This long upper reach of the Brule is mostly what might be considered a 'canoe tripping' run, containing many areas of low-grade shoals, riffles, and rips (likely class I-II) rapids. However, it also has at least one stretch of nearly 3/4ths of a mile with atypical gradient and what appears to be a rock dike which may form a far more challenging rapids. It is possible this short stretch may be done as a park and carry (parkk and play) short trip for more serious whitewater boaters looking for the best action on this upper stretch of river.
This could be used as egress for a short run on the uppermost section of decent gradient: 4.8 miles at about 22FPM overall, with one mile at about 37FPM.
Possible access (put-in) for a short section of steeper gradient.
From aerial views online, there appears to be a significant transverse dike of rock amid a stretch of increased gradient. It is mere conjecture, but I'm thinking this stretch is likely to be class III with good water, and this spot in particular may push into class IV territory. (We'd love a first-hand report here! Anyone? Photos?)
The road (Gunflint Trail / 12) is very nearby where Lullaby Creek enters from river-right. This could be a convenient landing for anyone wanting to do a short run of the best gradient on this upper reach.
USGS has taken rather random "Field Measurements" over the years at this site, and lists drainage area here of 88.8 square miles.
Less than 1/4-mile after Greenwood Lake Road (USFS 309), there is a fine looking landing off the Gunflint Trail.
Perhaps not as large as the wayside/landing at mile 11.9, but this appears to provide fine egress for running to just shy of the flatwater of Northern Light Lake not far downstream.
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Permits are not required for this reach.
This shuttle is somewhere near a half-hour (each way). We highly recommend meeting at take-out, gearing up, swapping boats and boaters to as few vehicles as possible (to leave 'drop vehicles' there), then driving to put-in to run river. This gets you on water without the delay which would result from meeting at put-in, having to run shuttle down and back up (while some boaters wait somewhere near a full hour!) before putting on river!
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