North Hegman Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: South Hegman Lake #77 Fishing: MN DNR Fish Survey; Northern Pike, Pumpkinseed, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye
Maps: Fisher F-9; McKenzie #11 Lake Depth: 30 feet
Fire History: 1822
Lake Size: 70 acres
Campsites: 0 Wildlife Seen on Visit: Lots of Waterfowl
Last Visited: April 29, 2016 Lake Elevation: 1462 feet
To South Hegman Lake: Walk the 5 rod portage
To Little Bass Lake: Walk the 148 rod portage
To Trease Lake: Paddle In

North Hegman Lake

Kawishiwi Ranger District

North Hegman Lake is often visited because it is the location of a spectacular cliff that contains probably the best example of Native American pictographs in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

Besides the pictographs, North Hegman Lake and the other lakes around it all have above average scenic value, even for the BWCA.

All these lakes contain reasonable populations of the most common BWCA fish species (except lake trout).

North Hegman Lake can have quite a bit of traffic during nice weekends. This is because a lot of people come to visit this lake using day permit; they are here to see the pictographs. There are no campsites on North Hegman Lake. You will need to get one of the two campsites on South Hegman Lake early; otherwise you must do the 140+ rod portage over to Little Bass Lake and camp at one of its campsites.

There channel into Trease Lake is plenty wide and deep so there is no issue moving between these two lakes.

North Hegman Lake is two feet higher in elevation than South Hegman Lake. The water from North Hegman Lake flows into South Hegman Lake through a very short creek near the portage between these lakes.

Many stands of pine around North Hegman Lake and South Hegman Lake date back to 1822. That year was notable for a large fire of at least 48,000 acres that swept through this area (Heinselman, 1999).

Beymer, Robert, Boundary Waters Canoe Area – Volume 1 – Western Region (Berkeley: Wilderness Press, 2006), 130, 133.
Heinselman, Miron, The Boundary Waters Wilderness Ecosystem (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), 44, 57.
Pauly, Daniel, Exploring the Boundary Waters (Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press, 2005), 132.

Exploring North Hegman Lake

Routes to locations on North Hegman Lake are shown below:
Paddling from the South Hegman Lake portage to Trease Lake
Paddling from Trease Lake to the South Hegman Lake portage

Click on the photos below to see the full resolution image - Use your browsers back button to close photo and return to this page.


North Hegman Lake 1
Standing on the portage between North Hegman Lake and South Hegman Lake. You are looking north at North Hegman Lake. A small creek flows out of North Hegman Lake into South Hegman Lake just behind you over your left shoulder.

Paddling up the west shore of North Hegman Lake. You begin at the South Hegman Lake portage and make it to the small island on the west side of the south arm of North Hegman Lake. Near the upper end of North Hegman Lake, you come upon this striking cliff formation shortly before reaching the channel leading into Trease Lake. This line of cliffs is roughly 275 feet in length. They range from about 20 to 40 feet high varying quite a bit along the length.

North Hegman Lake 2
You pass by this small island on the west side of the southern most arm of North Hegman Lake. A tiny pine clings to its barren surface.

North Hegman Lake 3
Looking toward the north point (marked by cliffs) from the southern bay of North Hegman Lake.

North Hegman Lake 4
This dead and bleached pine leans out over North Hegman Lake from the east point of the east/west channel that connects the north and south halves of North Hegman Lake.

North Hegman Lake 5
Large boulders (glacial erratics) dot North Hegman Lake near the north end of the lake's largest island.

North Hegman Lake 6
This is your view as you approach the south end of the cliff containing the Hegman Lake pictographs. The pictographs are centered around that black (door-like) marking right near the middle of your view. The channel to Trease Lake is visible to far right in the distance. Here is a close up view of this cliff and the Native American pictographs.


North Hegman Lake 7
Pictograph cliff at North Hegman Lake near the channel to Trease Lake.

Paddling North Hegman Lake from the pictograph site, which is near the channel to Trease Lake, to the South Hegman Lake portage.

North Hegman Lake 8
The south end of North Hegman Lake near dusk. View is of the west shoreline.

Route Connections for North Hegman Lake

From North Hegman Lake, you can portage to South Hegman Lake or Little Bass Lake. You can also paddle into Trease Lake.

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