Voyageurs National Park: Paddle Our 24-Foot Canoes

Located on the international Canadian border adjacent to the Province of Ontario and west of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Voyageurs National Park is as iconic as it is beautiful. Nearly 40% of its 218,054 acres is water, much of that in the four largest lakes: Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, and Sand Point Lake. The glacially carved terrain and large lake expanses will astonish and delight as you paddle the pristine waters. Our adventures blend the new and old worlds, as we paddle in 24-foot Voyageur canoes and sleep under the northern sky.
  • 5 days, 4 nights
  • 2-3 Wilderness Inquiry Staff
  • Paddle our 24-foot Voyageur canoes through Kabetogama Lake
  • Highly accessible destination for beginners and families
  • Specialize in serving people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, including people with disabilities
  • Experience Minnesota’s only National Park

Voyageurs National Park is the less heralded but no less spectacular wilderness destination of northern Minnesota. With some of Minnesota's largest lakes, we are able to operate multi-day canoe trips without the portaging associated with Boundary Waters trips. Relive the early explorer experience aboard our sturdy Voyageur canoes. Camp along the lake shores and witness starry nights like you've never seen before.

See dates and details for our scheduled Voyageurs National Park trips:

  • Take the family out on a wilderness canoe adventure through the spectacular north woods of Minnesota. Using our sturdy 24-foot canoes, this kid-friendly journey will trace the routes taken by the Voyageurs 300 years ago. Spend ample shore time with your family swimming, fishing, and roasting s'mores around a cozy campfire.. 5 Days: Trip Fee $595 Youth Fee $295
  • Explore the largest lakes of northern Minnesota on this five-day excursion aboard our 24-foot Voyageur canoes. Observe the beautiful exposed granite that juts from the lake surface, while loons patrol the lakes, eagles sore above, and timber wolves howl in the distance. 5 Days: Trip Fee $645

Here are all current Voyageurs National Park trip offerings sorted by date. You can register for them right from this page or click on the trip name to see a detailed itinerary, photo gallery, and more.

Trip Name2017 DatesFeeRegistration
Voyageurs National Park Canoe Adventure more» 6/21-6/25/17 $645
Register Now
Voyageurs National Park Family Adventure more» 8/2-8/6/17 $595
($295 Youth)
Register Now
Voyageurs National Park Family Adventure more» 8/23-8/27/17 $595
($295 Youth)
Register Now
Named after the hardy French-Canadian canoe men of the fur trade from the late-17th to early-19th centuries, Voyageurs National Park beckons to present-day explorers as it once did to the voyageurs. The voyageurs traveled extensively throughout the region trading with native people and establishing water routes for the fur trade, the same routes traced by adventurous people today. Unlike most National Parks, visitors to Voyageurs travel primarily by watercraft like their French-Canadian predecessors.

Voyageurs National Park is Minnesota’s only National Park. Located on the international Canadian border adjacent to the Province of Ontario, Voyageurs National Park lies along the border immediately to the west of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Authorized by Congress in 1971, the park was officially established in 1975. Nearly 40% of its 218,054 acres is water, much of that in the four largest lakes: Rainy Lake, Kabetogama Lake, Namakan Lake, and Sand Point Lake. Voyageurs also includes over 500 islands and more than 650 miles of shoreline. Smaller lakes also abound in Voyageurs, but even on the big lakes silence and solitude can be found amid the great natural beauty.

Located at the southern part of the Canadian Shield, Voyageurs National Park contains some of the oldest exposed rock formations in the World. Dated at nearly 3 billion years old, this rock forms the foundation for the region’s topography. Glaciers also had a significant impact on the region as they scraped bedrock and carved depressions that filled with water, creating the lakes, ponds, and streams that the voyageurs later navigated.

American Indians inhabited this region for hundreds of years prior to the arrival of the Voyageurs. Evidence of Dakota (or Sioux), who had established campsites near wild-rice beds, has been discovered within the boundaries of the Park. The Ojibwa (Chippewa, or Anishinabe) people eventually drove out the Dakota nation and, in time, established a working relationship with the fur traders. The voyageurs traded trade goods (sometimes including alcohol) and firearms for valuable beaver pelts and native knowledge of canoe-building and navigation routes. This partnership finally ended in the mid-19th century when the beaver population was hunted to near extinction and fur hats were no longer as fashionable.

As the fur trade era began to decline in the nineteenth century, the lumber industry took hold. From the 1880s to the 1920s the area was subject to extensive logging and resulting deforestation. In 1913, the Kettle Falls Hotel was built to house the region’s lumberjacks and was vacated in the early 1920s as the logging industry moved west. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Kettle Falls Hotel is the most visible remaining evidence of this earlier era and one of a few developed sites within this vast wilderness park.

Many people have recognized the charm and beauty of Voyageurs through the years. As early as 1891, the Minnesota Legislature petitioned the President to create a national park in this same area. It took another 80 years to authorize Voyageurs National Park, but conservationists struggled to protect the natural beauty of the area throughout that time.

Today visitors to Voyageurs can enjoy the pine-clad forests and exposed glaciated bedrock; wildlife like moose, wolves, and black bears; bald eagles, common loons, and over 20 species of wood warblers; and fish like walleye, northern pike, and smallmouth and largemouth bass. Starry nights and northern lights can make the nights exciting.

Visitors to the North Country will leave with fond memories. The serenity and beauty of the landscape is enough to satisfy most, but add the brilliance of the Northern Lights and satisfaction becomes admiration. Early risers will not forget the loon’s call penetrating the morning silence. The howl from a distant wolf will thrill a 21st century explorer just as it did the Voyageurs of the 18th century.
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