Handle Lake

Making Connections

  • Paddle South and East, to Java Creek and on to Sawbill



  • DNR Lake No. 160522
  • Lake Map No. C1992
  • Lake Table No. 9A
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Handle Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Handle is a very small and shallow lake astride Java Creek, just upstream from Sawbill. Not even a half mile long it is no more than 7' deep. To the north, up Java Creek, lies Java Lake, while downstream to the south and east is the north end of Sawbill.


Handle is a very small lake and supports no designated campsites, nor are there any north on Java.

Planning Considerations

Handle in not on any route other than the bushwhack route up to Java. But this seems to offer an excellent day trip from a base camp on Sawbill, a quick escape from a large and popular lake into the wilderness backcountry.


Handle supports populations of Northern Pike (Esox lucius), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments

How is the route up to Java? We'd like to try it sometime and would appreciate hearing from others who have tried it.

That being said, we received the following report from Rob Marshall:

I wanted to let you know that I just got back from a BWCA trip and we had a chance to navigate the Java Creek from Sawbill to Handle Lake and up to Java.

Trip was on Wed, 7/11/2001. The week was very dry and I think the lakes and rivers are a bit low due to dry conditions. However, we were able to make it to Handle without much effort (only a couple of boggy logs in the way).

Handle to Java was a bit more challenging. The transition from Handle to the north portion of Java Creek is very grassed in, but we were able to "push" our canoe over to deeper water (1.5 to 2 feet). There are a series of deeper pools separated by narrow, grassy creek and then a long stretch of very shallow marsh. We only had a half dozen or so times where we had to "push" again. Java Lake is well worth the trip/effort because it is GORGEOUS and very secluded.

Line of Spruce Trees

Valley Internet Company
Return to Home Page
Send Feedback to Webmaster
Return to Region 9 Home Page
Return to Region 9 Lake Tables
Return to Region 9 Portage Table
Return to Canoe Country Home Page
Last updated on 11 April, 2004