Canoe Trip Length: 3-5 Days

Permit Required: Seagull Lake (BWCAW) entry permit
map of seagull lake

In short, Seagull Lake is the Best Route Choice for BWCA First Timers. The Seagull Lake canoe route is perfect for families and friends out there with varying paddling experience and levels of interest in the outdoors- the Seagull Lake Base Camp offers a camping option that is sure to please all individuals involved.

So you’re not a big fan of canoeing very far, but still want to enjoy the Boundary Waters experience? Or maybe you want to go on a family trip with younger children that won’t be able to paddle their weight? This trip will be right up your alley. Choosing Seagull Lake base camp will afford you more time out fishing, exploring, moose viewing, etc. and you will still be able to come back each evening to a camp that’s already set up.

Seagull Lake Dock

View of our bay on Seagull Lake

We are the only canoe outfitter on Seagull Lake. Paddle to and from our docks on the northeast tip of Seagull Lake, eliminating any need for shuttles and have the flexibility to start and end your trip on your own schedule. There are a multitude of fantastic campsites on Seagull Lake to choose from, even as close as 30 minutes paddling! We’ll be sure to pass along our recommendations, don’t worry.

A motor boat tow (one way or round trip) to the southern tip of Three Mile Island or the North Bay can cut down on your amount of paddling if desired. Learn more about our Tow Boat Launch Service.

Many people utilize a base camp because it promotes relaxation and just kicking back and enjoying the vacation. There aren’t a whole lot of things better than waking up early to watch the sun rise across the lake while sipping a cup of coffee knowing that you don’t have to pack up your camp to move to a different site each day. Maybe you’ve got a split ballot on what to do for the day. There’s no reason you can’t have part of your group do one thing while the other half does another. This allows everyone to fulfill their own individual wishes while not disrupting anyone else who has something else in mind.

Seagull Lake Basecamp

Seagull Lake Camp

Seagull Lake itself is beautiful. There are a variety of five-star campsites to choose from, and it serves as a haven for fishermen that wish to fish a variety of species. Seagull Lake offers incredible walleye, lake trout, smallmouth bass, and northern pike fishing. The lake has over 100 islands of an acre in size or larger, as well as various bays to explore. Keep an eye out- you may see moose in these areas!

There are plenty day-trip options to enjoy throughout your time spent on Seagull Lake. Make sure to take some time to visit the Seagull Lake palisades on the northern shore… the cliffs reaching 80 feet high will take your breath away. For those seeking a bit of adventure, there is a short uphill trail leading to the top with spectacular views.

If you’d like to portage a bit, there are a plethora of adventures with varying levels of difficulty that you could take. You could paddle to Meditation Lake on the eastern side of Seagull Lake. This hidden gem is prime for brook trout fishing! On the western end of Seagull, you can take the portage into Alpine Lake and have a shore lunch at one of the campsites amidst incredible walleye and bass fishing. You could also explore Rog Lake’s brook trout fishing, only a short 20 rod portage from Alpine. Another day-trip option is to venture north to Grandpa Lake to find seclusion and notable northern pike. For those seeking a challenge, you may also decide to take a day pack and your fishing pole to Paulson Lake, just south of Seagull Lake. Be sure to take note of the portage distance; the 515 rod(s) trail will challenge you! The lake trout fishing in Paulson is spectacular, however, and is surely worth the effort!

The nice thing about this type of trip is that you have no obligations to meet. The limitations are endless. You don’t have to be anywhere at any time and you can make the trip last as long as you want. The greatest thing about a base camp is that it affords you every opportunity to take full advantage of the precious time you have available to spend in the boundary waters.

So invite the family; no one said you have to paddle and portage every day. A trip into this wilderness can be all about camping and fishing, and it can also be about pushing yourself and exploring the nooks and crannies of the BWCAW. Seagull Lake provides the flexibility and ultimate relaxation that every vacation deserves… guaranteed to please everyone in your group!

Still trying to decide which route? Check out more Quetico-Boundary Waters canoe routes. Learn more about BWCA Permits and Quetico Permits.