Quadga Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage Southeast, 77 rods, to the Isabella River
  • Portage Southwest, 61 rods, to the Isabella River


  • Fisher F-4, One, Two, Three, Four, Bald Eagle, Insula Lakes
  • McKenzie 18, Lake One


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


Quadga is a mid-size, ovoid lake in the Isabella River drainage of the Kawishiwi watershed, 5½ miles WNW of Forest Center, and 19 miles southeast of Ely. Just under a mile across, its 222 acres reach a maximum depth of 30' -- relatively deep for this region of shallow lakes and rivers. Quadga is connected to the Isabella by a quarter mile of stream out of its southeast end, and by a pair of portages, one eastbound and one westbound, from its south shore. This rare pairing of portages, not unlike a freeway style interchange in the wilderness, is the result of a rapid on the Isabella south of Quadga. The paired portages run to either end of the rapids, avoiding the need for taking the 40 rod portage that runs along the south bank of the river.

The forest surrounding the lake dates back to a major 1854 fire which burned a large area north of the Isabella River, from Rice Lake west as far as Superstition and as far north as Cargo and Diana. The Independence Day windstorms of 1999 did no significant damage in the Quadga area.


Quadga offers the heaviest concentration of campsites anywhere on the Isabella, from Isabella Lake in the east down to Bald Eagle in the west. The lake has four established sites, two on the northwestern shore of the lake and two on the eastern.

Planning Considerations

Though separated from the Isabella by a 30' rise of land, Quadga remains a lake on the river, with no established portages or routes to any destination not on the Isabella. The close proximity of the northwestern shore of Quadga to the Pow Wow Hiking Trail, however, does make it a suitable jumping off point for more challenging travel up the Pow Wow, through Campfire, Superstition, and Rock of Ages towards the Number Lakes, or east through Diana, Marathon, and Fallen Arch towards Isabella Lake. Recent McKenzie maps show a short spur trail off the Pow Wow running down to the lakeshore between the two northwestern campsites.


Quadga supports populations of Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Pumpkinseed Sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus), Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris), Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments

Quadga also deserves consideration as a base camp for a surf 'n turf trip, offering as it does, exploration opportunites afoot and afloat.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004