Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Helen Lake Logging Road

Helen Lake Road and Timber Sales - In 1947 construction of the Helen Lake Logging Road was begun in order to reach and cut the tall white pines in the area around Vista Lake. Beginning at what is now the Lima Grade at a point just north of where the Grade crosses the North Brule River the road eventually penetrated some three and one-half miles west, into what is now the Boundary Water. The road winds passed Helen Lake then across the Horseshoe-Vista Lake portage and continues another half-mile to near Snack Lake.

From 1947 through 1953 the road enable loggers to harvest the tall white pines from the region north of the road up to Swamp, Poplar and Lizz Lake and the much of the area southwest of vista lake. In this area logging was conducted by a series of small sales to several loggers.

From the late 1970s until early 1980s Boundary County Trekking again used the road from the Vista-Horseshoe Portage east to the Lima Grade as a dog sled touring route

Remaining artifacts along the road: While the road is over-grown and difficult to follow and the bridges over Vista, North Brule and Poplar Creeks are gone, the road can still be traveled on foot if you are willing to take time.

Following the road to the west from the Vista-Horseshoe Portage cross the creek next to Horseshoe Lake to pick-up the road on the other side of the creek. From here you Travel west along the road approximately one quarter of a mile where you will come across an old abandoned car. Traveling further, to the end of the road, another one quarter of a mile you will come to a large sawdust pile and the site of a sawmill that operated there when the region was being logged.


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