In spring of 2021 I hiked with Eagle Eye to a part of the BWCA I had never been before: the far western edge and the Herriman Trail. Although this was only a one-night trip, it’s such a little-known area, I wanted to write up the trip anyway.
We parked at the only access point and hiked in.
This trail network is an odd one because it has several loops and a dead-end. To make things even more complicated, the official map you find on the USFS website is not entirely accurate. I normally do not swipe maps and publish them, but I will make an exception. Sorry USFS, I love you lots, but here, I fixed your map:
Anyway, you’ll see how it’s a 13-mile network of trails, so calling it “Herriman Trail” does not feel like an accurate name. But okay.
At an intersection with the trail to Dovre Lake, we headed north, finally entering the wilderness about a mile later. We planned to visit Dovre Lake Campsite, but the trail was hard to follow and we abandoned the plan, taking a break at a gorgeous overlook instead. (I am sure that if you planned to camp at Dovre Lake Campsite, you’d find it just fine — we were not motivated.)
We continued down Dovre Lake’s trail and discovered that part of the trail network – a short connector – no longer exists. You can see it, but it’s not open. So it kind of exists. We detoured around, which included some lovely rock ledges. Then we began the hike out to Little Vermilion Lake. This is a tough spot, not because the trail is exceptionally rough- it’s same-old BWCA rocks and roots- but because it’s a couple of miles out to the campsite on the lake. If someone else is out there, you are out of luck. We ran into another hiker who told us good news: the site was empty!
We spent a very windy but sunny afternoon at the campsite. It was very remote and fun to be on the edge of Canada.
In the morning we packed up and hiked straight out to the car.
I would love to return to actually see Herriman Lake, for which the trail network is named. Even though it is silly that this trail network is called by the same name. Here is a complete fanfiction version of how I would name things out there. As I write this I am unemployed and have nothing else to do. It’s great.
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