Circle Route


This 10 lake, 2 river back country canoe route has campsites similar to those in the wilderness. The area provides an opportunity to have a wilderness-style camping experience without wilderness permits and regulations. The route offers a variety of flora and fauna and varied terrain.

Downloadable information and map.

Lake included in this route: Burntside Lake, Little Long Lake, Dry Lake, High Lake, Bass Lake, Low Lake, Grassy Lake, Tee Lake, Sletten Lake, Fenske Lake, Everett Lake, and Twin Lakes. Rivers included: Ranger River and Dead River.

At a Glance

Closest Towns: Ely, MN
Water: Boil or filter water.
Operated By: USDA Forest Service
Information Center: Kawishiwi Ranger District, 218-365-7600

General Information


Route can be accessed from 6 different points:

  • Fenske Lake—off the Echo Trail (Cty.Rd.116)
  • Burntside Lake from Passi Rd./Cty. Rd. 803 (off the Echo Trail/Cty.Rd.116)
  • Little Long Lake from Echo Trail/Cty. Rd. 116 (across the road from Bass Lake)
  • Bass Lake from Echo Trail/Cty. Rd. 116
  • Everett Lake from Echo Trail/Cty. Rd. 116
  • Low Lake from Cloquet Line /FS Rd. 1036


Camping & Cabins

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Water Activities

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Boating - Motorized

No watercraft horsepower limitations apply, however many of the lakes area small with rugged access. Larger motors are not common. 

Boating - Non-Motorized

There are 10 portages, from 10 – 270 rods. Portage conditions range from flat and gradual to steep. Some portions may require sturdy footwear.

River travel is navigable in either direction.