Paddle the path of the 18th century French-Canadian fur traders through Minnesota’s spectacular north country. Explore waterfalls, hidden coves, and scenic waterways. Listen for the cry of the loon and the howl of the timber wolf, as you glide through the crystal clear waters of north country’s big lakes. View ancient rock exposures, spectacular lake country scenery, and abundant wildlife as the Voyageurs once did!
ItineraryExpand All Fields
Day 1: Paddle into Kabetogama Lake before setting up camp on Bald Rock.
Your trip starts in the late afternoon at Ash River Visitor Center. Unload Voyageur canoes and gear, participate in a canoe orientation, and learn about other details necessary for a safe and fun trip. Paddle into Kabetogama Lake toward your first campsite on Bald Rock. After dinner discuss expectations for the trip around the campfire.
Day 2: Enjoy a full day of paddling before setting up camp on Cutover Island.
Get up early for breakfast, break camp, and get underway! The day may consist of a full day of paddling, crossing many miles just like the Voyageurs used to do. Paddle west past Wolf Island and out into Kabetogama Lake. Stop near Shoepack Beach for lunch. Camp on Cutover Island and spend the evening investigating your surroundings. Don't forget to look for shooting stars!
Day 3: Fish, swim, and explore the shore on this layover day.
Take a layover day in this area and enjoy the activities the park has to offer. Sit back and soak in the wilderness, take a day paddle to the Ellsworth Rock Gardens, explore the hidden trails and blueberry patches of Cutover Island, or fish from a Voyageur canoe. The evening can be spent swimming, fishing, and relaxing around camp.
Day 4: Paddle back to Bald Rock where you'll enjoy an afternoon hiking and fishing.
Paddle back to the first campsite on Bald Rock and set up camp. Explore and fish the bay from a canoe or hike to the backcountry lakes. Here you will experience seeing geology that is half as old as the world, boreal forests, and what life would have been like as a voyageur. Spend your last night in the wilderness telling tales and reliving your adventures around the fire.
Day 5: Enjoy one final paddle before saying farewell to your trip mates.
Rise early and paddle to the take-out point near the Ash River Visitor Center. The trip officially ends after lunch in the early afternoon. Those who use WI's van transportation can expect to return to Minneapolis in the evening.
Dates & Fees
WI leads trips to Voyageurs National Park 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 area lies on the Canadian Shield, with terrain characterized by exposed granite carved by the water and ice action of the big lakes. On the water, many islands provide protection from the wind. Voyageurs National Park offers a wide range of route options from very easy to very difficult–great for family trips.
TYPE OF TRAVEL/DISTANCE: Voyageurs National Park is still very wild, but also one of our more accessible adventures. You will travel in 24-foot cedar strip Voyageur canoes, which hold 4-8 paddlers and a boat captain, plus all necessary gear. They are fast and stable boats, designed specifically for trips on big water. The average day’s travel consists of 3-6 hours of paddling, depending on weather conditions. Travel distances vary from 2-10 miles per day.
WEATHER: Temperatures in the summer months range from 40 F to 95 F. Rainfall can vary and you should expect at least one day of rain.
YOUR GROUP: The group size ranges from 7 to 15 participants, plus 2 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. WI 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 2-3 people (although other arrangements can be made). Bathroom facilities consist of park service outhouses.
MEALS: Enjoy preparing meals together using fresh, healthy ingredients for bountiful dishes. Rise to the smell of freshly brewed coffee to enjoy with your breakfast and pack trail lunches with hearty snacks before heading off to explore. In the evening, we’ll prepare our dinner together over stoves and campfires and then finish with s’mores. If you have special dietary restrictions, be sure to list them on your registration.
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.
FISHING: If interested in fishing you are expected to bring your own fishing gear. We encourage you to bring a collapsible rod and reel. Don’t forget a MN fishing license.Read more »