Sora Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Cross Bay River, Round Lake or Sawbill Lake Fishing: Unknown
Maps: Fisher F-12, McKenzie #7 Lake Depth: Unknown
Bushwhack Rating: Lake Size: 39 acres
Campsites: None Wildlife Seen on Visit: Never visited
Last Visited: Never Lake Elevation: 1890 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR Fire History: 1875, 1863-64 (not shown on map yet), 1846 and 1727



Sora Lake

Hairy Lake PMA

Sora Lake is a long, narrow lake that drains to the north, through a series of ponds, into Copper Lake. Sora Lake probably gets its name from a small, brownish-gray bird called the American rail, which typically nests in marshlands.

A large 1875 fire that likely ignited somewhere near Lake Insula and the Hog Lake area. The fire is known as the Alice Lake/Ogishkemuncie Lake/Tuscarora Lake/Cherokee Lake Complex.

One of the huge 1863-64 fires, namely the North Kawishiwi River/Alice Lake/Cypress Lake/Saganaga Lake Complex, ravaged this area. This fire likely started near the town of Isabella, Minnesota.

This 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.

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

Approach to Sora Lake

From the south shore of Copper Lake, towards its west end, look for a small creek flowing into the lake. There is a boulder pile here too. Directly off the bow of the canoe in that grass is the start of the bushwhack trail. The boulders to the right are where the creek flows into Copper Lake.

It is also directly across the lake from the old copper mine which is evidenced by a highly eroded cliff.

From Din Lake: Look for the creek flowing out of the north side of the main body of the lake.

Bushwhack to Sora Lake

From Copper Lake:

Head south keeping the creek to your right through the forest. There is a trail in the beginning to follow that will fade out when you reach the wetland up the hill. This creek runs just east of the tiny creek that flows down the hill.

From the shore of Copper Lake, bushwhack along a faint trail up a hill. The creek to your right becomes visible near the top of the hill. You eventually break out of the trees at the edge of a wetland.

Once you arrive at the wetland which is maybe 15 rods up the hill along the faint trail, follow its left side for perhaps 20 rods or so until you come to the first pond. The footing is OK, but watch for big holes. There is still slight evidence of fire damage in this area, probably from the 1875 fire, but this is just speculation.

Follow the left side of the wetland (east side) south. Watch for occasional holes in the grass. Also occasional boulders hidden in the brush waiting to trip you up. Lots of dry, brittle trees that you must pick your way through too. A large beaver dam holds back the pond ahead of you. The best place to position a canoe for launch into the pond seems to be from the left end of this structure as there is a little inlet that leads out into the main body of water.

This is the north most of a string of three ponds on the way to Sora Lake. This is the one closest to Copper Lake. A large beaver dam maintains the water level of this pond. If this beaver dam was to break, the pond would extend farther north toward Copper Lake likely inundating the wetland you just walked beside to get here. The beaver dam is completely overgrown, but it is large and extends from the center of the view at your feet toward the right nearly to those trees. There are two more large ponds (one particularly big) further south as you make your way toward Sora Lake. The only details shown on this web page so far are for getting to this first northern most pond from Copper Lake.

Another view of the north pond. A large cliff is visible in the distance on the right.

The entire bushwhack in from the north pond back to Copper Lake.

From Copper Lake to Sora Lake, you will gain about 120 feet in elevation. The entire bushwhack is about 320 rods.

From Din Lake:

A short bushwhack of about 15 rods along a creek to reach Sora Lake.

Exploring Sora Lake

Sora Lake is about a mile long and only a few hundred feet wide; encased by cliffs for much of its length. There is a nice island on the south end of the lake that has been used in the past as a campsite. From the west shore of Sora Lake, one can attempt a bushwhack to Hairy Lake. Several trip reports covering Sora Lake can be found on the Internet.

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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