Lake Polly

Making Connections

  • Portage East, 97 rods, to the Phoebe River
  • Portage North, 9 rods to the Kawishiwi River
  • Portage South, 95 rods, to Townline



  • DNR Lake No. 380104
  • Lake Map No. C1356
  • Lake Table No. 9D
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Lake Polly
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Polly is a large lake on the upper reaches of the Kawishiwi River, over 1½ miles across in almost any direction. Its irregular form and many bays and peninsulas yield a long shore line and the occasional long paddle. There are several islands of significant size, some with campsites.

At its north end, the Kawishiwi River flows out of Polly, providing access to Koma, Malberg, and other large and popular lakes of the interior. To the south Polly is divided into three long narrow arms. Its south arm connects to Kawasachong by way of 284 rods of portaging, interrupted by the pond known as Townline Lake, and from there the river route to the Kawishiwi Lake entry. The mile-long southeast arm links up with the Phoebe River and the Lady Chain of lakes to the south and east. The long southwest arm is where the Kawishiwi River actually enters Polly on its way from Kawasachong, but the river's course is widely meandering and impassable to any but the most dedicated bushwhackers - hence the 284 rods of portaging.



Planning Considerations

Polly is on two of the more popular canoe routes in the BWCAW, the one providing access from Kawishiwi Lake and the Sawbill Trail north into the interior around the Kawishiwi River and the other the Lady Chain of lakes up the Phoebe River to Alton/Sawbill. Polly is an easy day's travel from the Kawishiwi Lake entry point. Campsites will fill up during the busier weeks of the summer so plan on making camp early.


Polly supports populations of Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris), Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Merlin have nested on Polly. Bald eagles are also frequently seen here.

Notes and Comments

An enduring memory of Lake Polly is of arriving on the lake one cool, grey summer morning with a steady rain falling, large drops, straight down into a glassy smooth lake, punctuating the air with a dense, metallic popping sound.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004