Contact Us:
Phone: (218)663-7150
Fax: (218)663-7980
Mail: 4620 Sawbill Trail
Box 2129
Tofte, MN 55615

Powered by
Movable Type 3.15
Sawbill Newsletter

2/2/16 - Here are the last three weeks of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio:
West End News: January 14th
West End News: January 21st
West End News: January 28th

1/8/15 -
Amy and Dave Freeman, Sawbill guides and former crew members, are spending a year in the BWCA Wilderness, without coming out, even once. You can read their blog to keep up with their life in paradise!

Here is this week's edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio. - Bill

12/31/15 - Here is this week's edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio. - Bill

Everybody's favorite non-traditional Sawbill crew member, Brian Henry, made this sweet composite picture of every crew member who worked at Sawbill in 2015. The paddle was a gift to Brian from the crew to thank him for being his awesome self.

12/24/15 - Here is the latest edition of the Cook County West End News on WTIP, North Shore Community Radio.

The gorgeous winter continues here in northeastern Minnesota. - Bill

Looking down toward the Sawbill canoe landing.

An honest 12" on the ground now. I should be able to groom and set tracks on the Sawbill cross country ski trail!

12/18/15 - If you need help getting into the holiday spirit, a drive up the Sawbill Trail will put you firmly in the mood. Not only do we have 9" of fluffy, pristine snow on the ground, but it is loaded on the trees in true "winter wonderland" style. - Bill

The Sawbill Store is looking naturally festive!

Sawbill Lake looking south from the canoe landing.

12/3/15 - Who knew that Mrs. Claus lives at Sawbill and not at the North Pole?

Mrs. Claus, who was distributing candy and goodwill at the recent Grand Marais Christmas parade, bears a passing resemblance to our own Cindy Hansen.

While in the Christmas mood, Clare, Dan and Huckleberry pose for a preview of their Christmas card on the canoe landing at Sawbill.

Snow covers everything, including every little twig and needle, looking south from the Sawbill canoe landing.

11/22/15 - Sawbill lake has officially frozen over. After several days of rain we are happy to have a nice fresh layer of snow on the ground. Keep your fingers crossed for some good wild ice skating as the lake ice thickens up.

frozen lake 11_22_15.jpg
Huckleberry, one of Sawbill's newest residents, is sad about the end of the swimming season but excited at the prospect of long runs on the ice.

ice 11_22_15.jpg
Ice crystals make the newly solid lake shimmer.


11/8/15 -

We've had some great northern lights recently. Sawbill crew member, Tyler Campbell, got this nice shot a few days ago.

Sawbill Lake isn't frozen yet, but there was some skim ice in last night.

We rented a canoe today to a nice couple from Cincinnati, Ohio. They saw a bull moose on Kelso Lake. They had to break a little ice just before the Kelso/Sawbill portage. They are most likely the last rental customers of the 2015 season. - Bill

10/29/15 - It's been a busy fall, but we are finally fully closed for the season. The parking lot has been empty all week, but four cars appeared last night and this morning, so a few people are braving the late-season wilderness. I hope they are being careful because it's windy, raining and cold - not to mention very cold water temperatures.

Earlier this fall, crew member Brian Henry made this little photo montage of fall beauty. Now, just a few weeks later, the leaves are down and it is brown and grey forest until it is transformed by snow.

We had the first dusting of snow on the ground this morning, but it melted before I could get motivated to take a picture. - Bill

Photos by Brian Henry

10/13/15 - Martin Berst sent along this beautiful sunset picture on Kawishiwi Lake from his canoe trip last summer. - Bill

Photo by Martin Berst.

10/11/15 - This is the time of year when the crew has a little more spare time for fun. - Bill

Phoebe is campaigning to go on a canoe trip.

10/5/15 - The hard working Sawbill Fall crew went out for their traditional October bowling night at the Silver Bowl bowling alley in Silver Bay.

The good folks at the Silver Bowl are nice enough to stay open late to allow us to bowl ourselves silly after the Sawbill store closes for the night. - Bill

The bowling Sawbill Fall crew of 2015.

Our friendly hosts at the Silver Bowl.

Brian shows the proper technique for the perfect gutter ball.

Buck shows that he, unlike the rest of us, actually knows how to bowl.

Bill and Cindy attempt to simultaneously pick up nearly identical spares.

9/29/15 - Dan Walch, longtime Sawbill canoeist, sent along this picture and note. - Bill



Last Tuesday I was camping on the SW campsite on Beth waiting for the sunrise. This formation appeared and was lit up by the sun that was still below the horizon. Later while looking at the map I realized that the formation was right in-line with Sawbill Outfitters.
What has Bill been up to now?


9/28/15 - Steve and Deb Smith sent along this nice note and great photos a few weeks ago. - Bill


Last weekend we were camping at your site 15, doing day trips in kayaks around Sawbill. On Saturday morning, we were fortunate to come across a cow moose and her calf on our way to Handle Lake. She was back deep in the stream chewing on lily pads and keeping cool. She actually was blocking the path to our destination. We waited 20 minutes for her to move out of the water and disappear into the woods. Needless to say we were pretty honored and excited.

However, on the way back, in about the same location, a large bull moose was cooling himself in the stream, blocking our entrance to Sawbill Lake. This was mid afternoon. You can see his velvet dangling from his antlers and the pink coloration of his antlers left over from the shed skin. I read that moose with large antlers can hear better than moose with smaller or no antlers. The antlers actually act as a sound reflector. I bet this big boy could hear us very well. We waited for probably 10 minutes for him to leave the water and then go beat up on a pine tree probably to aid in getting rid of more velvet. It was truly amazing to witness all that. None of the moose seemed to be bothered by our presence, but we gave them a pretty wide berth to keep it that way. We got a nice bunch of photos and thought you might enjoy a few.

The Sawbill area is such a wonderful area. Your campground is first class. We’ve been there multiple times and looking forward to the next one. Steve and Deb

9/22/15 - Former Sawbill crew members and guides, Dave and Amy Freeman, are starting their "A Year In The Wilderness" tomorrow. Watch this beautiful short film to find out what they are up to! We are so proud of them. - Bill

A Year in the Wilderness - Bear Witness from Save The BWCA on Vimeo.


Home I Trip Planning I Rentals and Outfitting I Reservations I Campgrounds I Sawbill Store I Sawbill News I Contact

© 1997 - 2016, Sawbill Canoe Outfitters, Inc. I Privacy Policy