The next lakes south of the Whiteifish Chain include among them Star Lake and several other small connecting lakes that are fun to paddle, especially now as the leaves begin to change. This paddle, originally done by the Crow Wing Paddlers Club, is fun for anyone and could be done on a kayak, canoe or a stand-up paddle (SUP) board, though SUPs may find their fins drag if the water is low.
Start your journey from the Kimble Lake Access where you can put in your paddle-powered craft. From there, paddle across Kimble Lake to the east side. There are two small bays on the east side, and you'll want to pick the one on the north. From that bay you can enter Kimble Creek, where you will paddle through a tunnel to pass under County Road 39 to get to Bass Lake. (This marker on Google Maps shows where Kimble Creek is located.) The culvert-tunnel really adds to the fun of the journey. On past journeys the creek has been easy to paddle both with the current and against it, but if you find that the current is too strong, or if the water is too low, you may want to return to Kimble Lake and simply explore that lake.
From there, paddle to the north side of Bass lake and enter a small passage/creek that will take you into Little Bass Lake. This lake is small, and it's a relatively short journey to the east side of the lake where you'll enter another scenic creek that will take you to Little Round Lake. head to the south side of Little Round Lake and take another short creek to Star Lake.
Star Lake is a little larger and could be fun to explore, or you can keep going into Little Star Lake via a creek on the south shore just across from the creek that brought you into Star Lake.
From Little Star, depending on the water level, you may even be able to make your way through the wetland/creek on the northeast side of the lake to small Henry Lake. Wetlands can be home to beautiful plants, birds and wildlife. Otherwise, turn back and make your way back to the Kimble Lake Landing the way you came.
This paddle is a great way to spend an afternoon or longer. You might consider packing some snacks or a lunch to eat. Raft up your party's canoes and kayaks to enjoy an on-the-water meal!
This post is intended as a guide to help you have a great day paddling on the water. Be sure you check out the route on a map to make sure you understand your path so you can be safe and make the most of your day! You can rent kayaks from Wind, Water and Wheels, and owner Jim Bergquist is happy to provide any info he has on water levels by calling the shop.
Don't forget to bring a map and compass and/or a GPS, some sunscreen, and wear your PFDs! These smaller lakes are great to paddle because they are less affected by the wind. Along this route you'll have the opportunity to see some wildlife and enjoy the natural beauty of the area's lakes. Change the route, shorten or lengthen it to your group's abilities and mood. Relax and enjoy.