Medley Lake

Making Connections

  • Bushwhack Northeast, 160 rods, to Big Rice


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


  • DNR Lake No. 690183
  • Lake Map No. N/A
  • Lake Table No. 1
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Medley Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Medley is a small, likely quite shallow lake, in the Portage River drainage, 26½ miles southeast of Crane Lake and 12¾ miles northwest of Ely. Barely ¼ mile across, Medley sits on Medley Creek, which originates in the boggy country some ¾ mile to the southwest. Upon leaving the northeast end of the lake, Medley Creek runs through another ½ mile of soggy ground, on its way to the southwestern shore of Big Rice. There is no maintained portage access to Medley Lake.

The forests which ring Medley date from the Civil War era fires of 1863-64, though the later fire of 1894 encroached relatively close to the lake's western shore. The area immediately surrounding Medley did not suffer blowdown in the Independence Day windstorms of 1999.


Medley is on no maintained canoe route and supports no established campsites.

Planning Considerations

Medley is on the way to nowhere, and unlikely to be a destination in its own right, unless you're camped at Big Rice and looking for a vigorous afternoon bushwhack.


Medley, with all the marshy terrain nearby, should be good moose habitat.

Notes and Comments

If you do get in to Medley send us a photo. We'll publish it here. (It's the only way most BWCA paddlers will get to see this lake.)


Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004