DescriptionAllen is a small, shallow lake in the North Brule drainage, 19½ miles southeast of Gunflint Trail's End and 60¾ miles ENE of Ely, one of many long and narrow lakes, with a distinct east/west orientation, which mark this eastern end of the BWCA. A mile and a half long it is but rarely an eighth mile wide. The entire lake bottom is less than 15' below the surface and most of the lake is less than 10' deep.
Situated in the upper reaches of the North Brule River watershed, 3 miles SSW of the Gunflint Trail, Allen drains both Pillsbery/Henson to the west and Winchell/Gaskin to the south. Allen provides access to Jump, 24 rods and 3' above it to the south, and from there to Gaskin, another 33 rods, and an elevation gain of 9', farther south. A 95 rod portage with a 27' rise, not shown on the map above, connects with Pillsbery to the west, while a 54 rod portage descends 12 ' to Horseshoe in the east.
CampsitesAllen is a small lake, with but one campsite, on its southern arm, which reaches towards Jump and Gaskin beyond. The location is on a fairly busy route but as the only site on a small lake may still offer a greater degree of solitude than neighboring Gaskin or Horseshoe.
Planning ConsiderationsThere are several east/west routes through this eastern end of the BWCA, following the topography of its long, narrow lakes. Allen sits on one of these, from Horseshoe in the east to Long Island in the west. It also sits on one of the principle north/south routes through this region, from Caribou and Horseshoe south to Gaskin and Winchell.
The route west is not a preferred route for most travelers, however, the heavy traffic tending to follow the southbound highway running from Horseshoe through Gaskin to Winchell and beyond to Brule.
WildlifeAllen is prime moose and wolf habitat. We once came upon a large cow moose at the landing of the portage to Pillsbery. She was moving slowly and visible on her flank was a large patch of raw, freshly exposed flesh, without hair or skin. She looked to be a survivor of a wolf attack, perhaps only minutes before we came upon her. As is wise with any large wounded animal, we kept our distance.
Notes and CommentsAllen and its environs provide one of the better opportunities to experience the boreal forest and bog.
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