Ell Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Sawbill Lake Fishing: Unknown
Maps: Fisher F-12, McKenzie #7 Lake Depth: Unknown
Bushwhack Rating: Lake Size: 10 acres
Campsites: None Wildlife Seen on Visit: Never visited
Last Visited: Never Lake Elevation: 1840 feet
Water Clarity: Unknown Fire History: 1875, 1863-64 (not shown on map yet), 1846 and 1727

Ell Lake

Hairy Lake PMA

The name of this lake probably refers to the lakes bent shape which resembles a right angle or an elbow. An ‘ell’ also refers to an L-shaped geometry. An ell also used to be a measure of length equivalent to about six hand breadths (or roughly 45 inches). Ell Lake is between Iris Lake and Mass Lake and most will probably just pass through this small lake enroute to other destinations rather than camp here. A small bay, now a peat bog, likely used to be part of a modestly larger Ell Lake in the past.

A large 1875 fire that likely ignited somewhere near Lake Insula and the Hog Lake area. The fire is known as the Alice Lake/Ogishkemuncie Lake/Tuscarora Lake/Cherokee Lake Complex.

One of the huge 1863-64 fires, namely the North Kawishiwi River/Alice Lake/Cypress Lake/Saganaga Lake Complex, ravaged this area. This fire likely started near the town of Isabella, Minnesota.

This fire started within what is now the Hairy Lake Primitive Management Area. The ignition point was probably somewhere between Mass Lake and Auk Lake. This fire, which took place in 1846, is called the Auk Lake/Long Island Lake/Cross Bay Lake Complex.

Way back in 1727, the Gordon Lake/Brule Lake/Winchell Lake Complex burned this area. It probably began somewhere near Sawbill Lake.

Approach to Ell Lake

From Mass Lake: From the long bay hanging down from the middle of Mass Lake, head into the forest to the southwest where the tree canopy should quickly open up revealing a peat bog extending toward the southwest.

From Iris Lake: From the north end of Iris Lake, look for a small crick heading north on the east side of the bay. Creek is not navigable and is densely covered by forest. Another creek on the west side of the bay, at the north end of Iris Lake, heads off in the direction of Ragged Lake, so don’t get confused.

Bushwhack to Ell Lake

From Mass Lake: Proceed about 10 rods through the forest from the southwest corner of the bay dangling down toward the south, which extends from the middle of Mass Lake, until you reach a peat bog. Travel about 60 rods to the southwest across the peat bog hugging the tree line, along its south edge, until the peat bog bends to the south. Where it bends to the south should place you close to a small area of open water just to your northwest. The peat bog narrows as you continue now on a south heading for another 20 rods. Eventually, you run out of peat bog and come to a wall of forest. There is a good chance there is a creek or even a faint trail to follow here through the forest the rest of the way to Ell Lake. It is another 30 rods through the forest to the north shore of Ell Lake.

From Iris Lake: Head north through the forest for about 10 rods until you reach a peat bog. Walk directly across the peat bog to the north and follow a short valley through the trees (a total of maybe 20 rods) to the south tip of Ell Lake. The shore of Iris Lake is reported to be steep in trip reports for this area, so it may be difficult to find a path up during the first 10 rods of this bushwhack.

Exploring Ell Lake

Ell Lake is mentioned in several trip reports as it is on a fairly busy route (for a PMA lake). However, most parties seem to just pass through this little lake since it is outshined by its more scenic and larger neighbors. Therefore, there is not a lot of data to report about it. Yet.

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
Auk Lake Fool Lake Juniper Lake Plug Lake
Burt Lake Fungus Lake Little Copper Lake Ragged Lake
Din Lake Hairy Lake Lucky Pay Lake Sora Lake
Don Lake Intersection Lake Mass Lake Swollen Ankle Lake
Ell Lake Iris Lake Moth Lake Tame Lake
Fetters Lake Jester Lake Myth Lake Yogi Lake
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