Eskwagama Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage Northeast, 100 rods, to Clear
  • Portage South, 85 rods, into the Sourth Kawishiwi River



  • DNR Lake No. 380707
  • Lake Map No. C1486
  • Lake Table No. 6B
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Eskwagama Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Eskwagama is a small, shallow lake in the South Kawishiwi River drainage, 17¼ miles WNW of Forest Center, and 8½ miles east of Ely. Only ¾ mile across on its longer, north/south axis, its 80 acres have a maximum depth of only 12'. Eskwagama is connected to nearby Clear Lake to the northeast by a 100 rod, overland portage which climbs above the boggy lake margin. To the south, an 85 rod portage along Eskwagama Creek connects with the South Kawishiwi.

Field research by Heinselman suggests that the forests surrounding Eskwagama were probably made up of stands of Red and White Pine dating back to 1796 and earlier, before being logged off (1898-1912) by the St. Croix Lumber Company of Winton. The Independence Day windstorms of 1999 did no significant damage in the Eskwagama area.


Eskwagama shows one established campsite, on the eastern shore, on the 1997 McKenzie map but none is indicated on the Superior National Forest website. If you plan on camping at Eskwagama, be prepared for the possibility that the fire grate is gone and the site closed, or check with the USFS prior to entry on the current status of the campsite. The shallow waters of the lake do make it less than ideal from a water quality perspective. Plan on filtering, or on having a lower standard for particulate matter in your drinking water.

Planning Considerations

Eskwagama, along with its near neighbor Clear, is one of the rare lakes in an area dominated by river travel. With Clear, it provides a connection between the North and the South Kawishiwi Rivers, though a longer route than the cutoff directly through Clear.


Eskwagama supports populations of Northern Pike (Esox lucius) and White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni).

Notes and Comments

Eskwagama offers an opportunity to enjoy another lake while making the crossing between the two forks of the Kawishiwi and for that reason alone is worthy of a place in your travel plans.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004