Bruin Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage East, 288 rods, to Little Gabbro
  • Portage West, 15 rods, into the South Kawishiwi River



  • DNR Lake No. 380702
  • Lake Map No. N/A
  • Lake Table No. 6C
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Bruin Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Bruin is a small lake in the lower Kawishiwi drainage, tucked in between the river to the west and the Gabbro lakes to the east, 16¼ miles WNW of Forest Center, and just 9 miles southeast of Ely. A short, 15 rod portage drops 5' into the Kawishiwi, while a 288 rod carry over the hills to the east gains some 90' in elevation before descending to Little Gabbro. Bruin has no obvious inlet or outlet but is instead settled in between boggy expanses, which probably serve the same purpose through seepage.

Field research by Heinselman suggests that the forests surrounding Bruin were probably made up of stands of Red and White Pine dating back to 1796 and earlier, before being logged off (1898-1912) by the St. Croix Lumber Company of Winton. The Independence Day windstorms of 1999 did no significant damage in the Bruin area.


Bruin supports one established campsite, opposite the lake's prominent point, on the eastern shore.

Planning Considerations

Bruin is essentially a small link in the route from the lower Kawishiwi to the Gabbro lakes and beyond. However, the small lake does provide an opportunity to camp away from the busy Kawishiwi.


Bruin supports populations Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments

Though named for the region's premier omnivore, it's unlikely that one is any more likely to encounter the beast here than at any of the more notorious bear lakes.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004