Delta Lake
» Display Delta Lake Map
» Display scrollable USGS Topo Map of Delta Lake
» Show Simple Delta Lake Map
Nearest Entry Point: Lake One #30 Fishing: Was skunked fishing. Saw northern pike in the shallows on south end of lake.
Maps: Fisher F-4, F-11, F-31; McKenzie #18, #19 Lake Depth: At least 8 feet
Bushwhack Rating: Piece of Cake Lake Size: 29 acres
Campsites: One (maybe) - not maintained
PMA - No designated campsites
Wildlife Seen on Visit: Bald Eagle; Waterfowl
Last Visited: July 3, 2015 and May 25, 2014 Lake Elevation: 1498 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR Fire History: 1916-17, 1910, and 1885-89

Delta Lake

Drag Lake PMA

A relatively shallow lake which lies half in and half out of the Drag Lake PMA (on many maps). The part of Delta Lake that is not in the primitive management area is actually not in the BWCA either. There was a single maintained campsite along the north end of the lake, but the grate has been removed. There is still an open area at this location, with enough room to throw down a tent or two. Access to the lake is via a 35 rod portage from Drumstick Creek.

Drumstick Creek flows into the northeast corner of the lake, just east of the old campsite. Continuing up Drumstick Creek will take you towards Quartz Lake and places beyond. A second creek flows into Delta Lake from Slowfoot Lake. This creek is very narrow; barely wider than a canoe. It is navigable only for in a few sections along its length, otherwise you will have to bushwhack..

There are northern pike in Delta Lake. The south part of the lake near the creek from Slowfoot Lake is quite shallow and packed with lily pads in the summer.

The forest fires of 1885-1889 affected the area from Fire Lake up to Disappointment Lake.

A fire in 1910 burned a swath of forest from the Horseshoe/Wilder Lake area and moved north, burning the forests around Parent Lake and Disappointment Lake and sweeping this area.

Fire burned the region in 1916-1917 centered on the Drumstick Creek drainage and forest just to its east.

What is a Primitive Management Area (PMA)?

Approach to Delta Lake

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

You get to Delta Lake by paddling upstream from Bridge Lake along Drumstick Creek. Drumstick Creek has pretty good water levels, but during a dry spell and late in the season, the combination of low water and a heavy covering of lily pads will make the navigation of this creek a bit more strenuous.

Bushwhack to Delta Lake

Delta Lake 1
Having managed to wiggle your canoe out of Drumstick Creek, you are now ready to hit the portage trail up to Delta Lake. This is not an easy portage landing, doubly so if the water is high.

From Bridge Lake, the entire bushwhack to Delta Lake is along Drumstick Creek. Most of this is paddling, but the last part is the 44 rod uphill portage shown here. This portage is now unmaintained, so expect it to deteriorate over time. In 2015, the portage had about six to eight downed trees lying across it, but was otherwise quite passable and easy to follow. (Compare this video to the one at the bottom of this page. Same portage in the opposite direction, but 13 months earlier.)

Exploring Delta Lake

Routes to locations on Delta Lake are shown below:
Paddling north from Drumstick Creek portage across the lake and back into Drumstick Creek
Paddling south from Drumstick Creeks mouth, across the lake, to the Drumstick Creek portage
Paddling from Drumstick Creek portage into Slowfoot Creek
Portage from Delta Lake to Drumstick Creek


Delta Lake 2
View looking out over Delta Lake from the end of the portage in early springtime.

Delta Lake 3
Looking out over Delta Lake from the end of the portage in mid-summer (compare to photo above).

Beginning at the Drumstick Creek portage in the southwest corner of the lake, paddle up the western shoreline and bend to the east along Delta Lakes north shore. Pass the old campsite and check it out a bit. Then make your way through the lily pads to where Drumstick Creek flows into the northeast corner of the lake.

Delta Lake 4
You may not have Delta Lake to yourself. Here is a distant view of the north end of Delta Lake and the single campsite (which is no longer maintained) which was occupied.
***********************************************END OF ROUTE***********************************************


From the mouth of Drumstick Creek, where it flows into Delta Lake's northeast corner, paddle down the lakes eastern shoreline. This route passes by the valley opening that leads to Slowfoot lake. End the circuit of the lake back at the portage to Drumstick Creek, in the southwest corner of Delta Lake.

Delta Lake 6
Boulders along southeast shoreline of Delta Lake are visible as you paddle the shoreline. They are notable because there are not a lot of rock outcrops along the shore of this lake.

Delta Lake 7
Before hitting the portage back out of Delta Lake, take in one last full view of the lake. To your immediate left, Drumstick Creek flows out of Delta Lake on its way to Bridge Lake. To your far right along the tree line, flows the creek from Slowfoot Lake.
***********************************************END OF ROUTE***********************************************


Delta Lake 5
Here you are looking up the valley from whence the creek from Slowfoot Lake flows.

Paddling from the portage landing on Delta Lake over to and then up Slowfoot Creek. You stop at the end of the navigable section of the creek and must start bushwhacking if you wish to proceed further. This is in early spring when water levels are high. This area is inundated with lily pads by midsummer. An ambitious bushwhack to Slowfoot Lake would be easier in the spring, before all this vegetation clogs up the creek.
***********************************************END OF ROUTE***********************************************


Heading out of Delta Lake, you portage down the trail to Drumstick Creek.
***********************************************END OF ROUTE***********************************************

Return to Top of Page

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
Beam Lake Delta Lake Hood Lake Sable Lake
Blinker Lake Drag Lake Jut Lake Slowfoot Creek
Brunch Lake Drumstick Creek Museum Lake Slowfoot Lake
Cache Lake Fast Lake Quartz Lake Starlight Lake
Coon Lake      
- - All Rights Reserved.
All images, videos and text property of - No reuse without permission.