Superior National Forest/BWCA

Cross Country Skiing - Tucker Lake Ski Through Trail


Other Trails
Astrid Trails
Birch Trail
Coxey Pond Trail
South Farm
GW Pine Plantation
Herriman Lake
Jasper Hills Trail
Big Moose Trail
North Junction
Pincushion Mountain
Slim Lake Trail
Tucker Lake
Bird Lake

This trail was designed to connect the two main cross-country ski areas on the Gunflint Trail, the Bearskin/Poplar Lakes Area and the Gunflint Lake Area. The Tucker Lake Trail is an easy trail to ski but because of the length, distance to help, and lack of grooming it is rated as an intermediate trail. About six miles of the trail passes through the BWCA Wilderness. Permits are not required during the winter months; however, all other wilderness regulations still apply. The middle part of the trail is the most scenic. The trail passes through several clearcut areas. The chances for seeing wildlife on this trail are great because of low use and the clearcuts allow the skier to view quite a large area at one time.

On the west side of this trail, where F.R. 143 and the BWCA boundary meet, the Extortion Lake Trail leads west for two miles.

Location: This 13-mile ski trail is located at the mid-Gunflint Trail area approximately 35 miles from Grand Marais.


Access #1: Take the Gunflint Trail north from Grand Marais for 32 miles. The trail is on the west (left) side of the Gunflint Trail and the Laurentian Divide Overlook is on the east (right) side.

Access #2: From the Ranger Station in Grand Marais travel north 41 miles on the Gunflint Trail. F.R. 143, where the ski trail begins, is not plowed but parking for several vehicles is available north 1/4 mile at the Loon Lake access.

Recreation Opportunity Class: Roaded Natural, Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized

The Tucker Lake Ski Trail starts on the east end of County Road 92 and leads west. Here the trail turns south off the road onto a logging road. The trail follows south for 1/2 mile, down and up a hill, then turns west. The trail follows along the Laurentian Divide for three miles. Part of this is through a wooded area and it intersects the portage between Portage Lake and One Island Lake. After this, the trail climbs a long slope where there is a clearcut on the north side, and on the south side an 80-foot cliff for a half mile long paralleling the trail.

The ski trail then descends from the divide to a lower area and then crosses the creek between Little Iron and Bedew Lakes. Near the creek crossing the trail turns southwest and crosses into the BWCA Wilderness. One mile from the boundary line, the trail reaches its highest elevation of 1,998 feet. At the midpoint, this trail descends to a creek between two ponds flowing north into Tucker Lake and ascends again. This is the most scenic part of the trail with hills, a creek, and several old growth white pine nearby.

One mile west of the midpoint, the trail crosses another creek between two beaver ponds and the trail parallels Tucker Lake for two miles. The trail gradually changes directions to the north and crosses East Dawkins Creek. There is a wooden bridge at this crossing. The trail crosses back out of the BWCA and continues on F.R. 143 north to the Gunflint Trail.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 20 Apr 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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