Explore, paddle, fish, and swim from a base camp on either Crescent or Sawbill Lake in the Superior National Forest. Take day canoe trips into the famed Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and experience portaging with only a day pack to carry. Take a break from paddling to hike on the Superior Hiking Trail to enjoy beautiful overlooks of Lake Superior. Return to the group campsite each afternoon with time for fishing and swimming before dinner. Enjoy s’mores around the fire under the star-filled sky as you plan the adventure for the next day. This is a great trip for adults seeking a BWCA adventure with front country campground amenities not typically available on backcountry trips.
ItineraryExpand All Fields
Day 1: Meet your trip mates and set up your home away from home.
Your trip starts in the afternoon at the campsite on either Crescent or Sawbill Lake in the Superior National Forest, on the edge of the BWCA. Meet your group and settle in to your campsite. After dinner, enjoy stories and s’mores under the stars.
Day 2: Spend the day paddling Minnesota's famous lake country wilderness.
Get up early to make breakfast and get ready for the day's adventures. Head to Sawbill Lake for a full day canoe trip in Minnesota’s famous lake country wilderness. The group may split into two groups for the paddle to better appreciate the solitude and stillness. Compare your experiences over a lively dinner.
Day 3: Hike on the Superior Hiking Trail and enjoy majestic views of Lake Superior
Today, you may opt to hike to the top of Oberg Mountain. Or if you are looking for a more relaxing day, enjoy swimming, fishing, or exploring the surrounding streams. Come back to camp as a whole group for dinner and star gazing.
Day 4: Spend the day paddling, fishing, and swimming in the pristine waters of the BWCA.
Head into the BWCA once again to explore a different lake. Keep your eyes peeled for eagles and try your luck at fishing during lunch. Get back to the campsite in time to enjoy a dip in the lake.
Day 5: Enjoy one final hike before saying farewell to your trip mates.
Break camp and go on one last hike to Temperance River to view the amazing gorge. The trip officially ends before lunch.
Dates & Fees
What to Expect
TERRAIN/ROUTE CHOICES: At night you will camp in the Superior National Forest, which lies on the Canadian Shield, an area characterized by exposed granite with a thin layer of topsoil. This terrain is the result of glaciers scraping and grinding 10,000 years ago. The lakes and trails make this area one of the most accessible wilderness areas in the country.
TYPE OF TRAVEL/DISTANCE: This itinerary is intended for adults. You will go on day trips in 18-foot canoes, which hold two to three paddlers, plus all necessary gear. An average day’s travel consists of 2-4 hours of paddling or hiking. Expect 1-2 portages (short trail crossings) per paddling trip. Please note that the specific itinerary is subject to change based on weather, group size and ability level.
WEATHER: Temperatures in the summer months range from 40 F to 95 F. Rainfall can vary, but you should expect at least a day or two of rain.
YOUR GROUP: The group size ranges from 3 to 12 participants, plus 1 or more Wilderness Inquiry staff. Each group consists of people of various ages, backgrounds, and abilities, including people with disabilities. Our trips are cooperative in nature. Wilderness Inquiry staff will assist you in whatever areas you need, however, most people pitch in where they can.
ACCOMMODATIONS: At night you will sleep in a comfortable 4-person tent with 3-4 people per a tent (other arrangements can be made). Bathroom facilities consist of a USDA Forest Service outhouse. Campgrounds have potable water spigots, access to personal vehicles, and may have shower access for a fee (depending on campground). Campsites typically do not have electricity.
MEALS: The food we bring is plentiful, nutritious! Enjoy hearty breakfasts, trail lunches, a variety of snacks, and delicious dinners with desserts. If you have special dietary restrictions, be sure to list them on your registration.
EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING: Wilderness Inquiry will provide all group gear and equipment. You will be assigned the same gear for the duration of your trip and it will be sanitized between trips. You will need to provide your personal gear as outlined in the packing list. If you are new to outdoor activities, you do not need to spend a lot of money. Wilderness Inquiry can usually arrange for you to borrow most items.
FISHING: Fishing is great in the Superior National Forest and BWCA! We suggest bringing your own fishing pole and tackle. Don’t forget a MN fishing license for anyone over the age of 16.
COVID POLICY: We continue to monitor and update our COVID-19 policies. Wilderness Inquiry strongly encourages everyone to be fully up to date with their COVID-19 vaccination and take other necessary steps for the health and wellness of all. We ask you to self-screen for any signs of illness prior to your trip’s departure. Please contact Wilderness Inquiry if you are exhibiting signs of illness. We will also continue to follow all guidance and requirements of locations that we travel, keeping in mind some international destinations do require vaccinations and/or negative covid tests. We will update this policy as new information and guidance becomes available.
SAFETY WHILE ON TRAIL: Though not required, some individuals may choose to wear a mask, and we expect all participants to respect this choice. Please ensure proper hygiene including, but not limited to, hand-washing and/or sanitizing before eating and after using the restroom. Individuals who become ill or test positive for COVID-19 during a Wilderness Inquiry experience will be isolated to the best of the group’s ability and are responsible for their own transportation and expenses to depart the trip.Read more »
Frequently Asked Questions:
Where do we meet?
Standard Meeting Places and Times
Start: Campground - TBD at 1:30 PM (local time)
End: Campground - TBD at 11:00 AM (local time)
This trip officially begins at 1:30 PM and ends at 11:00 AM at the same location. The campground location will be confirmed prior to the start of the trip. Detailed meeting place instructions will be sent to you when you are confirmed for your trip. Booking a Flight? We recommend flying in to the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport the night before your trip, and flying out from Minneapolis St Paul International Airport after 8:30 PM.
Which route will my group follow on a Boundary Waters trip with Wilderness Inquiry?
There are many different route choices available within the Boundary Waters. The route will be chosen by Wilderness Inquiry trip leaders based on availability and the strength of the group.