Cummings Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage North, 100 rods, to Neewin
  • Portage North 580 rods, to Big Moose
  • Portage Southeast, 35 rods, up the Korb River
  • Portage South, 70 rods, to Korb Lake
  • Portage Southwest, 480 rods, to Buck
  • Portage West, 5 rods, to Otter


  • Fisher F-8, Vermilion, Trout Lake, Vermilion River, Bootleg Lake; F-9, Cummings, Big Moose, Fourtown Lakes
  • McKenzie No. 16, Burntside Lake


  • DNR Lake No. 690325
  • Lake Map No. B3002
  • Lake Table No. 1
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Cummings Lake
Scale 1:42840
Full image approximately 4 miles square


Cummings is a very large lake in the Little Indian Sioux drainage, 24¾ miles southeast of Crane Lake and 12 miles WNW of Ely. In form a shallow arc some 4½ miles long, with multiple bays, Cummings covers 1121 acres to a maximum depth of 41', with a measured water clarity of 9'.

The Independence Day windstorms of 1999 brought varying degrees of tree loss to the area surrounding Cummings. While most areas sustained minimal damage, widely scattered blowdowns occur along some southern and western shores, and on the Buck portage.


  • to Neewin, a 100 rod portage off the north shore of Cummings holds to the high ground along the west edge of a wet draw, into the south end of Neewin.
  • to Big Moose, a 580 rod (over 1¾ miles) portage out of the northeast bay of Cummings, heads north along the higher ground in an otherwise boggy area, dropping over 100' in the final 125 rods into the south end of Big Moose.
  • to the Korb River, a steep, 35 rod carry bypasses the lower reaches of the Korb River, where it tumbles into the eastern end of Cummings, climbing some 20' in the first 15 rods..
  • to Korb Lake, a 70 rod portage out of the end of the south bay of Cummings climbs 16' in the first 15 rods, then levels off for a fairly easy carry into the west end of Korb.
  • to Buck, a 480 rod (1½ mile) portage out of the southwest end of Cummings connects up with the west end of Buck in a rolling series of climbs and descents.
  • to Otter, a short 5 rod carry out of the west end of Cummings connects with the headwaters of the Little Indian Sioux.


Cummings supports over a dozen established campsites, scattered along its many miles of shore.

Planning Considerations

Cummings is at the very center of this region of the BWCAW, with routes radiating out in all directions, and with good connections to virtually all of the readily accessible lakes in the area.

Cummings is included in Beymer, The Boundary Waters Canoe Area, vol. 1, The Western Region, routes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 27.


Cummings supports populations of Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus), Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Pumpkinseed Sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus), Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris), Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieui), Tullibee (Cisco) (Coregonus artedi), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments

Cummings is a large lake with much of its length aligned with the direction of the prevailing summer winds. This can make for high wind and waves, and difficult, if not impossible, travel conditions for small, muscle driven watercraft. Use due caution.


Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004