Exceptional natural beauty, undisturbed forests, and pristine waters, Voyageurs National Park is nature at its best!
Here’s your guide to everything you need to know about it including a list of things to do in Voyageurs National Park, the best time to visit, where to stay, the weather, answers to the frequently asked questions, and much more. Let’s get started!
|Park||Voyageurs National Park|
|Things To Do||Boating, Falls, and Discover|
|Hotels Near Voyageurs National Park||The Nomad Motels, Voyageurs Park Lodge, and Many More.|
|Camping Location||Multiple Locations|
Where Is Voyageurs National Park?
Spreading over 214,000 acres of land, Voyageurs National Park lies in Northern Minnesota near the town of International Falls on the Canadian border.
If you want to land at the closest airport to Voyageurs National Park, then you take a flight to International Falls Airport, which is 14 miles.
Other nearby airports include Minneapolis Airport, Duluth Airport, Fargo Airport, etc.
Voyageurs National Park is one of the most unique and least visited national parks in the United States.
Featuring more than 30 lakes, 1,000 islands, and 134,000 acres of boreal forest, 40% of the park is covered in water and is accessible only through a boat.
The Park offers a variety of activities from boating to hiking with a wide range of incredible sights to see along the way.
It is also one of the best places to see bald eagles. wolves, beaves, moose, and other Upper Midwestern animals.
Guide to Voyageurs National Park
Voyageurs National Park has been home to humans for around 10,000 years.
European Exploration began in the area in 1688 when Fur trader Jacques de Noyon and his party canoed into the region to learn about its resources.
Soon after, it became a major route for voyageurs to move animal furs and trade goods to the Canadian northwest territory.
In 1866, the Bois Forte Ojibwe, the primary indigenous group in the region signed a treaty to transfer the 2 million acres of their homeland to the United States.
Then, in the 1890s, immigrants carried out logging, agriculture, and commercial fishing in the area, which had a profound effect on the water levels and forest composition.
In 1962, Governor Elmer Anderson proposed the idea of creating a national park in the region which was opposed by the locals.
However, the legislation was passed by the US Congress in December 1970 and was signed by President Richard Nixon in 1971.
Local and State governments donated land holdings to the park and Voyageurs National Park was formally established in 1975.
Things to do in Voyageurs National Park
Here’s a breakdown of the top 5 things to do in the Voyageurs National Park to make the best of your time:
Kettle falls is one of the main and most visited attractions in the park. The original falls are long gone and a large dam has taken their place.
Kettle Falls are located at the intersection of Rainy Lake and Namakan Lake along the border between the United States and Canada.
This is only accessible by boat on a 50-mile round boat trip from Kabetogama Lake to Kettle Falls.
The Hotel of Kettle Falls is the main highlight of the area that operates both as a restaurant and a hotel.
If you want to get the full experience of Voyageurs National Park, the best way to do this is to get out in the water.
Park offers boat tours on five different cruises that take in many highlights of the park including Kettle Falls, Rock Gardens, Ellsworth and the gold mining ruins of the Little American Island, and Harry Ovesn’s Fish Camp.
You can experience the beautiful waters as well as view historical sites and wildlife from the comfort of the boat.
Other than great sightseeing experience, you can find mental peace in the serenity
It has a unique array of wildlife between land and aquatic ecosystem. It is home to more than 100 species of birds and 50 species of mammals.
Bald eagles, moose, black bear, and moose are the big four of Voyageurs National Park wildlife.
Minnesota has the baldest eagles with 1300 pairs, and 150 black bears inhabit the park.
The best ways to get a closer view of wildlife is through Canoeing and Kayaking through the lakes at this park.
Canoeing or Kayaking
For those looking for an ultimate adventure, thus is a perfect place for canoeing. Nearly half of the park is made of water and Canoes and Kayaks provide a unique glimpse into this is living and breathing ecosystem.
Whether you want to enjoy the pristine beauty of the park or explore the narrow passages between islands, nothing beats the Canoeing and Kayaking provides.
You can either bring your own Canoe or rent from one of the many outfitters near the park.
One of the most popular things to do in this park is to cruise in wide-open deep lakes and discover the wonders and beauty of this park, abundant wildlife, and historical sites.
If you have your own boat, you can go cruising on your own, and enjoy a picnic on an isolated island.
Experience the park in a new way on the Little American Island Tour and Discover Rainy Lake Tour.
Best Time to Visit
Though it is open throughout the year and welcomes visitors but the if you want to spend some peaceful time in the park with fewer crowds, Fall is the most favorable time to visit the park.
The heavy crowds and the bustle of summer are long gone and the hiking trails are transformed by the magnificent colors of autumn.
It is interconnected by waterways and can only be explored by motorboat, kayaks, canoe, and houseboat.
Download this map to get an overview of the entire park and especially curated routes that will help you navigate the park with ease.
Hotels Near Voyageurs National Park
There are tons of lodging options both inside and outside the park including Cabins, cottages, resorts, motels, and more. Here are our top 5 places to stay near this park
- Voyageur Park Lodge
- The Nomad Motel
- Hilltop Lodge
- Copper River Inn
- Falls Motel
- AmericInn Hotel & Suites
The camping experience in this park is quite different than any other national park.
Here you can put your worries away and enjoy the expansive and peaceful lake views all to yourself.
The Park has more than 150 campsites for both front country and backcountry camping only accessible by boats.
Many campsites have their own islands and are located very far apart from each other to ensure privacy. To make reservations, visit recreation.gov.
It has a humid continental climate with warm and long summer and long winters. July is the warmest month of the year, while January is the coolest.
Summer brings long days of sunshine with pleasant weather and tons of recreational activities.
Winters are the coldest in the park, and for the faint of heart. The average daytime highs range from 15°F to 25°F, while lows are -5°F to 5°F.
The average snowfall ranges from 55-70 inches occurs mostly in late October. Spring and Autumn are short transition seasons.
Read: Banff National Park
Entry Fee & Passes
There’s no entry fee to this park, however, all camping sites have a reservation and nightly amenity fees.
Checklist of Things to Bring with You
Here’s our recommended packing list for your first trip to this park to make it safer and more enjoyable:
- Day Backpack
- Rain gear
- Sunscreen & Sunglasses
- Hiking Boots
- Water & Snacks
- Survival kit
- Dry bags
- First-aid kit
- Fishing Rod
- Map & Compass
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Time Do in Need in Voyageurs National Park?
It depends on what you want to do in the park. If you just want a quick overview of the main highlights, one day is enough, but a 2–3-day itinerary will give you more variety.
How to get to the Voyageurs National Park?
The fastest way to reach the park is by flying into Falls International Airport in International Falls. From there you can take a taxi or rental services to the park.
Is there cell service in Voyageurs National Park?
Yes, cellular service is available at the visitor centers and most places with roads, however, it’s a hit a miss in other areas of the park.
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