Ramshead Lake

Making Connections

  • Paddle North, down Ramshead Creek
  • Portage South, 15 rods, to Lamb


  • Fisher F-16, Loon, Lac La Croix, Nina Moose Lakes
  • McKenzie 12, Moose River


Ramshead Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Ramshead is moderate-sized, but quite shallow lake, at the head of Ramshead Creek in the Boulder River drainage of the Lac La Croix basin, 18 miles ESE of Crane Lake and 23 miles NNW of Ely. All of 1½ miles in length and up to a mile across, Ramshead covers 480 acres but to a maximum depth of only 10'. Water clarity has been measured at 3'.

Out of the northeast corner of the lake, Ramshead Creek flows northeast, just under a mile, to its confluence with the Nina Moose River. A 160 rod (½ mile) portage on the southern bank bypasses two sets of rapids on the lower reaches of the creek. At the south end of Ramshead, a 150 rod portage along the eastern bank of Lamb Creek provides access to Lamb Lake. A much shorter 13 rod carry connects with the large pond below Lamb and is a suitable alternative when water levels in the creek permit. Along Ramshead's western shore is the mouth of Meander Creek, which meanders northward for over 5 miles from Meander Lake, just off the Echo Trail and outside the BWCAW.

The forests along the eastern shore of Ramshead are old, having grown up relatively undisturbed for nearly 250 years (since the fires of 1755) with a significant number of even older, 1681 vintage stands. The other forests around Ramshead are younger, dating from the fires of 1863/64, with remnant stands from the 1755 fires. This region of the BWCA escaped damage in the 4th of July windstorms of 1999, which caused such extensive tree loss to the south and east.


Ramshead Lake supports eight established campsites, two on islands.

Planning Considerations

Ramshead is one of three lakes in the Nina Moose loop, a 7½ mile circuit among Lamb, Nina Moose, and Ramshead lakes, with connections to the Moose, Nina Moose, and Portage rivers. Through Lake Agnes Ramshead is linked to the east/west, Pauness/Boulder Bay route, which heads north and east out of Upper and Lower Pauness on the Little Indian Sioux River through Shell, Little Shell, Lynx, Ruby, Hustler, Oyster, and Lake Agnes, to Boulder Bay on Lac La Croix.


Ramshead Lake supports populations of Golden Shiner (Notemigonus crysoleucas), Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Pumpkinseed Sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments

Ramshead is a lake where you really do want to filter your drinking water.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004