Harbor Lake

Making Connections


  • Fisher F-4, One, Two, Three, Four, Bald Eagle, Insula Lakes
  • McKenzie 18, Lake One; 19, Isabella Lake


  • DNR Lake No. 380525
  • Lake Map No. N/A
  • Lake Table No. 6B
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Harbor Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Harbor is a small, narrow, L shaped lake, tucked in against the hills south and east of the Number Lakes and the Kawishiwi River, 20 miles ESE of Ely, and 6½ miles northwest of Forest Center. From the west end, Harbor Creek runs/seeps northwest towards Path Creek and Horseshoe. An 85 rod portage heading south out of the west end connects with Brewis. A 105 rod, up-and-over carry to the northeast climbs steadily to crest some 25' above Harbor, then drops back 10' to the North Wilder shore.

Most of the forest in the Harbor Lake area is relatively young, dating back only to the big fires of 1910. This area then saw standing tree losses from the big blowdowns of the Fourth of July, 1999 estimated at between 10% and 33% for a large area north and east of the lake, and including Harbor itself. The Forest Service now reports the area campsites usable and the portages passable.


Harbor supports two established campsites, one on the north shore, between the Brewis and North Wilder portages, and the other down around the corner in the south end.

Planning Considerations

Harbor is a link in the North Wilder Loop which runs from the Number Lakes Three and Four on the Kawishiwi, east and north, through Horseshoe, Brewis, Harbor, and North Wilder, to return to the Kawishiwi just above Lake Four. It is one of four small and lovely lakes which provide a welcome escape from the bustle of the nearby Number Lakes. Unfortunately, one cannot, without serious bushwhacking, visit these lakes without running the gauntlet of those very busy lakes on the Kawishiwi. If you do expect to be on the Number Lakes to Insula route, however, this is a side trip worthy of your consideration.


Notes and Comments

Like Brewis and the Wilders, Harbor is a destination which makes having to travel the aluminum highway of the Number Lakes worthwhile.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004