Voyageurs National Park

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In many ways, Voyageurs National Park is similar to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  

Voyageurs National Park

In other ways it is very different. The BWCAW, with the official designation as wilderness, has access limited by permit. Voyageurs' four entry points are open to all. You will also find fewer portages here than in the Boundary Waters.

The Boundary Waters is traveled by non-motorized watercraft...canoes. Voyageurs allows motorboats, pontoons and houseboats as well as canoes and kayaks.Voyageurs follows the Minnesota/Canadian border for 55 miles. There are no roads leading directly into the park. Most park visitors gain access through one of four resort areas on the four large lakes:

  • Rainy Lake at the northwest corner close to International Falls
  • Crane Lake at the southeast end of the park
  • Kabetogama  
  • Ash River in the center of the area.

Each of these access points has visitor centers and vendors who offer food, lodging, marinas, boat & canoe rentals, water taxis, fishing guides and advice about a trip into the area.

Voyageurs National Park (National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map)


Mainland Camping: The two state forest campgrounds would be your best choice. RV camp sites are available. Beautiful Woodenfrog Campground, situated on Lake Kabetogama, offers a swimming beach, picnic grounds and a nature trail.

Voyageurs National Park Area Planning Resources

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If you are looking for solitude you can find it. Get out on your own in your adventure kayak for a Minnesota sea kayaking trip.

Just head out to the Kabetogama Peninsula

One of your lodging choices is a private vacation rental. There are several in the area: Crane Lake - BWCA and Voyageurs Area Vacation Rentals

The park is situated on four large lakes: Rainy Lake, Kabetogama, Namakan and Sand Point.

Visitors to the area have a choice of resources and guides to the area. The most basic is this Voyageurs National Park illustrated map.

Cook, Minnesota is located near many of the areas best resorts and is a good entry point to both Voyageurs and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness..

Houseboats: a houseboat vacation can be a memorable adventure. There are four houseboat rental companies and any one of them can provide you with all you need for a houseboat vacation. Just one of these is Voyagaire Houseboats and Lodge.

Where to Stay in Voyageurs National Park

Campgrounds: there are more than 200 campsites; all are accessible only by boat. At most of them you will find a tent pad, fire ring, picnic table, privy and bear proof food locker. Camping is free by filling out a registration form.

Bear Head Lake State Park is also close to Voyageurs Park and the Boundary Waters.

Resorts and Hotels: One good choice is Northern Lights Resort Outfitting. There are many other resorts and lodges in the area that cater to fishermen (and women) and families. These include Thunderbird Lodge, Arrowhead Lodge, Sandy Point Lodge and Nelson's Resort. 

If you want to stay outside Voyageurs Park and do a day trip into the wilderness area there are also hotels in International Falls:

This area includes some of the most beautiful wilderness in all of Minnesota. You can also explore by a trip into the Boundary Waters, a stay in Lake Vermilion State Park and camping in our National Forest Campgrounds.

Stop along the way at the small town of Cook, Minnesota.

Voyageurs National Park is one of the least visited national parks in the U.S. however this "hidden gem" could be the destination for one of the best Minnesota vacations of a lifetime. Get inspired with Paddling the Boundary Waters and Voyageurs National Park

A Few More Tips and Ideas for Visiting Voyageurs

  • Ash River is the easiest access point for paddlers through the north end of Lake Kabetogama at the Woodenfrog Campground.
  • Boat on Interior Lakes Program: the park service has placed rowboats and canoes on nine lakes. Available on a first come basis.
  • There are many great hiking trails in the park; expect to see wildlife.
  • Winter recreation includes 110 miles of marked snowmobile trails and miles of groomed cross-country ski trails.

Some time spent in preparation for a trip like this is always a good idea. We suggest two resources:

The National Park Service website has a wealth of information about Voyageurs.

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