superiortrailsgranite lake in wabakimi Park
" "

mink lake

2001 Kopka River Trip, Continued

Day Four

A portion of the Portage around Upper Mink Falls

<< Our first portage around the Falls was steep but negotiable until this point. JO had to drop the packs down to me over this ledge. Wrestling the canoe down was a bit trickier.
The last part of the Upper Falls and the beginning of the Middle Falls run <<The water was too fast between the two sets of Falls to get a good look upstream at what lie about this section of falls.
Our next portage >>
was steeper and more slippery then its predecessor. And it ended in dramatic fashion. We had to use ropes to lower all of packs and the canoe down this 20 foot high ledge.
A portion of the Portage around Upper Mink Falls Very fast water >>
greeted us as soon as we pushed away from the jagged rocks that served as the portage landing.
A portion of the river below the Middle Mink Falls
A portion of the river below the Middle Mink Falls << There was a beautiful little lake below the Middle Mink Falls. It provided adequate 'quiet water' to get a good view of the Falls. A portion of the Portage around Upper Mink Falls << Middle Mink Falls was Spectacular! The sight and sound (roar) was overpowering. We could feel the spray several hundred feet away. This is what we "paid" to see!
The Last Falls Portage was the old Coup De Gracie as they say. Listed as 550 meters long, the last 300+ meters of which plunged, I swear, at least at a 50 degree angle down a narrow boulder-strewn ravine - made impossibly worse by drizzling rain! Practically every step was a broken leg waiting to happen. We again saved the canoe for the last carry trip. I had no idea how I was going to carry it down that steep incline where every step was on a slippery rock face.

A typical canyon encountered around Mink Falls


<< JO and I were so physically exhausted from this portage that I neglected to take a picture of the so-called portage trail. We were just so happy to escape unharmed. The gorge pictured here gives you some idea of the terrain we had negotiated.
With JO hanging on to the canoe rope behind me, I began the scary descent. I lost my footing three times in the first fifty yards. The canyon walls were so close that the canoe would bang against rock whenever I turned to try to get better footing. After the third collapse, I finally gave up. JO and I had no alternative but to lift & drag the canoe across the often jagged rocks - one and two stepping our way down the canyon gorge.
The last of the Mink Falls << Though physically beat, I did manage to get a shot of the last of the four Mink Falls. The last of the Mink Falls << The quiet water below the Falls was welcome - yet the beautiful landscape continued. Only about three kilometers of easy paddling lay ahead until we could make camp.

Day Five A leisurely breakfast onthe way out

Our last camp > > >
was only a few feet from the water's edge on a nice sand point. The last morning was clear and calm - perfect for reflecting on the trip's experiences and ideal for a leisurely 12 kilometer paddle to the pickup landing.


  • Be happy to hear from other Kopka River & wabakimi adventurers - Roscoe

    Coming Soon: Wabakimi 2004 Pages
  • Palisades River Trip with Paul Linde
  • Shawanabis Lake with the Camping Chicks

Refreshed and back in civilization
Back in civilization >>
We enjoyed a hot shower, sleeping in a real bed, and the related 'modern' conveniences at the Outpost Motel on the shores of Lake Superior - northeast of Grand Marais, Minnesota.

: Managed to talk Jo into a return trip in 2002, but we plan to reverse our route and camp at that pretty little lake just above the portage-from-hell. This time I'll make sure my fishing rod survives the trip!

Return to Wabakimi & Kopka River - Summer 2002

Is there a bear in the Wabakimi woods? A story of one encounter reported in the LaCrosse Tribune.

Bert & Brenda of Wild Waters Lodge
Our pre and post trip experiences were enhanced by the
friendly service of Bert & Brenda of the Wabakimi Wilderness
B&B/Outfitting Service.

Wabakimi Wilderness Outfitters
B&B Lodge/Outfitting/Outpost Camps
Bert & Brenda Zwicker, Mgrs

(807) 583-2626 may - sept
(807) 767-2022 all year



Wabakimi Links

Wabakimi & Kopka River Canoe Trip
Return to Wabakimi & Kopka River - Canoe Camping Trip
Wabakimi Fly-In Fishing Canoe Camping trip, Granite and Brennen Lakes,
  Allenwater River
Wabakimi Fly-In Fishing & Canoeing Trip, Palisade River & Kenoji Lake
Wabakimi, Train-in, Fly-out Outpost Camp - Shawanabis Lake
Wabakimi, Fly-in, Fly-out Fishing & Canoe Camping - Chance Lake -
  Allenwater River - Granite Lake


Resource Links:
Canadian Canoe Routes
Wabakimi Wilderness  Park
Boundary Waters  Canoe Area
Wabakimi Outfitters  Links



Research Report
Personality Type & Outdoor Recreation
(including canoeing)