Big Moose Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Moose River South #8 Fishing: MN DNR; Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye
Maps: Fisher F-9; McKenzie #12 Lake Depth: 23 feet
Fire History: Between 1755-1759, 1894
Lake Size: 1,025 acres
Campsites: 5; 1 visited;
Campsite 1
Wildlife Seen on Visit: None
Last Visited: September 27, 2020 Lake Elevation: 1393 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR

To Cummings Lake: Walk the 645 rod portage
To Duck Lake: Walk the 490 rod portage
To Moose River: Walk the 64 rod portage
To BWCA Entry Point 76: Big Moose Trail (about 740 rods)

Big Moose Lake

LaCroix Ranger District

Campsite 1: (#181) - On north end of lake near the Big Moose Trail

Almost all traffic arriving at Big Moose Lake comes from BWCA Entry Point 8 - Moose River South, which is a bit over two miles up the Moose River from the northwest corner of the lake. Few paddlers make the long portage from either Cummings Lake or Duck Lake. Both of these long portages are rugged. The Moose River South entry point only allows one permit per day. The campsite on the north end of the lake is often taken by people hiking the Big Moose Trail.

The north end of Big Moose Lake still has virgin stands of big pine missed by logging operations. Some of these big trees can be seen along the Big Moose Trail.

Harry Homer, Sr. had logging operations near the south end of Big Moose Lake, along the Cummings Lake portage around 1941-42 and probably for several years after. Some of the tracts were also owned by the Oliver Iron Mining Company. Most of these logs were hauled out of the forest along a winter logging road that existed just east of Big Moose Lake (the road traveled over the existing marshland in that area). Some of the very last logging operations to occur in the newly formed BWCA took place just northwest of Big Moose Lake in 1978 and 1979. A 160 acre tract of forest was clear cut during that period.

The forest fire occurring in the 1755-59 period was one of the largest historical fires on record for the BWCA. It burned nearly 165,000 acres.

Big Moose is a large lake, but is only 23 feet deep. Therefore most of its water is in the productive littoral zone, the area of a lake that is both shallow enough and also gets sufficient light to support rooted plants. Therefore it is good habitat for many species of animals (including fish). Fishing in this lake is consistently good, especially for walleye.

The relatively clear waters of Big Moose Lake flow out to the north via the Moose River. There are no other notable tributaries flowing into the lake.

Exploring Big Moose Lake

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Big Moose Lake 1
View straight south from the end of the Big Moose Trail. The distant shoreline is a little over two miles away.

Big Moose Lake 2
Looking west/southwest at the shallow bay on the north tip of the lake.

Big Moose Lake 3
The point in the middle of your view is the location of the campsite on the north end of the lake. This view is from the end of the Big Moose Trail. You can follow a brushy trail along the edge of the lake from here over to the campsite.

Big Moose Lake 4
Looking toward the south down the east shoreline of the large north bay of Big Moose Lake. This vantage point is from the campsite located there.

Route Connections for Big Moose Lake

From Big Moose Lake you can portage to Cummings Lake, Duck Lake or the Moose River. You can also hike the Big Moose Trail.

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PMA #1: Weeny PMA #4: Tick PMA #7: Pitfall PMA #10: Hairy
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