Wilderness Trips From Ely to Grand Marais

This week we have a lot of epic wilderness trips in motion! Each camper had the opportunity to choose which of the six trips he wanted to sign up for. The first trip left on Monday and the fourth trip left this morning (Wednesday). Everybody will return on Friday afternoon to share their tales from the trails but we won’t leave you hanging that long! Keep reading to discover which adventures our Birchwood boys have set out for this week.

Voyageur Highway 1 – 5-Day Trip

This trip is led by Birchwood counselors, Nairo (left) and Fresco (right), with Senior Leadership Camper – Charlie (back row, second from left).

This group was dropped off in Ely, MN with the task of paddling back to camp along the Canadian border! Roughly 50 miles, this route was a traditional trade route of the French-Canadian Voyageurs. This is a trip with two large lakes (Knife Lake and Saganaga) and many small intimate lakes strung together by small portages. This group began their trip with a stop in Ely to the famous Dorothy Molter Museum for root beer and is excited to paddle past the site of Dorothy Molter’s old homestead in the BWCA, which is conveniently along their route. No idea who Dorothy Molter was? Have a look here. If they’re ambitious, they might even drop down into Eddie Falls for a day of waterfall chasing!

Follow them on their adventure: https://share.garmin.com/N4V2F (Birchwood 2)

Canadian Fishing – 5-Day Trip

This trip is led by Birchwood counselors, Nacho (back left) and Frosty (back right), with Senior Leadership Camper – Thomas (tongue out), Aiden (behind Thomas), and Luka (behind Aiden).

This group is in search of monsters! Canadian monsters! And by monsters, we mean bass and pike and walleye that take two, maybe even three, hands to hold! We fully expect they’ll find many monsters and many fish fit for eating on this adventure into the Canadian Crownlands just northeast of our home lake, Lake Saganaga. Aside from fishing, there are countless bays to paddle, old campsites to explore, and even some pictographs to visit!

Follow them on their adventure: https://share.garmin.com/N4V2F (Birchwood 1)

Haunted Eddie Falls – 4-Day Trip

This trip is led by co-counselors Grylls (left) and The Duke (back left) with Senior Leadership Camper – Grant (right).

This group paddled off into Lake Saganaga today with the intention to do a loop through the Eddie Falls chain, arriving back at camp via Seagull Lake! But this isn’t any ordinary paddling trip – this is a paddling trip with built-in pit-stops to various islands throughout the route where local ghost stories will be shared! Nothing too scary but just spooky enough to thrill this group of brave Birchwood campers! They’ll also get to enjoy a relaxing swim in waterfalls along this route!

Follow them on their adventure here: https://share.garmin.com/XXT8Z (Birchwood 4)

Rose Lake – 4-Day Trip

This trip is led by co-counselors Hero (back row, third from left) and Veto (back row, second from right), with Senior Leadership Campers – Elijah (back row, fourth from left) and Puddin’ (back row, right).

Ahhh Rose Lake, perhaps *the* most coveted lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Perhaps it’s the Canadian bluffs along the northeastern shore or the Rat Lake Bluffs along the southwestern shore or the beautiful cedar trees blanketing campsites or the legendary Stairway Portage along Rose Falls that make Rose Lake so special…either way, our Birchwood boys are in for a treat!

This trip was dropped off at West Bearskin Lake with a short paddle into Duncan Lake and then Rose. Their plan is to spend their first day at Rose Lake and then make an ambitious sprint back to camp by Friday!

Follow them on their adventure here: https://share.garmin.com/GXMPD (Birchwood 6)

Eddie Falls – 4-Day Trip

This trip is led by co-counselors Curby (left) and Flash (front right), with Senior Leadership Camper – Rollin (back right).

We think this group would have a blast on ANY trip judging by their group photo! But they’re not going on just any trip! They are on a dueling trip – meaning they’re doing the same route as the Haunted Eddie Falls trip described above but in reverse, without the ghost stories, and with a little dose of friendly competition…and a dip in the waterfalls, of course!

Follow them on their adventure here: https://share.garmin.com/GXMPD (Birchwood 7)

Superior Hiking – 3-Day Trip

This group is guided by Nemo (left) and Ocho (right), with Senior Leadership Campers – Hugh (back row, second from left) and Roman (back row, left).

They are headed to the north shore of Lake Superior to begin hiking a portion of the Superior Hiking Trail! They have their sights set on a 21-mile stretch of the trail beginning at the beautiful Devil’s Kettle waterfall just up the shore from Grand Marais. From their departure point, they will hike along the shores, camp on the beach, and jump into the refreshing waters of the Grand Marais harbor to end the trip!

Follow them on their journey here: https://share.garmin.com/65CZR (Birchwood 3)

As our campers set their sights on adventure, let’s wish them clear skies and calm waters! May lifelong friendships be forged and a stronger sense of self be discovered!

Happy Trails,

Ashley, Director

  1. Kate Thomas says:

    I sincerely love what you create, Ashley…I am Julian’s Grandma. These experiences are sacred memories for these boys growing together into men.

  2. Latricia Bradley says:

    Love this!!! The boys are having the time of their lives!!! BJ enjoy it to the fullest!!! Love you!!!

  3. Beth L Gibson says:

    Birchwood is so sacred and unlike any other place. Thank you Ashley for all you do to make these fantastic trips possible!

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12586 Gunflint Trail, Slip 85, Grand Marais, MN 55604 | (218) 256-7164