Would you like to paddle across endless water and sleep under the stars on your own private island? You can do this and more in Minnesota's Voyageurs National Park! Further, if you bring your own gear, you can't beat the cost of admission and lodging: $0! Voyageurs is a water-based park. You can take motorized boats to explore the far reaching lakes, but I prefer quietly cruising in a kayak. I visited Voyageurs late last summer, and can't wait to return!
After setting off from the Rainy Lake Visitor center, an hour of paddling will bring you to a landscape dominated by trees and islands. Campsites are first come first served, but later in the summer you can have your pick!
I was amazed at how many picture-perfect campsites could be found. Imagine waking up here and making breakfast by a world class view of the northern wilderness! Each campsite had one or two locations for a tent, a fire pit, and a pit toilet.
I found a great spot on the northern tip of Dryweed Island. It was a little rough (new campsite, fresh fire ring) but it was in just the right spot as a basecamp for venture out to explore other islands and "mines" the next day. I plopped our tent facing north facing Canada on the horizon.
For added convenience there are bear proof storage lockers. Despite the presence of the lockers I never saw any bears during my multi-day adventure. What I did see was bats flitting about in the night. If you sat very quietly and gazed up through the moonlight you could see their little shadows zipping this way and that.
The days in late August were a mixture of clear skies and heat boiling down on a glassy lake, to overcast cool days. The water was chilly but bearable if you wanted a refreshing dip after a hot day chopping firewood.
I hope this recap and photos of a really enjoyable trip up North inspires you to visit Voyageurs National Park. I think it's Minnesota's best kept secret!
Richard Thomsen March 29th, 2011 08:43:46 PM