Tuscarora Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage Northeast, 366 rods, to Missing Link
  • Portage East, 255 rods, to Hubbub
  • Portage South, 30 rods, to Thelma
  • Portage West, 68 rods, to Owl


  • Fisher F-12, Little Sag, Tuscarora, Temperance Lakes
  • McKenzie 7, Tuscarora; 8, Knife, Kekekabic Lake


  • DNR Lake No. 160623
  • Lake Map No. C0355
  • Lake Table No. 8A
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Tuscarora Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square

Summer Sunset on Tuscarora

Summer Sunset on Tuscarora


Tuscarora is a large, deep, open lake of over 800 acres, two miles across and 120' deep. Because there are no established portages from the northern or the southern shores, access is limited to a 68 rod portage from Owl in the west and two rather arduous routes from the east. The first of these is a 366 rod portage (over a mile) to Missing Link to the northeast. The second is a 255 rod portage over what was once Howl Lake, and is now largely grassy muck, to tiny Hubbub followed by another 69 rods into Copper.

The west end of Tuscarora supports some of the oldest forest in the area, nearly two centuries old, stretching west to Owl. The north shore and beyond burned in the big 1854 fire, and the area to the northwest again in 1864. The southern shore marks the northern limit of the great fire of 1875 and abuts onto the Hairy Lake Primitive Management Area.


Tuscarora supports ten designated campsites, located on all sides of the lake with one on an island. The site at the far east end offers the possibility of spectacular sunsets, with nearly two miles of open water stretching out towards the setting summer sun.

Planning Considerations

A trip through Tuscarora requires at least one long portage and one long, open water paddle, neither of which should be particularly daunting but both of which can be made easier through planning. Think about whether you prefer the really tough portage at the end of the travel day, so that you can drop exhausted into your camp for the night, or first thing in the morning to get it over with. Would you rather do open water with a wind behind you, or with no wind at all? Then plan accordingly.


Tuscarora supports a good population of Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush). Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens) levels are low but White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni) are abundant. Some Burbot (Lota lota) are also present.

Notes and Comments

The route through Tuscarora provides a more arduous, yet more satisfying, alternative to the heavily traveled Round Lake/Gillis route to the north. Traveling from Round to the Gillis/Crooked area through Tuscarora has fewer portages and fewer lakes, it's just that they're a lot longer. Oh yes, and fewer fellow travelers. The lake also offers some good possibilities for day trips bushwacking into the Hairy Lake PMA.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004