DescriptionLittle Beartrack is a very small, relatively deep lake, in the Beartrack Creek drainage of the Lac La Croix basin, 13 miles ENE of Crane Lake and 33 miles NNW of Ely. Tucked in between big Beartrack and the southern bay of Eugene, Little Beartrack has no apparent inlet and only a marshy seepage as an outlet, to the south and west, toward Eugene. Covering just 53 acres, the lake has a shoreline which falls off quickly, to a maximum depth of 35'. High hills conspire to form a long narrow arm at the north end of Little Beartrack, flanked by a particularly abrupt rise to the east, which ends in the landing for the 120 rod portage north to Gun, a largely downhill carry through a narrow, heavily wooded defile. To the east, a 30 rod carry leads up to Beartrack while on the western shore another 30 portage yields a gradual 16' rise followed by a quick 28' drop into Eugene.
The forests which ring Little Beartrack Lake have grown up in the aftermath of the great fires of 1864 which burned much of the area to the south of Lac La Croix. This region of the BWCA escaped damage in the 4th of July windstorms of 1999, which caused such extensive tree loss to the south and east.
CampsitesLittle Beartrack Lake supports one established campsite, along its western shore. We have found relatively large numbers of Stemless Ladyslipper Orchids, or Moccasin Flower (Cypripedium acaule), blooming here in June. If you ever find yourself so fortunate remember, do not pick or dig these fragile wildflowers; they are fully protected under Minnesota law. They do, however, make for great photographs.
Planning ConsiderationsLittle Beartrack is a link in the Snow Bay/Pocket Creek route, the arc of which drops south and east out of Snow Bay on Lac La Croix through a string of lakes (North/South, Steep, Eugene, Little Beartrack, Beartrack, and Thumb) before turning northeast at Finger to Pocket, returning to Lac La Croix at the mouth of Pocket Creek. It also provides access north to the Gun/Takucmich loop, a cluster of interconnected lakes on the south shore of Lac La Croix.
Little Beartrack is included in Beymer, The Boundary Waters Canoe Area, vol. 1, The Western Region, routes 5, 11, 14, 15, 16, and 19.
WildlifeLittle Beartrack supports populations of Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) and Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris)
Notes and Comments
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