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Old 01-27-2008, 09:06 PM   #1
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Minnesota or Wisconsin vacation suggestions

I've got a week of June vacation that I would like to spend in either Wi. or Mn. .We will be in Crane Lake, MN in October and in Door Co Wi. in August but I'd like to visit somewhere different. Need a spot with good fishing from a canoe/kayak, dog friendly, electrical hook ups, and of course some good resort type bars and supper clubs. Any suggestions?

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Old 01-27-2008, 09:26 PM   #2
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:35 PM   #3
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Hi 63'. This is my back woods but everybody knows it's there. All the state parks mentioned & Fall Lake will need reservations.

The first thing comes to mind is Bear Head Lake State Park (26 electric sites) just west of Ely (26 electric sites). There would be smallmouth, walleye & northern in the big lake. There is a tiny lake on the road into the park stocked with rainbows (ask me later...). That puts you near quite a few attractions. Ely is an interesting town with some backwoods retail therapy, the Chocolate Moose grill and radio WELY 94.5 FM (rescued by Charles Kuralt) where they call out messages to cabin owners without phones. Between Bear Head & Ely is the developed but lovely Burntside Lake. I like canoing there and seeing how the other half lives. Burntside Lodge would be a primo dinner destination. The lakes are clear and fishing can be some work. I like canoe trolling with a 3" or so dark green perch standard Rapala - shorelines early AM & later PM are best on these clear lakes (deep divers snag a lot). From Bear Head I can recommend a tour at Soudan Underground Mine State Park 20 minutes west. Bear Head should have a dump station.

Few Superior Nat'l Forest campgrounds have hookups. Fall Lake Nat'l Forest Campground 15 minutes east of Ely on Fernberg Trail is the exception -- very recently renovated, beautiful place. The secret of being out that direction is 155 acre Tofte Lake stocked with rainbows -- very clear water so you have to watch the time of day; a little breeze is nice -- small perch rapalas, some fly or streamer possibilities. There are no clubs or restaurants in this direction. No dump at Fall Lake but there is at the corner of Hwy 1, Chamber of Commerce, back in Ely. I guess I'd say Fall Lake hasn't been kind to my fishing. All northern lakes & rivers are oligotrophic -- low in nutrients and food sources.

Southeast of Ely on Hwy 1 takes you to the northshore of Lake Superior -- excellent state parks in various places along the shore, not so many fishing opportunities. Furthest north campground with hookups is Temperance River S.P. Grand Marais is a neat town with a fair amount of tourism but with 3 fun restaurants IMO (Angry Trout, Gunflint Tavern, Hey Jude); Grand Marais muni campground is the opposite of an up north experience - there's a newer shower on the south end (toward top of this map) with dump station right next to it -- any of the electric sites 129-162 work for me if I don't have to stay more than a night or so. There are some nice upland lakes, some trout lakes too, up the hill from Grand Marais -- NFS campgrounds, pit toilets only and no electric.

I always stop at Canal Park by downtown Duluth. Park is a misnomer -- it's more a retail/hotel area just to the right the lift bridge in this picture taken looking toward the SW. Good restaurants. Easy parking for RVs, $3 at the DEC convention center parking lot just north of the aquarium. 5 minutes from Canal Park, Grandma's, the DeWitt-Seitz marketplace, the Duluth Pack Store and on and on.

I've never canoed the Fox River in NE WI but you can taste equally classy small northland river canoing (trout) at the Bois Brule at the town of Brule 35 miles east of Superior, WI. The campground is small, pit toilets, pump well (ie, no pressurized water to fill -- I use a plastic jerry can) but the pines are beautiful. First come first serve -- only bother if will arrive on a Sunday through Wednesday so you can get a pick -- there are a few spots that will take your 19 footer without difficulty. [on edit: stay 2 nights minimum. I just rent a Royalex in town; they take you upriver to Stones Bridge -- all day leisurly paddle back to the campground -- bring water & a picnic.] There might be a dump station in town. Twin Gables restaurant will serve bottle beer but the best lake trout you can find for $12. Note: Double check any WI state parks you consider -- I've found a lot that don't have showers.

Anything by Lake Superior will be cooler than you expect in June. Happy imaginary paddling getting ready for summer!

5 meter Langford Nahanni

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