Frost River Adventure

What do Tuscarora staff members do on their days off? Some of us go fishing; others sleep in or hike on a nearby trail or drive to Grand Marais for time on Lake Superior. And this past week four of us decided to spend two nights and a day off in the best way that I personally can imagine: exploring the lakes and rivers that make up our wilderness backyard. Elizabeth was pretty excited too:


We decided on a Frost River loop, which started down our driveway at Cross River public access and took us south through Ham, Cross Bay, Long Island, and Frost Lake to the Frost River before turning back north through Mora, Crooked, and Gillis and taking us home through Round. We felt like the Lewis and Clark expedition as we paddled through this relatively remote area of the Boundary Waters.


Soon after starting on Monday afternoon, we discovered that our equipment pack was a LOT heavier than we remembered packing it. Good thing Shelby’s brother Dan had remembered to slip in one of these rocks for us…they come in so handy out on trail.


We camped at Long Island Lake our first night and woke up to sunshine, oatmeal, a gentle breeze, and syrup shots (we ended up making a little more than we needed and didn’t want to leave a trace!).

LongIslandBfast LongIslandCampView

Once we got to the Frost, it started feeling really Lewis-and-Clark-y. Anything could be waiting around each grassy bend of the river.


Most often, it was a portage. We calculated that there were 36 portages on this particular trip. They were usually short and around beautiful rapids rushing from all of the recent rain.


…but we also did encounter a little bit of mud:


After a day of paddling, portaging, singing voyageur songs, and seeing new places, we found a great campsite on Gillis Lake. Swimming and jumping felt wonderful, and we slept very well that night. It was a perfect way to spend a day off, and we’re excited for our next one! – by Amy





4 Responses

  1. Nita Wolf says:

    Wonderful trip and pics. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m with you in spirit though I’m not sure at almost 70 years old that I could do it physically! I appreciate you!!

  2. Evan Fry says:

    This past summer I put a pink flamingo in my brother’s duluth pack. I think that this article will give him some ideas on how to return the favor.

    • James Lowell Fry says:

      You are so right Evan. Rocks…..? I loved my solo Frost River trip. Did you ladies see any otters? I did when I went. They played hide and go seek. They won the game of course.

      • Rachel says:

        Especially painted rocks which you cannot leave behind without leaving a trace! I don’t think the girls saw any otters, but there have been 3 otters hanging around Tuscarora’s main dock this fall. They are so much fun to watch!