Madden Creek
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Nearest Entry Point: Wood Lake #26 Fishing: Northern Pike
Maps: Fisher F-11, F-31; McKenzie #17 Creek Depth: > 3 feet
Fire History: 1910
Creek Length: About 13 miles
Campsites: 0 Wildlife Seen on Visit: None
Last Visited: July 22, 2018 Creek Elevation: Headwaters at Wedge Lake at about 1470 feet. Flows through Madden Lake, Sourdough Lake, Wood Lake and Hula Lake. Mouth at Basswood Lake in Wind Bay at 1300 feet. Creek drops about 170 feet over its entire course.
To Basswood Lake: Paddle In
To Indiana Lake: Walk the 15 rod portage
To Wood Lake: Paddle In

Madden Creek

Kawishiwi Ranger District

Paddling a creek is a great way to explore seldom visited areas of the BWCA, particularly when the creek dead ends and becomes unnavigable at some point, therefore making the trip and out and back. Dead end routes are seldom explored.

Madden Creek starts at Wedge Lake which is just east of Madden Creek Road. It flows for about 1/2 mile and then opens up into Madden Lake. From Madden Lake the creek makes a long right turn to the north and after four more miles or so, dumps into Sourdough Lake which is just outside of the BWCA. Shortly after leaving Sourdough Lake, the creek enters the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The last mile or so before the creek enters Wood Lake is navigable when water levels are good and before vegetation chokes the channel.

Madden Creek next flows through Wood Lake and then into Hula Lake. A short portage connects Wood Lake and Hula Lake as the creek is not easily navigated between these two lakes. From Hula Lake, the creek continues about two more miles to its mouth on Wind Bay of Basswood Lake. About one mile before reaching Basswood Lake, the creek becomes navigable again. This is about where Indiana Lake also drains into Madden Creek. There is a 15 rod portage here. The creek is not navigable (unless you have a lot of fortitude) between Indiana Lake and Hula Lake.

The best time to paddle this creek upstream from Wood Lake is in the spring. Northern Pike are found in sections of the creek. Smallmouth Bass may also be present in places.

Logging occurred in this area in the late 1890's until around 1910. The remaining slash leftover from the logging operations increases the chance of forest fire, as sunlight (which can now reach the forest floor) dries out the remaining brush and downed timber. A forest fire burned the area in 1910.

Traveling Madden Creek

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Madden Creek 1
Madden Creek where it flows into Wood Lake. This view is in mid-July when the vegetation is already too thick to allow easy navigation of the creek.

Madden Creek where it flows into Hula Lake. Madden Creek flows through Wood Lake and then from Wood Lake into Hula Lake.

Route Connections for Madden Creek

From Madden Creek there are several route options. You can paddle about one mile up Madden Creek during good water levels from Wood Lake. There is a portage between Madden Creek and Indiana Lake. Madden Creek can be paddled from the Indiana Lake portage to Wind Bay on Basswood Lake.

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PMA #1: Weeny PMA #4: Tick PMA #7: Pitfall PMA #10: Hairy
PMA #2: Canthook PMA #5: Spider PMA #8: Mugwump PMA #11: Weasel
PMA #3: Sundial PMA #6: Drag PMA #9: Humpback PMA #12: Fungus
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