Fallen Arch Lake

Making Connections

  • Bushwhack and portage East and South, 832 rods, on the Pow Wow Hiking Trail, to the Isabella River
  • Bushwhack South, 2½ miles down Fallen Arch Creek, to Rice on the Isabella River
  • Bushwhack and portage West, 525 rods, on the Pow Wow Hiking Trail, to Marathon


  • Fisher F-4, One, Two, Three, Four, Bald Eagle, Insula Lakes
  • McKenzie 19, Isabella Lake


  • DNR Lake No. 380461
  • Lake Map No. C1788
  • Lake Table No. 6A
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Fallen Arch Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square

Fallen Arch Lake, photo courtesy of Larry Ricker

Fallen Arch Lake, photo by Larry Ricker
Copyright @ 2000, LHR Images, All rights reserved, used with permission


Fallen Arch is a small, shallow, and remote lake on the Isabella River watershed, 23½ miles ESE of Ely, and 3 miles NNW of Forest Center. Its 17 acres form a narrow arc at the foot of a 70' rise of land immediately to the west. Its maximum water depth is but 11'. From the south end of the lake, Fallen Arch Creek begins its wandering course west and south, to Rice Lake and the Isabella. Along the way, it picks up the outflow of Pelt and Flapper. Fallen Arch has no established portages and is on no regular canoe routes. Its only developed connection is the Pow Wow Trail, which crosses Fallen Arch Creek at the extreme south end of the lake.

The forests surrounding Fallen Arch date back to the big Lake Insula fire of 1864 with remnants to the south and west surviving from an 1824 burn. The Independence Day windstorms of 1999 did no significant damage in this area.


Fallen Arch has one established campsite, on the southern shore, intended for the use of backpackers on the Pow Wow Hiking Trail.

Planning Considerations

Fallen Arch holds limited appeal for most BWCA canoeists, requiring miles of portaging with little opportunity to put the boat in the water. The one possible exception is as part of a route which includes paddling and bushwhacking up (or down) Fallen Arch Creek, completing the trip to the Isabella on the Pow Wow portage trail.


Fallen Arch supports populations of Northern Pike (Esox lucius), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments

Fallen Arch, and the other small lakes along this portion of the Pow Wow look like a great option when you want something different, like backpacking. Our thanks to Larry Ricker for the fine photo of this rarely visited little lake.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004