Kawishiwi Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Kawishiwi Lake #37 Fishing: MN DNR Fish Survey; Northern Pike, Walleye, Rock Bass
Maps: Fisher F-5; McKenzie #20 Lake Depth: MN DNR Lake Map; 12 feet
Fire History: 1875 and 1863-64
Lake Size: 419 acres
Campsites: 7; The Kawishiwi Lake Campground run by the U.S. Forest Service is also found here next to the Entry Point Wildlife Seen on Visit: None
Last Visited: May 25, 2015 Lake Elevation: 1643 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR Routes from Kawishiwi Lake:
To Kawishiwi River (between Kawishiwi Lake and Square Lake): Paddle In
To BWCA Entry Point #37: Visit this BWCA Entry Point

Kawishiwi Lake

Tofte Ranger District

It should be mentioned that it is not a trivial drive out to Kawishiwi Lake from Tofte, Minnesota. From Tofte, Minnesota, follow the Sawbill Trail (Cook County Road 2) north and inland from Lake Superior. After just a few miles, this road becomes a dirt road. You will pass the Temperence Lake Campground on your left 12 miles out of Tofte. Continue past the campground. Eventually you come to an intersection (which is signed). You want to turn left here onto Cook County Road 33 (also shown as Cook County Road 3 on maps). This road is narrower and a bit rougher. Even small passenger cars will be OK though as long as you don't drive it like you stole it. Follow this road for about nine more miles west. You then come to another split in the road. Stay left again and you are now on Cook County Road 7 (also known as Perent Lake Road). Stay with this road for about three more miles until you come to an intersection with a sign pointing the way to Kawishiwi Lake. Turn right here. Now you are on Forest Road 354. This road is a tad more rugged then the previous one, but you only need to follow it for about four miles. You have reached Entry Point 37 - Kawishiwi Lake as well as the Kawishiwi Lake Campground.

Kawishiwi Lake is the headwaters of the Kawishiwi River, a very important river for navigation throughout history in what is now the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

There are seven campsites on this lake and many are often taken early on busy weekends. Next to the entry point landing is the Kawishiwi Lake Campground which is a "for fee" campground run by the U.S. Forest Service. The campsite on the island in the northwest part of the lake is very popular.

Getting your canoe into Kawishiwi Lake is easy as entry point #37 allows you to back your car right up to the edge of the lake. This is nice after the long drive out here. You park your car across the road from the entry point. It is a good sized parking lot.

The only exit from Kawishiwi Lake is along the Kawishiwi River which begins in the northeast corner of the lake. The river is slow moving here and leads out to Square Lake.

Exploring Kawishiwi Lake

Heading out from Entry Point #37 on Kawishiwi Lake, you paddle in a northwesterly direction.

Kawishiwi Lake in the BWCA
Once you are in the north part of Kawishiwi Lake, looking to the south provides a nice view of the lake.

Your paddling takes you into the north end of the lake and eventually up to the campsite along Kawishiwi Lake's north shoreline. The Kawishiwi River begins just to your right as you face this campsite from your canoe.

Campsite on Kawishiwi Lake BWCA
You find this campsite along the north shore of Kawishiwi Lake, west of where the Kawishiwi River begins.

Kawishiwi River where it flows out of Kawishiwi Lake in the BWCA
Paddling toward the east, you approach the beginning of the Kawishiwi River. This river will continue for another 75 miles through many lakes, until it eventually reaches its mouth at Fall Lake.

Beginning at the campsite along the north shore of Kawishiwi Lake, you paddle east to the start of the Kawishiwi River.

Route Connections for Kawishiwi Lake

From Kawishiwi Lake, you can paddle into the Kawishiwi River. Also, Kawishiwi Lake is the location of Entry Point 37 - Kawishiwi Lake.

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