Calamity Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Lake One Fishing: Unknown
Maps: Fisher F-4, F-5, F-11; McKenzie #19, #20 Lake Depth: Unknown
Bushwhack Rating: Lake Size: 45 acres
Campsites: None Wildlife Seen on Visit: Never visited
Last Visited: Never Lake Elevation: 1618 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR Fire History: 2011 and 1863-64

Calamity Lake

Fungus Lake PMA

Calamity Lake serves as the headwaters of Arrow Creek. Calamity Lake drains north through the Arrow Lake chain and eventually into Lake Insula. Encroachment by peat bog is slowing shrinking the size of Calamity Lake. The entire lake is shallow and has vegetation across much of its surface. The nature of the calamity that affected this area is a mystery.

This area was scorched by the 2011 Pagami Creek Fire that burned much of the southwestern part of the BWCA and was the largest fire in recorded history at about 100,000 acres (almost 10% of the entire BWCA).

There was a large fire in this area around 1863-1864. This fire is known as the North Kawishiwi River/Alice Lake/Cypress Lake/Saganaga Lake Complex. This burn began south of the current BWCAW's southern boundary near the town of Isabella, Minnesota.

Approach to Calamity Lake

The most straightforward approach is from Arrow Creek. Beginning from the south end of Arrow Lake 3 (Lower Arrow Lake), head south, upstream along Arrow Creek.

Bushwhack to Calamity Lake

The majority of Arrow Creek should be floatable while sitting in your canoe. The exception is the last 20 rods where Arrow Creek turns north just before it flows out of Calamity Lake. This short section passes through burnt forest and the channel is probably obstructed. The entire distance from Arrow Lake 3 out to Calamity Lake is just over a mile following Arrow Creek.

Exploring Calamity Lake

Calamity Lake is a shallow, peat bog encased lake plunked into a desolate burned forest. From the southeast shore of Calamity Lake, you could head into the forest on a southeast heading up the low rise that separates Calamity Lake from Powwow Lake. From the top of the rise, you should be able to see Powwow Lake to the southeast. It is slightly less than a half mile between the two lakes, but the burned forest should provide good visibility for cross country travel until the forest grows up again. Travel through burned forest though is difficult and hazardous, even though visibility is improved.

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
Albino Lake Chickadee Lake Lethe Lake Record Creek
Andek Lake Clevise Lake Maniwaki Creek Record Lake
Arrow Creek Ferne Creek Maniwaki Lake Screamer Lake
Arrow Lake 1 (Upper) Ferne Lake (North) Hope Lake Snusbox Lake
Arrow Lake 2 (Middle) Fungus Lake Nuthatch Lake South Hope Lake
Arrow Lake 3 (Lower) Gogie Lake Powwow Creek Tomahawk Lake
Assawan Lake Hope Creek Powwow Lake Tornado Lake
Briar Lake Hope Lake Promise Lake Whittler Lake
Bugo Lake Jupiter Lake Puffer Lake Yoke Lake
Calamity Lake      
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