Since 1976

Love the Boundary Waters?
You're Among Friends

Plan Your Boundary
Waters Adventure

From a searchable route library with BWCA maps to information on permits, we have the resources you need to explore the Boundary Waters. With more than 1,100 lakes, 1,200 miles of canoe routes, a dozen rugged hiking trails and over 1.1 million acres, the BWCA offers endless opportunities for adventure.

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Stop Toxic Mining near the Boundary Waters

Two proposed copper-sulfide mines — PolyMet and Twin Metals — risk contaminating some of the cleanest water on earth and permanently polluting the BWCA. If these mines open, they would produce acid mine drainage and cause irreparable harm to our beloved wilderness. Learn more about how we are beating back these toxic mines and how you can join a movement.

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Wilderness education that promotes equity in the wild

Young people who grow up in our hyper-connected, digital world need the wilderness more than ever. Through our No Boundaries to the Boundary Waters program, we introduce students from diverse backgrounds and underserved communities to the splendors of the wilderness, both in the classroom and through week-long trips into the BWCA.

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Thriving Communities

The future of the BWCA is deeply tied to the economic prosperity and wellbeing of the communities that surround the Boundary Waters. We work with local businesses, organizations, and individuals on projects that build thriving communities to ensure people have a stable and viable livelihood.

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Upcoming Events

Ely Conversations - Topic - the Importance of Winter
| Friends Ely Office, 8 E. Sheridan St., Ely, MN

ELY: Community Conversations

Join us in Ely for a monthly discussion, to learn, share knowledge and grow!  We’ll provide tea, hot chocolate and…

| Pilllar Forum and Cafe, 2300 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis, MN

Climate Happy Hour at Pilllar Forum

Connect with the Boundary Waters at Pilllar Forum March 7, 2024. Music, Fun and Prizes!…

People by a truck - Text says July 4th Parade - Ely MN
| Ely, MN

Ely Fourth of July Parade

Walk with us to show your support for the Boundary Waters and the Ely community at Ely’s Fourth of July…

Woodsy Beach scene with text - Ely MN - Cookout at Semer's Beach - July 2, 2023 Family Fun, Free Food, Games & Drinks
| Semer’s Beach, Ely, MN

Semer’s Beach Cookout – Ely, MN

Join us for a fun, family-friendly event at Semer’s Beach July 6 in Ely, MN .There will be games, food,…

Bike parked in front of Cider bar. Graphic says,
| Minneapolis Cider Co.

Gran Portage Bike Tour

Save the date! October 5, 2024 – An epic bike tour linking Twin Cities waterways and benefitting Friends of the…

Explore Our Blog

Breaking news, in-depth stories, tips for wilderness travel, and insights into America’s most popular Wilderness Area.

Hennessy racing in a snowy tree-filled scene in the boundary waters in a sled behind a team of dogs during the brief hours of winter sunlight.
| People | Recreation

From the Boundary Waters to the Iditarod

Follow a young woman’s journey from dog sledding in the Boundary Waters to racing in the Iditarod, the most famous…

How To Help

The wilderness needs people. It needs you.
Learn more about how you can give back to the Boundary Waters.

Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness acknowledges that the land and water we are dedicated to protecting is on the traditional homelands of the Anishinaabe people, who continue to live in the area and exercise treaty rights on this land and water. We humbly work to honor this living history and learn how the Anishinaabe relationship with this land and water continues to grow and evolve. Together, we strive to build mutual respect, trust and understanding around what it means to protect the Boundary Waters.