A BWCA Glossary


Kaapoo
A lake. Name derivation unknown.
Kamimela
A lake. Name derivation unknown.
Kawasachong
A lake in the upper Kawishiwi drainage. Name derivation unknown.
Kawishiwi
A lake on the southern edge of the BWCAW, headwaters for the Kawishiwi River.
Kawishiwi River
The largest river in the BWCAW
Kayak
A small, low-profile boat similar to a canoe, and increasingly used for wilderness travel..
Keel
In canoe design, a narrow spine running down the centerline of the bottom. Helps tracking in short canoes and will help the canoe’s resistance to crosswinds by reducing sideslipping. Not so advantageous in whitewater or where quick maneuverability is essential. Generally not recommended for wilderness canoes excepting those of aluminum which require a keel to join the two halves of the boat.
Keewatin Period
The earliest geological time for which we have knowledge of the North Country. The oldest period of the Precambrian, the Keewatin was marked by massive basaltic lava flows. Of the surface upon which this lava flowed, we know nothing. From the Ojibwe kiwédin, "northwind."

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Kekekabic
A large lake in the heart of the BWCAW noted for its towering cliffs at waters edge. Perhaps from the Ojibwe Kekek and Kabik, "sparrowhawk passing by", or, less poetically, kekkakabikakag, "there are waterfalls over steep rock".
Kekekabic Trail
Perhaps the best known of the BWCAW hiking trails, it crosses through the heart of the wilderness running from the Gunflint Trail in the east to the Fernberg Road in the west.
Kekekabic Trail Club
A volunteer organization dedicated to preserving Minnesota's backpacking trails and in particular those of the BWCA. Sponsors annual trail clearing expeditions.
Keneu
A lake in the Portage River drainage. Name derivation unknown.
Kerfoot, Justine
One of the grand ladies of the Boundary Waters.
Kestrel
The smallest of our native falcons (Falco sparverius) and a migrant raptor of the North Country. From the Middle English castrel, origins obscure.
Kettle Lake
A lake of glacial origin, formed when the glaciers retreated, leaving massive blocks of ice behind, buried in rocky debris. These blocks subsequently melted, forming small lakes.
Kevlar®
A modern light weight fiber from DuPont, with many applications, including the construction of strong but lightweight canoes.
Keweenaw
A small proglacial lake in the southwestern end of the current Lake Superior near Duluth. A predecessor of Superior.
Keweenawan
The late Precambrian in the Great Lakes region (1.6 billion to 600 million years ago).
Kiana
A lake. Name derivation unknown.
Kingfisher
Any of the heavy billed fishing birds of the family Alcedinidae. Represented in the North Country by the Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon). Ogish in the Ojibwe.
Kinglet
Any of several very small birds of the genus Regulus. Represented in the North Country by two species, the Ruby Crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) and.Gold Crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa). The common name derives from their prominent "crowns" and diminutive size.
Kinnikinnik
A low, evergreen, ericaceous shrub (Arctostaphyllos uva-ursi) of dryer, rocky places. Perhaps from the Ojibwe kiniginige, "I am mixing together different things", a reference to its use as tobacco. Also known as Bearberry.
Kinogami
A lake. From the Cree, kino, "long", and gamiw or gamaw, "lake." A good name for the long and narrow lake that it is.
Kiskadinna
A lake. Perhaps from the Ojibwe kishkadina, "there is a very steep hill"
Kivandeba
A lake. Name derivation unknown.
Kivaniva
A lake. Name derivation unknown.
Knife Lake Period
A stretch of geological time in the Precambrian, following upon the Laurentian Orogeny and leading to the Algoman Orageny. A relatively quiet period in the North Country, with limited volcanic activity in a region covered by shallow inland seas. Named for Knife Lake on the border where especially good examples of the period have been found.
Koma
A lake in the upper Kawishiwi River drainage, from the Ojibwe Gomâ, "middling"
Kutka
A lake. Name derivation unknown.
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Last Updated on 11 April, 2004