Quetico: Basswood Lake to French Lake (6 days / 142 km)

This route is a south to north journey across Quetico Provincial Park, starting at the Canada-USA border and going up to Dawson Trail Campground. It covers a vast amount of land and the route can be done with several variations. It is a flatwater route that covers 30-40 portages, the longest at 970 meters.

This route takes you through some busy and quiet parts of the park and an endless amount of beautiful campsites and fishing areas. From the big majestic lakes of Agnes and Pickerel to the small and peaceful unnamed lakes - there is something for everyone.

Trip Completed: May 2018

Trip Summary

Starting Point: Prairie Portage Ranger Station

Ending Point: French Lake Access Point

Total Distance:142 km

Duration: 7 days, 6 nights

Difficulty: Intermediate


South to North of Quetico Provincial Park, on the Canada, US border. The closest town at the start is Ely, Minnesota and the end is Atikokan, Ontario. Note: If you are crossing an international border on this trip, extra steps need to be taken to allow remote entry.

Maps & Resources

Guidebook: None

Map: Quetico Chrismar map 2017 version

Campsite Reservations: None. There are no designated sites in Quetico.

Permits: Permits can be purchased at the Ontario parks website. You reserve based on your access point and the number of nights in the park. 

Outfitters & Shuttles

LaTourelles provided the boat shuttle from Moose Lake to Prairie Portage. There are also several different outfitters in the Quetico and BWCA area on either side of the border. If you drive your car there is parking available for a fee at LaTourelles and parking is available at Dawson Trail Campground (French Lake) or Stanton Bay access point, with your park permit. Floatplane pickups or drop-offs are also an option and would prevent a border crossing

Trip Report

Day 1: Inlet Bay of Basswood Lake to Agnes Lake (25 km)

After getting a boat tow from Latourelles, ...

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