Keneu Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage North, 15 rods, to Hook


  • Fisher F-9, Cummings, Big Moose, Fourtown Lakes
  • McKenzie No. 16, Burntside Lake


  • DNR Lake No. 690185
  • Lake Map No. N/A
  • Lake Table No. 1
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Keneu Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Keneu is a quite small, though relatively deep lake, in the Portage River drainage, 29¼ miles southeast of Crane Lake and miles northwest of Ely. Only ½ mile long and less than ¼ mile wide, its 37 acres have a maximum depth of 27'. A small, short stream out of the north end of the lake drains into nearby Hook. An easy, 15 rod carry along the east bank of the stream drops 6' into the south end of Hook.

The Independence Day windstorms of 1999 did not affect the Keneu area.


Keneu supports a single established campsite, along the western shore.

Planning Considerations

Keneu sits just off the Big Lake/Burntside route, which crosses this portion of the BWCAW north/south and border-to-border, running through Big, Lapond, Big Rice, Hook, Rice, and Slim, to Burntside.


Keneu supports populations of Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides), Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris), Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieui), Tullibee (Cisco) (Coregonus artedi), Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments

Keneu is an Iroquois name for the eagle. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow made use of it in several passages in his Song of Hiawatha. Excerpts below (you already know the rhythm).

From his eyry screamed the eagle,
The Keneu, the great war-eagle,

And above him the war-eagle,
The Keneu, the great war-eagle,
Master of all fowls with feathers,
Screamed and hurtled through the heavens.

And above him, wheeled and clamored
The Keneu, the great war-eagle,
Sailing round in narrower circles,
Hovering nearer, nearer, nearer.

But above there in the heavens
You shall soar and sail in circles;
I will change you to an eagle,
To Keneu, the great war-eagle,
Chief of all the fowls with feathers,
Chief of Hiawatha's chickens.


Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004