Entry Point 38 - Sawbill Lake
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Entry Point: Sawbill Lake #38 Last Visited: October 8, 2019;
Previous Visit(s): May 27, 2016
Maps: Fisher F-12; McKenzie #21 Daily Quota: 14
Fire History:
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: Yes

Entry Point 38 - Sawbill Lake

Tofte Ranger District

This entry point is next to Sawbill Canoe Outfitters at the end of the Sawbill Trail (County Road 2). The public parking lot is across the gravel road from the main lodge. The parking lot is a couple hundred yards from the lake, but there is an unloading area right next to the water. There is also a dock here.

It is 23.5 miles from Tofte, Minnesota to Sawbill Lake. All of the drive is along the Sawbill Trail. Only the first 11 miles closest to Tofte is paved. The rest is gravel.

There are four canoe routes out of Sawbill Lake. One to the west into Alton Lake just up the shore from the put in. Another route to the west is into the Kelso River and Kelso Lake beyond. This route then heads off to the north. Along the east shore, a bit under two miles north of the entry point, is a portage of 100 rods into Smoke Lake. The fourth route involves paddling all the way to the north end of the lake and portaging into Ada Creek. This is the way to go if you are heading to Cherokee Lake, a popular destination.

Exploring the Entry Point

Sawbill Lake Entry Point 1
At the end of the Sawbill Trail, you come to this four way intersection. To the right is the public parking area for this entry point and the main lodge for Sawbill Canoe Outfitters, which directly across the road from it. To the left is the road down to Sawbill Lake (maybe 150 yards) and an unloading area (you don't have to carry all your stuff from the parking lot). Straight ahead is the Sawbill Lake Campground run by the National Forest Service. (This view is in October 2019.)


Sawbill Lake Entry Point 2
(Almost the same view, but this is Spring 2016.)


Sawbill Lake Entry Point 3
The public parking area for this entry point ison the left, just out of sight. The Sawbill Canoe Outfitters store is on your right. (This is October 2019.)


Sawbill Lake Entry Point 4
(A view of the store in May 2016.)


Sawbill Lake Entry Point 5
The road down to Sawbill Lake and the unloading area. Restrooms here to your left. That unloading area by the lake is visible in the distance. (This is in October, 2019.)


Sawbill Lake Entry Point 6
(Similar view to the one above, but this is in May, 2016.)


Sawbill Lake Entry Point 7
The commonly seen bulletin board by the lake. This is where you can find any special notices. The box on the right side is used to fill out self-service day permits if you are only entering the BWCA for the day and not camping. (This is in October, 2019.)


Sawbill Lake Entry Point 8
(The old bulletin board that was still here in May, 2016.)


A Tour of the Sawbill Lake Entry Point area beginning at the dock on Sawbill Lake and walking up the road to the public parking lot next to the campground store. (This is in October, 2019.)



Walking around the BWCA Entry Point 38 - Sawbill Lake near nightfall.
This walk is from the canoe landing at the lake up to the lodge and the
public parking lot. (This is in May, 2016.)


Sawbill Lake Entry Point 9
A view of the very south end of Sawbill Lake and the dock located at this entry point. (This view is in May, 2016.)

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