Formation of Bass Lake
Once around the west end of Bass Lake and on its south side, the trail passes through the third distinct region of the old lake bed. Large cedars slanting toward the lake mark the old shoreline. Looking at them, it’s easy to imagine when these trees grew out from a wave splashed, rocky shore. A high rock ledge provides a broad vista of Bass Lake about half-way down the lake. River otters occasionally play in the water below the ledge. At the very eastern end of the lake, you will get an excellent view of Dry Falls across the lake before returning to the trailhead.
0.0 The trail begins at the western end of the parking lot.
0.1 Trail intersection beginning the circuit portion of this hike; turn left on the trail to Dry Falls passing the portage trail which continues to Bass Lake. In about 225 feet, cross a small bridge over a wet weather stream. Then it’s over a short ridge and into a narrow valley once part of the old lake bed.
0.2 Bridge crossing over a stream flowing to Bass Lake. The trail then ascends steeply to the ridge and continues along it providing overlooks of the valley below. The ridge top supports red pines and cedars. Aspens fill the valley sides.
0.8 A short spur trail on the right leads to an overlook providing views of the old lakebed occupied now by a meandering stream. Shortly beyond this point, Bass Lake comes into view.
1.0 Trail descends steeply from the ridge to a rocky bluff overlooking Bass Lake and Dry Falls.
1.1 Cross bridge just above Dry Falls (47° 56′ 29.1″ N 91° 51′ 50.3″ W). The stream flows from Dry Lake to Bass Lake. Beyond the bridge the trail ascends steeply and comes to an intersection in about 75 feet. The left fork leads to Dry Lake in 100 yards. Bear right at this intersection to continue on the main trail as it bears away from the lake and passes behind a ridge putting the lake out of sight for the next 0.9 mile.
1.2 Spur trail on the right leads to a campsite on the lake shore. Beyond this point, the trail ascends before leveling out and crossing rock outcroppings. Rock cairns mark the way.
2.0 Overlook with views of the north end of Bass Lake. From here the trail begins a gradual descent.
3.1 Reach remnant of the glacial ridge at the north end of Bass Lake. Walk along the sandbar to where the trail bears right and comes to the stream flowing from Bass Lake to Low Lake.
3.4 Cross small bridge. In 155 feet cross a second bridge. The trail then ascends through white birches, balsam firs, and stands of red pines. The trail stays just above the old lake shoreline which is marked by leaning cedar trees.
4.3 Overlook with views of the lake through a screen of jack pines. From here the trail descends and occasionally dips below the old shoreline. The trail is very rocky along this stretch.
4.8 Bridge over a wet weather stream. The trail begins to descend until it reaches the portage trail at the south end of Bass Lake.
5.2 Trail intersection with the portage trail. Bear left on the portage trail to return to the trailhead.
5.8 Trail intersection completing the circuit portion of this hike; continue straight ahead.
War of Jenkins’ Ear In April 1731, Spanish authorities stopped and boarded the British merchant ship Rebecca as it sailed near the coast of Cuba. Best vacations in the US After an inspection of the vessel’s cargo and paperwork, the Rebecca’s commander, Captain Robert Jenkins, was pronounced guilty of smuggling. As punishment, his captors sliced off one of his ears. This seemingly minor event had explosive consequences. During testimony to a committee of the House of Commons seven years later, Jenkins produced a handkerchief and carefully unfolded it to reveal his preserved ear. His punishment was condemned as barbaric and prompted howls of public outrage. Throughout the 1720s, tensions between England and Spain had risen as the former expanded its commercial grip on the Atlantic and the latter attempted to limit foreign trade with its colonial possessions. When diplomatic overtures failed to bring about a peaceful resolution to trade issues, Great Britain, in October 1739, declared war on Spain launching the War of Jenkins’ Ear.