Ferne Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Lake Isabella Fishing: MN DNR Fish Survey
Maps: Fisher F-4, F-5, F-11; McKenzie #19, #20 Lake Depth: 8 feet; MN DNR Lake Map
Bushwhack Rating: Lake Size: 130 acres; MN DNR Lake Map
Campsites: Two Wildlife Seen on Visit: Never visited
Last Visited: Never Lake Elevation: 1593 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR Fire History: 2011 and 1863-64

Ferne Lake

Fungus Lake PMA

There used to be a campsite on the north shoreline near the middle of the lake. Another campsite was located on Ferne Lake's south shore. A spur of the Powwow Trail ran along the north shore of lake. This is all shown on the 1993 Fisher F-4 map. The old campsite is no longer displayed on the 2001 Fisher F-5 map (Ferne Lake shows on both of these maps). The Powwow Trail spur does show up on the 2001 Fisher F-5 map.

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 Ferne Lake

Beginning from Powwow Creek at the confluence with Ferne Creek, try to find the portage that used to follow the north bank of Ferne Creek. In lieu of finding the old portage, you can just follow the creek toward the east.

Bushwhack to Ferne Lake

With luck, there is enough of the old portage to follow for 330 rods all the way out to Ferne Lake. With less luck, you can paddle the first 100 rods of Ferne Creek starting at Powwow Creek. After that, it is bushwhack time through the burned forest. The creek at least provides all the direction finding you should need.

Exploring Ferne Lake

A U.S. Geological Survey benchmark is located on the very northernmost point of the lake. This benchmark is on the highest point of a 8 foot by 6 foot by 6 foot gray boulder at the edge of the lake. Note, that 80 feet east of this benchmark, there used to be a 250 foot portage (about 15 rods) that connected to the spur of the Powwow Trail that used to run through this area. This 250 foot long portage existed in 1964 when the Minnesota DNR surveyed Ferne Lake. The spur of the Powwow Trail here is shown on the 2001 Fisher F-5 map. However, this section of the Powwow Trail is not shown on the 2010 McKenzie #19 map (for Isabella Lake).

The old campsite was on the point in the middle of the northern shoreline. Several small islands also dot Ferne Lake. A campsite also existed on the south shore of Ferne Lake, on the prominent point, based on old maps of this lake.

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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