Nawakwa Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Seagull Lake; Saganaga Lake Fishing: MN DNR Fish Survey; Backpacker Magazine article mentions catching two 24-inch northern pike here with little effort
Maps: Fisher F-19 and McKenzie #26 Lake Depth: At least 10 feet (5 foot contours); Nawakwa Lake used to be called Crooked Lake as seen in link. MN DNR Lake Map
Bushwhack Rating: Lake Size: 88 acres; Nawakwa Lake used to be called Crooked Lake as seen in link. MN DNR Lake Map
Campsites: One Wildlife Seen on Visit: Never visited
Last Visited: Never Lake Elevation: 1470 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR Fire History: 2006, 1863-64, 1801, 1727 and 1692

Nawakwa Lake

Have not yet visited this Primitive Management Area lake. The information displayed on this page are notes used for planning a future trip to this area. Use the information on this page at your own risk.

Pitfall Lake PMA

This lake was featured in a Backpacker Magazine article (September, 2010 issue) written by Gustave Axelson. When that magazines crew visited, they camped on the west shore of Nawakwa Lake on a rocky ledge. Without having been there, impossible to know if this was the location of the once maintained campsite that this lake had. Article also mentions them catching two "eating-sized" northern pike.

According to the Backpacker Magazine article, the bushwhack into Nawakwa Lake was challenging. They likely had quite a bit of gear to schlep along and the actual bushwhack is pretty short (15 rods or 250 feet roughly).

On old 1964 Minnesota Department of Natural Resources map, Nawakwa Lake was known as Crooked Lake. The "real" Crooked Lake (think Wednesday Bay, Thursday Bay, etc.) probably took offense to this and demanded a name change. Therefore, this is now called Nawakwa Lake which was never as "crooked" as Crooked Lake anyway.

The forest around Nawakwa Lake's southeastern shoreline was minimally impacted by the July, 2006 Cavity Lake Fire. This fire burned over 30,000 acres. Fire began on July 13.

A huge fire in 1863 or 1864 known as the Kawishiwi River/Alice Lake/Cypress Lake/Saganaga Lake complex burned the forests in this area.

Just after the turn of the 19th century, in 1801, another fire burned the area stretching from Gabimichigami Lake up through the Saganaga Lake area.

In 1727, area was burned by a fire that covered the region from Amoeber Lake to Sea Gull Lake.

1692 saw another large fire affect this area in what is now the BWCA.

Approach to Nawakwa Lake

According to Backpacker Magazine, the route they took begins near a thicket of cedar trees. There was a previously maintained portage between Fish Lake and Nawakwa Lake.

Bushwhack to Nawakwa Lake

A 15 rod portage used to be maintained between Fish Lake and Nawakwa Lake. The article in Backpacker Magazine says it starts near a grove of cedar trees. There is no indication in the article that they found the old portage trail.

Exploring Nawakwa Lake

This link shows a photo of Nawakwa Lake: Photo

A campsite used to exist on the northwest shore of the lake. There is at least a reasonable campsite on the west shore along a rocky ledge that is talked about in the Backpacker Magazine article. There is also mention of otters being seen.

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
Bullfrog Lake Faith Lake Link Lake Pitfall Lake
Chaco Lake Fish Lake Midas Lake Totem Lake
Cup Lake Gift Lake Nawakwa Lake Trust Lake
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