The Northwoods Wandererby

Timber Trail Lodge: World Class Fishing For Bronzebacks.... And More!
Jim Umhoeffer


A great catch!Mention the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCAW) to an outdoor lover and images of evening campfires on a wilderness lake spring to life. Toss in the distinctive memories of landing a northern or listening to loon calls on a moonlit northern night and the conversation soon drifts towards making plans for a return visit.


That's exactly what the Forsberg family, owners of the Timber Trail Lodge near Ely, are counting on. The Forsbergs also know that not everyone wants to "rough it"


Even veteran back country travelers long for the best of both worlds at times: the comforts of home on the edge of one of the largest lakeland canoe wildernesses in the world. And if you or your family are new to the BWCAW, Timber Trail Lodge and Outfitters can help to ensure you that your first visit will be a memorable one.


Since their arrival from the Adirondack Mountains (upstate New York) the family has fallen in love with the BWCAW and the surrounding Superior National Forest. They have fashioned a flourishing business that includes a mid-sized four-season family resort, campground, and outfitting service. It is one of the few year-round resorts in the area.


If you 're a winter camper, Timber Trail Lodge also participates in a lodge-to-lodge program that allows you to experience the comforts of various resorts and lodges at night while traveling by dog-sled during the day. Cross country skiing and snowmobiling are also popular in the area.


Timber Trail Lodge is located. Seven miles east of Ely on the south shore of Farm Lake, part of a chain that includes White Iron Lake, Garden Lake, and South Farm Lake (BWCAW). All four of the lakes are motor-accessible, although South Farm Lake is limited to 25 HP motors.


Canoeists can venture directly into the BWCAW from the resort by paddling across Farm Lake to the North Kawishiwi River. The Kawishiwi River is part of one of the major water routes in the BWCAW.


Fishing on Farm Lake and the chain for northern, walleye, and smallmouth bass. Crappies and pan fish are popular catches, too. Partial guided fishing trips or full service BWCAW .outfitting services are easily arranged during your stay.


You can also rent canoes, boats and motors, and obtain BWCAW permits at the lodge.


For those who like to explore by foot the lodge trail adjoins the hiking trail system which is a 35 mile loop. Lucky observers might spot deer, moose, bear, beaver, or eagles while on the trail, Although wolves live in the area, they are generally secretive and hard to spot.


During the summer, the Forsbergs foster a greater awareness of the wilderness by sponsoring an active naturalist program. The naturalist leads guided hikes, canoe trips or other outdoor excursions on a daily basis.


Although most activities are scheduled, it's possible for your group to ask for an individually designed naturalist outing.


If you or your family prefers to just "hang around" the resort for awhile, the natural sandy beach on Farm Lake is a good place to explore and relax. Guests can also wander around the lake on one of the free paddleboats.


The campground has 18 sites, all with electricity and water. Timber Trail lodge features 11 cabins (one to four bedrooms) and 4 kitchenettes. In keeping with Timber Trail's wilderness setting, the cabins do not have TV's or telephones, however a game room is available.


Timber Trail Lodge also offers a library for their guests. Quiet times are nice too, especially when you might want to do some research on an area you wish to explore or perhaps read up on the history of the area you're visiting.


With most cabins along the lake shore you can sit out on your deck day or night and listen to the sounds of the loons on the glistening lake or hear the mournful cry of the wolves howling at night.


On a clear night you might even see the northern lights. Whatever season you choose to make a visit, or perhaps a return visit to Timber Trail Lodge, the Forsberg family looks forward to greeting you.