Canoe and explore Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) from the cozy comfort of Paul and Sue Schurke’s Wintergreen Lodge on beautiful White Iron Lake. You’ll enjoy many day trip options including canoeing from the lodge to beautiful wilderness lakes and trails, or hiking to Kawishiwi Falls – a tumbling 67 foot cascade! Spend your evenings at Wintergreen Lodge, located on a remote, pine-studded peninsula of White Iron Lake, complete with the comforts of hot showers, comfortable beds, great food and a wood-fired Finnish sauna.
ItineraryExpand All Fields
Day 1: Settle into the beautiful Wintergreen Lodge and enjoy an afternoon paddle on White Iron Lake.
Meet at Wintergreen Lodge in the afternoon, share introductions, and settle into your rooms. Enjoy a beautiful afternoon paddle on White Iron Lake to the historic Beargrease Island before returning to the lodge for a nice dinner and campfire.
Day 2: Paddle the Paradise Ponds circle loop and spend the afternoon fishing and swimming in the pristine waters.
Enjoy the Paradise Ponds circle loop - the first ever BWCAW canoe route paddled by Wilderness Inquiry in 1978. After breakfast, begin at the Lake One trailhead to make a full day of this great trip. Enjoy lunch on the trail, swim, fish and participate in all of the activities the BWCAW offers. This trip takes you across a few short portages, but our lightweight Kevlar canoes make this accessible. Cap off the wonderful day with a hearty dinner at Wintergreen.
Day 3: Embark on an all-day canoe trip to the scenic Kawishiwi River.
After a great breakfast and coffee, embark on an all-day canoe trip from Wintergreen to the Kawishiwi River. Take a scenic hike to the Kawishiwi Gorge overlook for lunch, and possibly a campfire. We'll return to Wintergreen by canoe for dinner and an optional evening sauna followed by a moonlit swim at the Wintergreen beach.
Day 4: Visit Ely's International Wolf Center before saying farewell to your trip mates.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before we leave Wintergreen Lodge. We'll visit Ely's highly acclaimed International Wolf Center on our way back through town, and you'll say good-bye to your fellow travelers by 11AM.
Dates & Fees
WI leads trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area but currently has no dates scheduled for this itinerary. If you have a group of people interested, we can set up a customized adventure just for you! Please contact us or request a trip quote below if you are interested in a group trip to this destination.Request Trip Quote »
What to Expect
TERRAIN/ROUTE CHOICES: The BWCAW lies on the Canadian Shield, and is characterized by exposed granite with a thin layer of topsoil. The lakes and trails make this wilderness area one of the most accessible in the country. The BWCAW offers a wide range of route options from very easy to very difficult. Wilderness Inquiry runs trips all over the wilderness area, on all kinds of routes. Your trail guides will determine the route you will take, based on wilderness conditions and your group’s interests. No previous experience is needed to complete this trip.
TYPE OF TRAVEL/DISTANCE: You will travel in 18-foot ultra-lightweight Wenonah Kevlar canoes, which hold two to three paddlers, plus all necessary gear. An average day’s travel consists of 3-6 hours of paddling, and you can expect 2-4 portages (short trail crossings) per day. The portages tend to be hilly and range from 20 feet to 1/4 mile. Travel distances vary from 6-12 miles per day.
WEATHER: Temperatures in the summer 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 6-12 participants, plus 2 or more Wilderness Inquiry staff. Each group consists of people of various ages, backgrounds and abilities, including people with disabilities. We will prepare our meals as a group using the kitchen facilities.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Stay in a cozy north woods lodge just outside of Ely. Enjoy the many amenities of Wintergreen Lodge, including indoor bathrooms and showers. Typically there are 2-3 people per room, matched by gender or requests to room together. In most rooms, solo travelers have single beds and couples share beds. Wintergreen Lodge has stairs, narrow doorways, and boardwalks, if you are concerned about accessibility please give us a call.
MEALS: We’ll enjoy a variety of meals, some served at the lodge and others we’ll prepare ourselves out in the BWCAW. You’ll enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables in our tasty meals. We’ll share hearty breakfasts, picnic trail lunches, and lively dinners at the lodge. If you have special dietary restrictions, be sure to list them on your registration.
SINGLE TRAVELERS: If you are traveling alone you will feel at home with a welcoming group. If you would like to have your own room throughout the trip you may purchase a single supplement for an additional fee. Please email or call us if you would like this option.
EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING: Wilderness Inquiry will provide all group equipment. 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.Read more »