Kawishiwi Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Kawishiwi Lake #37 Fishing: MN DNR Fish Survey; Northern Pike, Walleye, Rock Bass
Maps: Fisher F-5; McKenzie #20 Lake Depth: MN DNR Lake Map; 12 feet
Fire History: 1875 and 1863-64
Lake Size: 419 acres
Campsites: 7 (7 visited); The Kawishiwi Lake Campground run by the U.S. Forest Service is also found here next to the Entry Point Wildlife Seen on Visit: Waterfowl
Last Visited: May 31, 2021;
Previous Visit(s): May 25, 2015
Lake Elevation: 1643 feet
To Kawishiwi River (between Kawishiwi Lake and Square Lake): Paddle In
To BWCA Entry Point #37: Visit this BWCA Entry Point

Kawishiwi Lake

Tofte Ranger District

Campsite 1: (#1012) - Just east of BWCA Entry Point 37 landing
Campsite 2: (#1011) - South most of the four campsites on east shoreline
Campsite 3: (#1007) - Only island campsite on the lake
Campsite 4: (#1010) - On the point, just north of island, along east shoreline
Campsite 5: (#1006) - North most campsite on lake just west of Kawishiwi River outlet
Campsite 6: (#1009) - Back in the bay on east shoreline of lake
Campsite 7: (#1008) - North most campsite along the east shore of lake

Kawishiwi Lake is the headwaters of the Kawishiwi River, a very important river for navigation throughout history in what is now the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

There are seven campsites on this lake and many are often taken early on busy weekends. The campsite on the island in the northwest part of the lake is very popular. Next to the entry point landing is the Kawishiwi Lake Campground which is a campground run by the U.S. Forest Service.

Getting your canoe into Kawishiwi Lake is easy as BWCA Entry Point 37 allows you to back your car right up to the edge of the lake. This is nice after the long drive out here. You park your car across the road from the entry point. It is a large parking lot.

The only exit from Kawishiwi Lake is along the Kawishiwi River which begins in the northeast corner of the lake. This limits route options from this entry point. The river is slow moving here and flows northeast toward Square Lake.

There used to be a 2+ mile portage between Kawishiwi Lake and Perent Lake. This portage started where the small creek flows into Kawishiwi Lake at the very south end of the lake (near the present day campground). The portage ran south/southwest to the northeast bay of Perent Lake. As of Fall 2020, this old portage has been re-blazed. Appears the portage can be followed through the forest. See this trip report on BWCA.com.

Exploring Kawishiwi Lake

Routes to locations on Kawishiwi Lake are shown below:
Paddling from BWCA Entry Point 37 to the start of the Kawishiwi River

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


Kawishiwi Lake 4
View to the west from the point located on the eastern shoreline that is just north of the lakes largest island.

Heading out from BWCA Entry Point 37, you paddle in a northwesterly direction across most of the lake to the north shoreline. There is a campsite located here. From the campsite you head east until paddling into the headwaters of the Kawishiwi River. You are now headed downstream toward Square Lake.

Kawishiwi Lake 1
Once you are in the north part of Kawishiwi Lake, looking to the south provides a nice view of the lake.

Kawishiwi Lake 2
You find this campsite along the north shore of Kawishiwi Lake, west of where the Kawishiwi River begins. This is BWCA Campsite 1006.

Kawishiwi Lake 3
Paddling toward the east, you approach the beginning of the Kawishiwi River. This river will continue for another 75 miles through many lakes, until it eventually reaches its mouth at Fall Lake.

Route Connections for Kawishiwi Lake

From Kawishiwi Lake, you can paddle into the Kawishiwi River. Also, Kawishiwi Lake is the location of Entry Point 37 - Kawishiwi Lake.

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