Spinnan Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Lake One #30 Fishing: Swampy lake. Did not look fishie. No fish seen or detected.
Maps: Fisher F-4 or F-31; McKenzie #18 Lake Depth: Less than 7 feet
Bushwhack Rating: There are worse Lake Size: About 12 acres
Campsites: None Wildlife Seen on Visit: None
Last Visited: July 19, 2014 Lake Elevation: 1492 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR Fire History: 2011 and 1875

Spinnan Lake

Weasel Lake PMA

When I was here visiting Spinnan Lake, I actually thought I was on Holiday Lake the whole time. I had entered my GPS coordinates for Holiday in the Spinnan location and the Spinnan coordinates in the Holiday spot. So, while I was hoping to also visit Holiday Lake this day, I could not find it (although I thought I was looking for Spinnan Lake at the time). Holiday Lake is probably a fairly easy bushwhack. It is through the burnt forest over the rise that separates the two lakes, along the northwest shore of Spinnan.

Both Spinnan Lake and Holiday Lake can be approached from the same creek up until where the creek splits in the marsh. However, now that I have been to Spinnan Lake, I think the easiest way to Holiday Lake is through Spinnan Lake. I could not find the small creek that maps show leading to Holiday Lake. But given how turned around I was this day, that is not surprising.

Spinnan Lake is a windswept, shallow lake that has completely lost its forest surrounds to the 2011 Pagami Creek Fire. It is actually a somewhat desolate place now; especially with the wind blowing strong across the lake.

In 1875, a fire began in the August Creek area, a notable stream that runs through this region. This fire swept along August Creek and then spread and burned the forests around Bald Eagle Lake and Clearwater Lake.

In old English dictionaries, ‘spinnan’ literally meant ‘to spin’. Be careful not to get "spun" around like I did on my first visit here.

Approach to Spinnan Lake

Your paddle starts on Lake Three. You then proceed into a bay on the west shore of Lake Three. Near the back of the bay, the creek to Spinnan Lake and Holiday Lake begins. Initially you find the creek quite wide, but it narrows quickly until it is barely wider than your canoe. You finally abandon the creek and your sturdy canoe, as you follow the creek into a small copse of trees (the only trees near Spinnan Lake not turned into candlesticks) and come to a little rapids. You're ready to begin the bushwhack...

Little grotto where the creek you paddled from Lake Three becomes unnavigable. The bushwhack to Spinnan Lake starts here. This is one of the few areas with trees. Just outside of this little pocket of living vegetation, you enter a burned out landscape.

Bushwhacking to Spinnan Lake

You find the start of the bushwhack is tricky and the trees and bad footing make it more difficult than it would seem. Therefore you decide a little recon is in order. After leaving the small copse of trees near the rapids, you enter a burned out forest that has lots of ground cover. The bushes and weeds growing here make it hard to see the downed timber and boulders, so walking is slow.

You return for your canoe and begin the bushwhack all the way to Spinnan Lake. As you get closer to the lake, you find the going gets a lot easier since you are no longer dealing with the burned logs and exposed boulders hidden in the undergrowth.

Exploring Spinnan Lake

While resting and recovering from the bushwhack, you take in the view of the surrounding area. You are standing where the creek flows out of Spinnan Lake back toward Lake Three.

Spinnan Lake in the BWCA Weasel Lake PMA
This is a small inlet where the creek leaves Spinnan Lake on its way to Lake Three. The ground is a spongy peat box under your feet. The creek flows a short distance across this open peat bog and then disappears into a small stand of unburned trees after a couple hundred feet. Those trees are where you began your bushwhack.

BWCA Weasel Lake PMAYou peer to the left while standing next to the small creek flowing out of Spinnan. It is a very windy day and there are no trees around the entire lake to break the breeze.

Standing near the portage where the creek flows out of Spinnan Lake. The wind was whipping across Spinnan Lake.

You head down the eastern shoreline of Spinnan Lake toward the lakes southern end.

Continuing your circumnavigation of Spinnan Lake, you soon pass the mouth of the small creek that originated somewhere out in the direction of Janis Lake. Along the west shoreline, a ridge covered in burned forest obscures your view to the west where Holiday Lake is located.

Typical burnt forest landscape surrounding Spinnan Lake.

Floating and drifting at the whim of a brisk wind out in the middle of Spinnan Lake.

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
Carefree Lake Judd Lake Pangi Lake Spinnan Lake
Cortes Lake Kayoskh Lake Phospor Lake Weasel Creek
Holiday Lake Pagami Creek Plukesley Lake Weasel Lake
Janis Lake Pagami Lake Rock Island Lake  
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