Cherokee Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage North, 13 rods, to Gordon
  • Portage East, 10 rods, to Town
  • Portage South, 140 rods, to Sitka
  • Paddle South and West, up Cherokee Creek, to 180 rod portage to Skoop
  • Portage West, 80 rods, to Ranger


  • Fisher F-6, Brule and Pike Lakes; F-13, Little Sag, Tuscarora, Temperance Lakes
  • McKenzie 7, Tuscarora; 21, Sawbill Lake


Cherokee Lake
Scale 1:42840
Full image approximately 4 miles square


Cherokee is a large, deep, island studded lake in the interior of the BWCAW, in the Long Island River watershed northwest of Brule. Oriented SW/NE, it is over two miles in length, in places a mile across, covering some 750 acres to depths of as much as 140'. At its extreme north end, a 15 rod portage connects with Gordon on the Long Island River. Out of the northeast corner an even shorter portage, of only 10 rods, connects with Town to the east. A 140 rod carry leaves the southeastern shore, climbing to Sitka with connections 105 rods farther east to North Temperance and the Temperance River route. An 80 rod portage off the western shore provides access to Ranger. At the south end of the lake is the mouth of Cherokee Creek, where about a mile upstream, a 180 rod portage heads south into the Ada Creek drainage. Cherokee Creek also provides access, up beyond the portage landing, to over a dozen small lakes with no established portages but much potential for exploration of the backcountry.


Cherokee is a relatively popular lake and supports nearly twenty established campsites, many on islands and points. The best sites can be expected to be taken early during busier travel periods.

Planning Considerations

Cherokee is a primary destination in this region of the BWCAW as well a hub for some of its major routes, including the Temperance River and Ada Creek routes from the south, the Long Island River route to the north, and the Brule route to the east. Cherokee Creek provides entry to a host of small lakes to the west with great bushwacking potential. If you are interested in a base camp approach, Cherokee would make an excellent choice.


Cherokee supports populations of Burbot (Lota lota), Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush), Northern Pike (Esox lucius), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments

Line of Spruce Trees

Valley Internet Company
Return to Home Page
Send Feedback to Webmaster
Return to Region 10 Home Page
Return to Region 10 Lake Tables
Return to Region 10 Portage Table
Return to Canoe Country Home Page
Last updated on 11 April, 2004