BWCA Entry Point 34 - Island River
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Entry Point: Island River #34 Last Visited: July 10, 2016
Maps: Fisher F-4; McKenzie #19 Daily Quota: 3
Fire History: 2011
Nearest Ranger Station: Tofte Ranger Station, Tofte, MN along Hwy. 61 on the North Shore
Portage Length from Parking Lot: 0 rods Restroom at Entry Point: No. There is one just down the road though at BWCA Entry Point 35 - Isabella Lake

BWCA Entry Point 34 - Island River

Tofte Ranger District

Access to the Island River Entry Point is from Minnesota Highway 1. From the town of Isabella, just head out of town on Forest Road 912. There are many signs along these gravel forest roads that show the mileage and direction to the many BWCA entry points in the area. The signs are posted at almost every intersection.

The BWCA Entry Point 34 - Island River is well within the 2011 Pagami Creek Fire burn zone. The entire area looks like it was hit by an air burst nuclear blast. Burned forest as far as the eye can see (with little islands of trees that somehow survived).

The actual Island River entry point is located where the road crosses a wooden bridge over the river. The parking area is right next to the river and this bridge. It feels very exposed as there are no trees here at all. Just charred stumps, river and fields of blowing grass. The wind really howls through here now since there is nothing to slow it down, so keep that in mind. To enter the BWCA, go under the bridge from the parking lot. If you are looking to check out the Native American pictograph site found along the Island River, go the other way. That pictograph site is not in the BWCA, but it is worth a visit if you have the time.

This is an easy entry point to get a permit for. It provides access to the Isabella River in the BWCA just downstream (go under the bridge). You will need to paddle a long ways to leave the area affected by the 2011 fire. It is a very interesting landscape and still quite beautiful to paddle through.

Exploring the Entry Point

Island River Entry Point 1
Sign along Tomahawk Road right before the turn off into the entry point parking lot.


Island River Entry Point 2
A really good look at that sign...


Island River Entry Point 3
The bridge over the Island River. This is Tomahawk Road. The road is named after an old logging company that worked this area.


Island River Entry Point 4
This bulletin board has seen happier days. Either the original barely survived the fire (this one) or maybe the original didn't survive the fire and this was an old replacement that the U.S. Forest Service found in some warehouse. Whatever the case, it is now exposed to all the elements.


Island River Entry Point 5
You are standing on the shore of the Island River with the parking lot a few feet behind you. To your right is upriver and away from the BWCA. The BWCA is entered after going under that bridge. Upriver there is one of the best pictograph sites in the area. This pictograph location is outside of the BWCA.



Wandering around the Island River entry point area.


Island River Entry Point 6
For a good view of the area, walk out on this bridge.


Island River Entry Point 7
Looking upriver while standing in the middle of the bridge.


Island River Entry Point 8
The view downriver. This is looking into the Boundary Waters which officially begins pretty much right after you go under the bridge.


Island River Entry Point 9
BWCA boundary marker. The Island River flows into the Isabella River about 1.5 miles downstream.

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PMA #1: Weeny PMA #4: Tick PMA #7: Pitfall PMA #10: Hairy
PMA #2: Canthook PMA #5: Spider PMA #8: Mugwump PMA #11: Weasel
PMA #3: Sundial PMA #6: Drag PMA #9: Humpback PMA #12: Fungus
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