end of Wood Lake. The island in this part of the lake is visible in the distance. Even in low water conditions, this area is still navigable.



A view of the west side of the island in the south end of the lake just north of the BWCA Entry Point 26 portage. The mouth of Madden Creek is just to the left out of the field of view on the west side of the lake.



Paddling from the island campsite on the east side of the lake over to the campsite just north of the mouth of Madden Creek on the west side of the lake.



Beginning at the campsite in the southwest part of Wood Lake (just north of the mouth of Maddden Creek), paddle to the northeast, around the mid-lake point, and then northwesterly to the campsite nearest to the Hula Lake portage.



This is a small, flower studded island found in the mid-lake narrows.



From campsite nearest to the Hula Lake portage in the central north bay of Wood Lake, paddle north around the point and then west to the Hula Lake portage (video ends about 100 yards shy of reaching the portage).



This is a shallow bay hidden in the northeast end of Wood Lake.



Entering the channel leading to the small bay in the far northeastern part of Wood Lake. If you want to try to find solitude on this lake, this would be the place.



You are looking at the very eastern end of Wood Lake in the small back bay in the northeastern part of the lake. The entire bay is fairly shallow.



Water plants growing in the northeastern bay of Wood Lake.



A paddle along the south shoreline (the lakes most rugged shoreline with a few cliffs) of Wood Lake beginning near the eastern end of the lake and heading west until reaching the campsite just south of the prominent mid-lake point.



Cliffs along the shoreline of Wood Lake. This is the south shoreline in the eastern part of the lake.



A large boulder just to the east of an island located in the eastern section of Wood Lake.



This is a view of the northwestern bay of Wood Lake in the evening


Route Connections for Wood Lake

From Wood Lake, you can portage to Hula Lake. You can also paddle up Madden Creek. Wood Lake also provides access to BWCA Entry Point #26 over a fairly lengthy portage.

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