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PostPosted: November 21st, 2002, 8:53 am 
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Joined: January 23rd, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: London, Ontario Canada
Anyone know anything about winter camping in Quetico, is French Lake open for such a thing and do people ice fish? Are there other people camping there?


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PostPosted: November 21st, 2002, 10:27 am 
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Joined: April 23rd, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Two Harbors, Minnesota USA
I don't know if the campground at French Lake is officially open during the winter, but the backcountry of the park is. Check out the park's website or call them.

Good winter fishing can be had in both French and Pickerel Lakes for lake trout. One winter years ago I drove up to Quetico with a friend for the weekend when the great Quetico naturalist, Shan Walsh, was still alive. We stopped at French Lake just after his son had pulled a 20 pound laker through the ice.
A few years ago another friend and I did a week-long ski-camping trip from French to Nym Lakes and had good trout fishing on Pickerel.
Our original intent was to ski across Quetico
110 km north to south and take out near Ely, Minnesota, but the slush on the lakes was so widespread that we could not have made it in that amount of time.


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PostPosted: November 21st, 2002, 11:00 am 
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Joined: August 7th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Duluth, MN USA
ghommes, have you skied across Quetico since that first attempt? My wife and I have tossed the idea around, but we never seem to be able to travel as far as we think we can on our short trips.

I have Walsh's Plants and Flowers of Quetico book, it's my favorite plant identification book for the Northwoods.

-andy


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PostPosted: November 21st, 2002, 1:42 pm 
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Joined: April 23rd, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Two Harbors, Minnesota USA
Andy,

No, I haven't attempted the crossing again, largely because I now have two small children
and would hate to leave them for that long.
However, a buddy and I go on mushing trips in the BWCA every winter for 3-4 days.
Last winter would have been perfect for crossing Quetico, because there was only a few inches of snow on the lakes for most of the winter and, also, very little slush.
Crossing Quetico in winter remains on my life-list of winter trips, though...

Gordon

PS: I have Walsh's book, too.


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PostPosted: December 10th, 2002, 3:20 pm 
I've winter camped in Quetico during reading week when I was at Lakehead university. It's not officially open but it's not officially closed either. the road wasn't plowed all the way, so we drove as far as we could and snowshoed in the rest of the way pulling our gear on sleds. We had the place to ourselves and it was great!

I'm pretty sure you can ice fish you're just not allowed to use live bait


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PostPosted: December 11th, 2002, 11:58 am 
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Joined: June 21st, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Lynn Haven, Florida USA
We are toying with going up to Ely Minnesota next year around Christmas for some hiking in BWCA/Quetico. What's the process to make sure the Ice is safe? I used to hike across frozen Lakes in my youth, but they were smaller and it's been a long time. Possibly the Earth was colder way back then.

Al


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PostPosted: December 11th, 2002, 12:37 pm 
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Joined: April 23rd, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Two Harbors, Minnesota USA
Al,

Around here (northeastern Minnesota) the lake ice is virtually always safe by Christmas on even the biggest, deepest lakes (remember, "safe" is one of those relative things, of course. There are those places near springs,
moving water, etc... where you can fall through the ice even after a spell of bone-cracking cold). This year, folks were out ice-fishing on the smaller lakes by mid-November. As for hiking in December, the snow is often deep enough to require the use of snowshoes by Christmas. On the lakes skis are a better option. Bring WARM clothes and boots if you come!


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PostPosted: December 11th, 2002, 12:50 pm 
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Location: Duluth, MN USA
You know, I was thinking yesterday morning that this week, you could hike across Quetico with ease (if you could take the time off work). You could even pull a sled with steel runners.

There have been a few winters within the last 10 years with little snow around Christmas.

andy


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PostPosted: December 11th, 2002, 1:55 pm 
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Location: Two Harbors, Minnesota USA
And this may be another one.....


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