Jester Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Cross River #50 or Missing Link Lake #51 (via Round Lake) Fishing: Saw fish jumping and detected fish on fish finder
Maps: Fisher F-12, McKenzie #7 Lake Depth: At least 42 feet
Bushwhack Rating: Short but sweet Lake Size: 12 acres
Campsites: None (campable spots though, particularly on area of rock formations) Wildlife Seen on Visit: None
Last Visited: August 16, 2014 Lake Elevation: 1780 feet
Water Clarity: Water is dark stained Fire History: 1936, 1894, 1846, 1824 and 1727

Jester Lake

Hairy Lake PMA

Jester Lake is a short bushwhack from Fool Lake. If you made it all the way into Fool Lake, Jester Lake is worth the extra effort required to visit it. Note that Jester Lake is shown as "Vester" Lake on USGS topographic maps.

What Jester Lake lacks in size, it makes up for in depth. Much of the north end of the lake is over 30 feet deep. The south end of the lake is much shallower and runs 8 to 12 feet in depth.

In the very northern part of Jester Lake are some odd rock formations. These formations extend to both sides of the lake, so the formatation almost certainly exist under the entire width of that portion of the lake. These formations would also make a reasonable place to camp since you can easily get quite a ways back from the lakes edge. This area provides a hard surface and landing a canoe here is easy as pie.

My fish locator detected a lot of fish in Jester Lake, especially where the lake transitions from shallow to deeper water. The bottom seemed to be mostly rock, particularly in the northern half of the lake.

Jester Lake represents a dead end with no "easy" access to other lakes or streams in the area.

A number of smaller burns affected the eastern part of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in 1936, including some areas in the Hairy Lake Primitive Management Area.

1894 saw a large number of fires throughout the entire BWCA. The fire in this area is called the Snipe Lake/Round Lake area to Gunflint Lake/Pine Lake area complex. This fire probably got its start near Round Lake, a popular BWCA entry point.

A fire started within what is now the Hairy Lake Primitive Management Area. The ignition point was probably somewhere between Mass Lake and Auk Lake. This fire, which took place in 1846, is called the Auk Lake/Long Island Lake/Cross Bay Lake Complex.

The 1824 Long Island Lake/Rush Lake/Loon Lake fire complex probably burned the eastern part of the Hairy Lake Primitive Management Area and moved eastward. It likely started somewhere around Snipe Lake, or perhaps the northwest part of Long Island Lake.

Way back in 1727, the Gordon Lake/Brule Lake/Winchell Lake Complex burned this area. It probably began somewhere near Sawbill Lake.

Approach to Jester Lake

The entire approach into Jester Lake is from Fool Lake so visit that page for more information.

Bushwhack to Jester Lake

With your canoe just out of the water after coming up the small creek from Fool Lake, you begin a fairly short bushwhack. This bushwhack allows you to take advantage of the remains of a faint portage trail that is no longer maintained. There are a few nasty fallen trees, lots of mean little, sharp branched pine trees and a slippery incline next to a big rock to negotiate. As you reach the lake, you launch the canoe from the top of an overgrown beaver dam.

Exploring Jester Lake

Jester Lake in the BWCA Hairy Lake PMA
You are looking to the northwest across Jester Lake from the south end of the lake.

You are standing on the top of the beaver dam looking at the south end of Jester Lake. This beaver dam marks the start of the creek that flows from Jester Lake down to Fool Lake.

Beginning from the end of the portage back to Fool Lake, you launch the canoe from the top of a beaver dam and begin paddling along the eastern shore of Jester Lake. At the north end of the lake, you find some odd geological formations that appear to extend under the water since they can be traced to the other side of the lake.

Jester Lake in the BWCA
Panoramic image of Jester Lake taken from the north end of the lake. Note that two of the three rock formations in this end of the lake are easily visible just to the left of center.

Rock formations in the north end of Jester Lake. This formation probably extends under the lake as the structure exists on both sides of the lake. The north end of the lake is much deeper than the south end of the lake.

Your visiting the rock formations in the north end of Jester Lake. You begin the paddle back towards the south end of the lake, staying mostly along the west side of the lake. As you paddle along, checking the depth with the fish locator and seeing if there is anything to catch in Jester Lake. There is indeed!

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