The length — and difficulty or ease — of portages varies greatly throughout 1.1 million acres of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Portages are measured in rods. 1 rod = 16.5′ (canoe length) and 320 r = 1 mile. What we can tell you is that no matter the route we travel, short or long portages, you will encounter rocks, roots, uneven footing, the occasional blow-down tree, inevitably some mud … AND BEAUTY ALL AROUND YOU in the sights, sounds, and smells of the forest.
Keep in mind, it doesn’t have to rain to create mud on the trail. Beaver are extremely active throughout our wilderness. Need we say more?
Helpful fitness tip for portaging: get off the paved trails at home and start hiking uneven ground. Gradually add, and keep increasing, weight to a pack as you hike.