Voyageurs National Park is a remote and adventurous national park located in Minnesota, United States. The park boasts over 218,000 acres of wilderness and is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can explore the park’s exposed rock ridges, cliffs, wetlands, forests, streams, and lakes, making it an adventure wonderland all year long.
Voyageurs National Park is named after the French-Canadian fur traders known as voyageurs who were the first European settlers to travel through the area frequently. Today, the park is a gateway to the great outdoors and offers a uniquely water-based experience among national parks.
With four large lakes, 26 smaller interior lakes, the Ash River, and a vast number of bays and islands, visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, and hiking to their heart’s content. The park is open year-round and has no entrance fee, making it an accessible destination for all. Visitors can plan their trip by checking the park’s calendar on recreation.gov.
Location and Landscape
Voyageurs National Park is located in northern Minnesota near the city of International Falls. The park covers an area of 218,055 acres and is known for its remarkable water resources, including four large lakes: Rainy Lake, Kabetogama Lake, Namakan Lake, and Sand Point Lake. These interconnected water bodies form over 40% of the park’s total area, making it an ideal destination for water-based activities such as canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.
The park’s landscape is characterized by a variety of terrains, including rocky outcrops, wetlands, forests, and islands. Visitors can explore exposed rock ridges and cliffs that offer stunning views of the surrounding lakes and forests. The park is also home to over 500 islands, which provide a unique opportunity for visitors to explore a variety of ecosystems and habitats.
One of the most popular destinations within the park is Kettle Falls, located on the southern end of Namakan Lake. Kettle Falls is a historic site and a popular spot for fishing, boating, and hiking. Visitors can also explore the Ash River, which flows through the heart of the park and offers a variety of scenic vistas and wildlife viewing opportunities.
The park’s diverse landscape is also home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears, wolves, moose, and bald eagles. Visitors can explore the park’s boreal forests and wetlands, which provide habitat for a variety of plant and animal species.
Overall, Voyageurs National Park offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the natural beauty of Minnesota’s landscapes and water resources. Whether you are looking for a peaceful retreat or an outdoor adventure, the park’s diverse terrain and waterways offer something for everyone.
Activities and Recreation
Voyageurs National Park offers a wide range of activities and recreation opportunities for visitors of all ages. Here are some of the most popular activities you can enjoy during your visit:
With over 30 lakes and more than 900 miles of shoreline, water activities are some of the most popular things to do in Voyageurs National Park. You can explore the park’s waterways by canoe, kayak, motorboat, or houseboat.
Boat tours are also available, and they offer a great way to see the park’s highlights. Fishing is another popular activity, and the park is home to walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, crappie, and yellow perch.
Winter is a magical time to visit Voyageurs National Park. The park offers a variety of winter activities, including snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. The park’s groomed trails offer a great way to explore the winter wonderland, and you can also go ice fishing on the frozen lakes.
Hiking and Trails
Voyageurs National Park has over 50 miles of hiking trails that offer visitors a chance to explore the park’s diverse landscapes. The park’s trails range from easy to strenuous, and they offer a variety of experiences, from scenic overlooks to waterfalls. Some of the most popular trails include the Cruiser Lake Trail, the Chain of Lakes Trail, and the Grassy Bay Cliffs Trail.
Voyageurs National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including wolves, beavers, moose, foxes, and more. The park offers several opportunities for wildlife viewing, including remote cameras that allow visitors to see wolves and their pups, as well as beavers and other animals.
The park also offers stargazing and northern lights viewing opportunities, and the Beaver Pond Overlook and Voyageurs Forest Overlook are great places to take in the park’s natural beauty.
Whether you’re interested in water activities, hiking, wildlife viewing, or winter sports, Voyageurs National Park has something for everyone. So pack your bags, and come explore the park’s beautiful landscapes and diverse wildlife!
If you’re planning a trip to Voyageurs National Park, there are a few things you should know before you go. Here’s a breakdown of some important visitor information.
Voyageurs National Park is located in northern Minnesota, near the Canadian border. The park is accessible by car, boat, and plane. The nearest major airport is in Duluth, Minnesota, which is about a 3-hour drive from the park. If you’re driving, you can take Highway 53 north from Duluth to International Falls, then follow Highway 11 east to the park.
The Ash River Visitor Center is the main visitor center for Voyageurs National Park. Here, you can get information about the park, pick up maps and brochures, and talk to park rangers. The visitor center also has exhibits about the park’s history, geology, and wildlife.
The park has several campgrounds and picnic areas, as well as boat ramps and fishing docks. There are also several hiking trails in the park, ranging from easy to challenging.
Permits and Reservations
If you’re planning to camp in the park, you’ll need to get a permit. Permits can be obtained at the Ash River Visitor Center or online at nps.gov/voya. There are several campgrounds in the park, ranging from primitive sites to sites with full hookups.
Some activities in the park, such as guided tours and boat rentals, require reservations. You can make reservations by calling the park or visiting the park’s website.
Remember to check with park rangers for any updates or changes to park regulations before you arrive. Rangers are available to answer questions and provide assistance throughout your visit.
Overall, Voyageurs National Park is a beautiful and unique destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in hiking, camping, fishing, or just enjoying the scenery, the park is definitely worth a visit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What animals can be found in Voyageurs National Park?
Voyageurs National Park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including black bears, wolves, moose, beavers, otters, and eagles. Visitors may also spot white-tailed deer, foxes, lynx, and other animals. The park is a great place for wildlife watching, but it’s important to keep a safe distance from the animals and not disturb their natural habitat.
Where is the visitor center located in Voyageurs National Park?
The main visitor center for Voyageurs National Park is located at 360 Highway 11 East, International Falls, MN 56649. The visitor center is open year-round, with varying hours depending on the season. Visitors can obtain park maps, brochures, and other information at the visitor center.
What are some interesting facts about Voyageurs National Park?
Voyageurs National Park is named after the French-Canadian fur traders, known as voyageurs, who traveled through the area in the 18th and 19th centuries. The park is home to over 500 islands and four major lakes, making it a popular destination for boating and fishing. Visitors can also explore the park’s historic sites, including the Kettle Falls Hotel and Ellsworth Rock Gardens.
What is the best way to get to Voyageurs National Park?
The most common way to reach Voyageurs National Park is by car. The park is located approximately 5 hours north of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and 3 hours east of Fargo, North Dakota. Visitors can also fly into the nearby International Falls Airport or Duluth International Airport and rent a car for the remainder of their trip.
When is the best time to visit Voyageurs National Park?
The best time to visit Voyageurs National Park depends on the activities you are interested in. Summer is the most popular time to visit, with warm temperatures and plenty of opportunities for boating and fishing.
Fall is a great time to visit for fall foliage and cooler temperatures. Winter offers snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Spring is a quieter time to visit, with wildflowers and baby animals.
Which nearby towns are worth visiting while in Voyageurs National Park?
There are several nearby towns worth visiting while in Voyageurs National Park. International Falls, located just outside the park, is known as the “Icebox of the Nation” and is home to several museums and attractions.
Orr, Minnesota, is a small town located near the park’s southern entrance and is known for its fishing and hunting opportunities. Crane Lake, located near the park’s eastern entrance, is a popular destination for boating and fishing.