Rush Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage Northeast, 60 rods, to One Island
  • Portage East, 50 rods to Little Rush
  • Portage Southwest, 10 rods, to Banadad


  • Fisher F-13, No. Gunflint Trail, Gunflint, Bearskin Lakes
  • McKenzie 4, Gunflint Lake


  • DNR Lake No.160299
  • Lake Map No.
  • Lake Table No. 10B
Scale 1:42840
Full image approximately 4 miles square


Rush is one of many long and narrow lakes, with a distinct east/west orientation, which mark this eastern end of the BWCA. Some 2 miles long it is about a quarter mile wide over much of that length. It is one of the larger lakes on the route that runs west from Poplar to Long Island, located only a half mile south of the BWCAW border and but two miles south of County Road 12, the Gunflint Trail. At its far eastern end, a 60 rod portage runs northeast to One Island and, 220 rods beyond, the Portage Lake entry while a 50 rod portage east connects with the west end of Little Rush. From the west end, a 10 rod carry south connects with Banadad.


Rush supports four established campsites, two on points along the northern shore and two at the end of bays along the southern shore. That in the southwest, though well located, is quite small and low to the water. The other three are probably better choices, especially for the larger party.

Planning Considerations

The route through Rush, and its near neighbor Banadad, is probably the least traveled of the east/west routes through this region. Of the traffic from Poplar Lake (outside the BWCAW but providing access to several entry points), to the hub that is Long Island, most will drop farther south, to the Pillsbery/Henson, or Gaskin/Winchell routes. In large part this is due to the longer and more challenging portages on the Rush/Banadad route. At the east end, access is available through One Island Lake, and a 220 rod portage, or Skipper, with a 320 rod carry. West beyond Banadad, one faces four portages totalling nearly 600 rods before reaching the next campsite, on Long Island.


This is moose and wolf country. We have heard wolves howling in the night at other sites in the BWCA but nowhere have they seemed so loud, so many, and so close, as at Rush. It sounded to us like a call and response between a group at the far end of the lake and another, not far behind our tents. Rush also supports populations of White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), Northern Pike (Esox lucius), and Burbot (Lota lota) (but they're much less interesting)..

Notes and Comments

Rush probably derives its name from the Common Rush, Juncus effusus, which grows in the shallow waters here, and throughout much of the BWCA.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004