- Bushwhack East, 30 rods, to Lac
- Portage Southeast, 40 rods, to South Brule
Landing: 47º57'03"/ 90º31'03"
- Paddle West, to 292 rod portage to Vernon
F-13, No. Gunflint Trail,
Gunflint, Bearskin Lakes
3, Ballclub Lake
Full image approximately 2
Swan is a smaller, relatively deep
lake on the South Brule River. Roughly triangular in shape, ¾
mile to a side, each of its three corners ends at a stream - the mouth
of Swan Creek at the north end, the mouth of the South Brule in the southwest,
and the outlet of the South Brule in the southeast. Most of its 180
acres exceed 15' in depth, with a maximum depth of 108'. The land
rises steeply to the northwest with somewhat lower hills to the south.
Swan Creek drops 325' in its 1¾ mile course down from the high ground
to the northwest.
The South Brule above Swan, after the first couple of deep S curves,
is no longer navigable and pressing on to Vernon
requires taking a 292 rod portage up the south side of the valley.
The portage climbs nearly 120' in the first half mile (180 rods) before
dropping 60' into Vernon. (Note that while the McKenzie
maps show the portage landing on the southwestern shore of Swan, both
Fisher and the USGS have
it taking off up river, past the S curves, where the river ceases to be
navigable. The latter are generally more reliable and are most likely
correct in this instance). A short, 40 rod carry out of the southeast
end of the lake connects with the South Brule. An old railroad grade
runs down the South Brule valley from near the north end of Swan to Bower
Trout. There was once a 30 rod portage off the northeastern
shore of Swan into Lac which may or may not remain.
Swan supports three established campsites,
two along the southern shore of the point that extends from the lake's northeastern
side, and a third at the north end near the mouth of Swan Creek, where a
logging camp once stood. (Beymer
is unclear as to the location of the logging camp and I've not been there
yet. It may be nearer the portage to Vernon).
Swan 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. Swan
is a beautiful setting for an overnight stay and, while the high ground
tends to restrict canoe travel to the river valley, those interested in
stretching their legs might want to consider hiking up to little Footsteps
Lake, less that 1/3 mile off the north end of Swan, and 167' above it.
Swan supports populations of Lake Whitefish
Northern Pike (Esox lucius),
Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus
dolomieui), Walleye (Stizostedion
vitreum), and White Sucker (Catostomus
commersoni). Lake Trout (Salvelinus
namaycush) have been stocked.
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. The
logging camp that once stood at the north end of Swan, and the old railroad
that once carried timber down the South Brule from here, stand as fading
reminders that, while protected as wilderness, some parts of the BWCA are
still recovering from logging earlier in this century.
Last updated on
11 April, 2004