The woods and waters of the Quetico-Superior are some of the finest lake country on the continent. The landscape has been frequently praised, and is a favorite of many writers and photographers for its beauty and inspiration.

Paddling in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Paddling in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Thankfully, much of the region has been set aside as public lands for the enjoyment of all. Here are thousands of lakes, hundreds of miles of rivers, remote campsites and challenging portages. Paddling through the BWCAW, visitors are accompanied by loons and moose (and wolves, bears and Canada lynx, all of which are not frequently seen).

Solitude is perhaps the thing most people venture into the BWCAW seeking. It is a regenerative experience to separate oneself from modern society, left only to the beauty of the land, the companionship of paddling partners, and the quiet reflection inspired by an evening campfire and the lonely call of loons.

There are many ways to experience this special land. The BWCAW is best known for the opportunities for multi-day wilderness canoe trips, though it is also easy to experience the wilderness on a day trip, or via a hike of any distance.

Check out maps and resources for
planning a trip to the BWCAW

The Boundary Waters is not the only opportunity for adventure. Canada’s Quetico Provincial Park, immediately north of the BWCAW, frequently offers even greater solitude than the BWCAW, with fewer visitors and without the designated campsites.

Read more about what to expect from
a trip to Quetico Provincial Park

The BWCAW makes up roughly one-third of the Superior National Forest. The rest of the Forest also offers tremendous opportunities for backcountry recreation, including hiking, paddling, fishing and remote camping. In fact, with the tremendous popularity of the BWCAW, it is sometimes easier to find solitude (and a campsite!) in areas outside the Wilderness.

Check out “Explore the Forest” to find
opportunities for adventure outside the BWCAW

Just west of the BWCAW is Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota’s only National Park. Voyageurs is a land of big lakes and is best known for its boating opportunities (many enjoy houseboat trips on the Park’s big lakes). But the Park is also becoming increasingly popular for traditional recreation like kayaking and backpacking.

Learn more about Voyageurs National Park