Canoeing and Camping the Boundary Waters

Canoeing the Boundary Waters

As I plan my canoe trip to the Boundary Waters one of my readers sent me this article she wrote about the Boundary Waters.  

If you are a canoeing or canoe camping enthusiasts, there are few places more perfect than the vast Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Founded in 1978, this federally protected wilderness area covers more than 1 million acres, and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.

The wilderness meets two primary towns. Ely, Minnesota is on the western edge, while Grand Marais touches the east. Each is an excellent launch pad for a wilderness adventure.

The wilderness itself offers a wide range of recreational activities, but if canoeing and camping is what the doctor ordered, tripping to the Boundary Waters is an ideal way to spend a summer vacation. In fact, anyone experienced with canoeing Minnesota would recommend the majestic beauty of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Camping Boundary Waters is also a favorite activity among visitors. While you may opt to stay in hotels or lodges in the small towns around the wilderness area, the million acres of virgin wilderness provides ample attraction for those who enjoy a good camping trip. Both the Forest Service and a number of businesses in the nearby towns can assist with outfitting a newcomer for a camping adventure in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

Boundary Waters Canoeing

The key to a great trip to the Boundary Waters is planning. The wilderness area has specified entry points, which are accessed via water or hiking. This means planning ahead, and bringing the appropriate gear when setting out on the expedition. The entry points are many miles from the Wilderness Area Office. It’s important for trekkers and paddlers to know long they want to stay for a number of reasons. The first is that these factors will determine the type and quantity of gear to bring. The second is that the intended length of the stay affects which entry point is used, and the distance a group can go.

In order to enter the Boundary Waters at all, it’s necessary to apply for a permit. These can be acquired ahead of time through the Forest Service. The permits are entry point-specific, and a limited number is available for each entry point each day. They also specify whether a visitor plans only day use, or an overnight stay, the duration of the stay, and how many members are in the group (to a maximum of nine).

While canoeing Boundary Waters requires some preparation ahead of time, it’s well worth the foresight. Visitors gain access to some of the most pristine woodland in the United States and countless lakes to paddle. It’s an opportunity for rejuvenation, relaxation, and outdoorsmanship in one of the largest wilderness areas in North America.

Photos courtesy:

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2 Responses to Canoeing and Camping the Boundary Waters

  1. JP says:

    Heading back up there in September, cannot wait.
    A fantastic experience – every time.

  2. PennPaddler says:

    “A fantastic experience”, I totally agree. I’m heading back for a solo trip about that same time if plans work out.

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