Blueberry Ridge – Voyageurs National Park

What a disaster this trip was. I thought going in it’d be a quick hike and a lazy camp but that wasnt the case. I didnt heed the words of my wife, or the park ranger, and thought I’d find a place to setup my hammock. That didnt end up being the case.

It took me a little bit to find the closest trailhead. You’ll want the Beaver Pond Overlook parking lot. The trailhead to the site is on the south side of the lot down from the Beaver Pond Overlook trail.

Online reviews at Recreation(dot)gov made it seem like this was some wild unmaintained and totally byzantine trail but that wasnt my experience as well. There was one small 20 foot section in a cedar grove that was pretty bushy but aside from that I had no problems following the blazes on trees or the cairns.

At one point along the trail I saw more grouse congregated together than I ever had before. Probably 20 of them in that spot!

True to its name there are a lot of blueberry bushes once you get up on the ridge. The campsite had pretty great views facing south as well.

Looking south.
Looking north back towards the trail.

I struggled to find any good spots up there to hang. It looks like there are some decent trees, but at the actual campsite its mostly exposed rock, with lots of standing dead pines and scrub oaks. I managed to find one spot that was a super tight hang, and while OK, was far from ideal.

Thats a 12 foot tarp all scrunched together!

To make matters worse, the weather this day was incredibly hot and humid for the area. It was in the mid 80s with humidity well into the 60% range. So I was really sucking down the water. Only to get to my campsite and realize that A) My smart water bottle leaked at the cap leaving me with only 1/2 a liter of water left. And B) there was no good place up here to get any water!

Looking at topo maps for the area showed a few areas with water, but they were either several miles of hiking to get to, or all dried up in late August.

So I decided to just hang out for a while before hiking back to the trailhead and calling it a day.

Random Notes

  • I need to figure out something to replace those tall smartwater bottles. I dont want to deal with leaking caps again, and the one I had seemed a bit worse for wear after having been reused for a while.
  • Maybe a top cover is better than a tarp in some instances? Like for super tight hangs?
  • This and my next attempted hangs have made me a Beckett Hitch suspension fan. The trees were way to tight for whoopi slings even using a marlin spike hitch.
  • I need to take into account the conditions and the time of the year, even summer, for water sources. A lot of swampy areas can dry up in late summer.

Leave a Comment