Wine Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage North, 105 rods to Mug
  • Portage South, 80 rods, to Frederick


  • Fisher F-12, Little Sag, Tuscarora, Temperance Lakes
  • McKenzie 20, Alton


  • DNR Lake No. 160686
  • Lake Map No. C0362
  • Lake Table No. 9B
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Wine Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Wine is a large, deep lake in the Louse River watershed, its multilobed form giving the impression of four connected lakes. Wine covers almost 300 acres with a maximum depth of 65'. From its northeastern tip, a small stream drops into Duck while at its northwest end another runs through a series of ponds into Mug and Poe on the Louse River. A 90 rod portage off the southeastern shore climbs 40' into Frederick. At the northwest end, a 65 rod portage connects with Mug and the Louse River to the west.


Wine supports three designated campsites, well spaced from one another. One is near the portage to Frederick, another on an island off the portage to Mug, and the third tucked away at the south end of the lakes middle arm. Wine is not an easy lake to get to and so on most occasions you will have your pick of sites.

Planning Considerations

Wine is the largest lake on the southern leg of the upper Louse route, which runs from Pie down to Frederick, Wine, Mug, Poe, Louse, and into Bug where it joins the northern leg from Zenith. As is true with much of the Louse, there is no easy way to reach Wine, whether one works up the Louse from Malberg, nearly ten miles to the west, or takes the two long portages, totaling something like 400 rods, up to Frederick from Lujenida on the Kelso River. The latter may not be possible from the Lujenida side, leaving one at Zenith rather than Frederick, on the north leg of the Louse route rather than the south. Short of bushwhacking up the creek into Frederick from Zenith, which may be passable, the only route into Wine from the east becomes a long roundabout trip down the northern leg to Bug and then back up the southern leg into Wine. The best access is probably up the Louse from Bug whether that lake is reached from the west via Malberg, or from the east by way of Mesaba, Hub, and Whipped on the Frost River.

Because the Louse watershed is remote and lightly traveled, finding one's way can be more difficult. Portage landings and trails are not so heavily trodden and obvious as elsewhere in the BWCA and the available map information is less consistent. On the portage down to Mesaba from Hub, McKenzie No. 20, Alton, lists the 105 rod portage as 195, an error which does not appear on No. 7, Tuscarora, which lists it as 105.

The portage up to Zenith from Lujenida is indicated as a single, 460 rod carry on Fisher F-12, Little Sag, Tuscarora, Temperance Lakes, but as a 170 rod out of Lujenida followed by a short stream paddle and a 200 rod portage on McKenzie No. 20, Alton. McKenzie also shows a second portage, branching westward from the north end of the stream section, into Frederick on the south leg of the upper Louse, a 90 rod portage to the southeast of Wine. No distance is indicated but it appears to be on the order of 200 rods. Our experience with this particular portage is consistent with Fisher, which is to say a single, long portage. We have tried without success to locate the trail to Frederick from this portage. If present it is little used and overgrown though it may be more obvious from the Frederick side, making departure from Wine by this route more sure than entry.


Wine has been stocked with Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush), and fishing is apparently quite good during the winter, if you're up for the long ski or snowshoe trek in.

Notes and Comments

As with other lakes on the Louse River, Wine is well worth the effort, which can be considerable.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004