Skidway Lake

Making Connections

  • Paddle East into Dugout
  • Portage West, 30 rods, up the South Brule, towards Swan

  • Landing: 47º56'38"/ 90º30'04"
  • Bushwhack/Paddle Northwest, 185 rods, to Lac


  • Fisher F-13, No. Gunflint Trail, Gunflint, Bearskin Lakes
  • McKenzie 3, Ballclub Lake


Skidway Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Skidway is a very small, shallow lake on the South Brule River in the southeast corner of the BWCAW. Over ½ mile long, but narrow, its 18 acres have a maximum depth of only 8'. The South Brule River enters Skidway at its western end, where it is bypassed by a 30 rod portage on its northern bank. A gentle up-and-over, the carry begins with a firm landing in a cedar swamp but soon enters into an open portion of the 1995 burn, now supporting vigorous growth of Wild Raspberry and other post-fire opportunists. The upriver landing is fairly mucky. The South Brule leaves the lake out of the east end, through a channel into Dugout. Along Skidway's northwestern shore is the mouth of Lac Creek, down from Lac Lake, ½ mile to the northwest.


Skidway is a small lake and supports no established campsites.

Planning Considerations

Skidway is a link on the South Brule route, the 8½ miles of river and small lakes up from the Bower Trout entry point to Brule Lake. Lacking campsites, it is little more for the paddler than a wider, slower moving stretch of the South Brule, though the lower reaches of Lac Creek would be tempting for a bushwhacking diversion.


Skidway supports populations of Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieui), Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments

The South Brule River route up from Bower Trout traverses an underappreciated corner of the BWCA and is probably the premier approach to big Brule Lake.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004