- Portage Northwest, 15 rods, to Bridge
- Portage Northeast, 30 rods then 20 rods, to
- Portage Southeast, 25 rods, to Kawishiwi River
- Paddle West, to Lake Three
One, Two, Three, Four, Bald Eagle, Insula Lakes
18, Lake One; 19,
- DNR Lake No. 380528
- Lake Map No. C0261
- Lake Table No. 6B
- MDH Fish Consumption Advisory
- MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Full image approximately 4
Lake Four is a relatively large and
popular lake on the Kawishiwi River, 19 miles east of Ely and 8¼
miles NNW of Forest Center. The smallest of the Number Lakes, Four
still covers 655 acres, with a maximum depth of 25'. Most of the lake
bottom is in the shallow, productive littoral
zone, less than 15' below the surface. Its deeply carved shape
with its many points and bays results in an impressive 23 miles of shoreline.
A narrow, 1¼ mile long arm reaches northwest from the east end of
the lake, ending in a shallow channel connecting with Bridge.
A simple, 15 rod portage trail runs along the south bank of the channel,
climbing 10' to the east end of Bridge. A somewhat shorter arm extends
¾ mile northeast of the east end of Four, ending in the rapids on
the outlet stream from Fire Lake. A pair of
short portages, 30 rods and 20 rods respectively, bypass two sets of rapids,
climbing 7' to the southwest end of Fire. The Kawishiwi River enters
Lake Four over a rapid at the east end of the lake, exiting imperceptively
through a narrow channel into Lake Three to the west. A series of
three short portages (25, 25, and 10 rods, west to east) separated by two
ponds bypasses the rapids above the lake, connecting up with the west end
of Hudson upstream.
The forest surrounding Lake Four consists largely of second
growth stands which came in after the big pines were cut by the St.
Croix Lumber Company of Winton, between 1896 and 1920. Older, remnant
stands of species less desirable to the lumber company do survive.
The big Independence Day windstorms of 1999 missed Lake Four, the broad
swath of greatest destruction lying well to the north.
Lake Four supports a baker's dozen established
Lake Four is one of the four Number Lakes,
a series of large lakes on the Kawishiwi River, southeast of the Fernberg
Road, extending from the Lake One entry point upriver through Hudson
to Insula. Four is also the eastern terminus,
at the end of its long northwestern arm, of the Rifle/Bridge Loop, which
runs north of the Kawishiwi, from Four, through Bridge
and Rifle Lakes, rejoining the river at Lake Two.
It is the western terminus, out of the end of its northeastern arm, for
the Fire Lake Loop, a short detour north of the Kawishiwi River, from Four
to Fire, rejoining the river by way of the north
arm of Hudson.
Lake Four supports populations of Bluegill
Burbot (Lota lota), Northern
Pike (Esox lucius), Rock
Bass (Ambloplites rupestris),
Tullibee (Cisco) (Coregonus
artedi), Walleye (Stizostedion
vitreum), White Sucker (Catostomus
commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca
Notes and Comments
The Number Lakes are a very popular area
of the BWCA. If you would prefer not to share your wilderness experience
with so many others, plan on going elsewhere or visit during the off-offseason
(just before the snow flies in the fall, or just after the ice goes out
in the spring).
Last updated on
11 April, 2004