Introducing Voyageurs National Park
In the 17th century French Canadian fur traders, or voyageurs, began exploring the Great Lakes and northern rivers by canoe. Voyageurs National Park (www.nps.gov/voya) covers part of their customary waterway, which became the border between the USA and Canada.
It’s all about water up here. Most of the park is accessible only by hiking or motorboat (the waters are mostly too wide and too rough for canoeing, though kayaks are becoming popular). A few access roads lead to campgrounds and lodges on or near Lake Superior, but these are mostly used by people putting in their own boats.
The visitors centers are car-accessible and good places to begin your visit. Twelve miles east of International Falls on Hwy 11 is Rainy Lakevisitors center (
A big ta-do up here is houseboating. Outfitters such as Ebel’s (
For sleeping, your choices are pretty much camping or resorts. The 12-room, shared‑bathroom Kettle Falls Hotel (
Granted, this is a remote and wild area, but those seeking wildlife, canoeing and forest camping in all their glory are best off in the Boundary Waters.