Established in 1975, Voyageurs National Park is a “water park” in Minnesota popular for refreshing water recreation and rewarding outdoor pursuits. This 341 sq. mile national park features interconnected water highways that present campers and visitors with opportunities to enjoy swimming, boating, and kayaking.
Although more than 40% of Voyageurs National Park is water, this national park which shares its northern boundary with Canada features three visitor centers that are accessible by cars. All the campsites in the park are only accessible by watercraft, however RV campers can make use of two public campgrounds located just outside the park, to the west and south – Woodenfrog Campground and Ash River Campground.
As you settle in at the park, take your pick of what to enjoy, be it hiking, ranger programs or boat tours. The unique situation of this park, within the transition zone between temperate deciduous forests and boreal forests, means that there are plenty of resplendent flora within the park, as well as beautiful wildlife to observe. If you visit the park in winter, there are plenty of activities to keep you going – snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice fishing, sledding, and many more.
Located north of Duluth along Highway 53, Voyageurs National Park is accessible by RVs/trailers and other motorized vehicles. The Visitor Centers within the park are easy to drive to in cars and other vehicles. The campsites in the park are however only accessible by watercraft.
Parking spaces are available for vehicles at the Visitor Centers at Voyageurs National Park.
There is no public transportation to Voyageurs National Park.
Woodenfrog Campground is a campground located in Kabetogama State Forest and accessible to RV campers at Voyageurs National Park. There are 59 drive-in campsites at the campground equipped with picnic tables, fire rings, garbage cans, vault toilets, and drinking water. Two boat docks in the campground offer access to the lake. A picnic shelter is available.
The campsites can accommodate RVs/trailers up to 35 feet long. All the campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis only.
Located right next to Voyageurs National Park in Kabetogama State Forest is Ash River Campground, a public campground equipped with campsites that can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 25 feet. There are eight campsites in the campground, all available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Amenities and facilities in the campground include vault toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, garbage cans, and drinking water. Opportunities to enjoy swimming and hiking are available in the campground.
There are plenty of hiking opportunities at Voyageurs National Park with eight trails and three overlooks in the land areas of the park. The trails vary in hiking difficulty from easy to strenuous and feature ADA accessible areas. Blind Ash Bay, for instance, is a 2.5-mile looped moderate trail that takes hikers through narrow, winding, rocky areas where they can see boreal forests and view the beautiful scenery. The trails in the park vary in length from 0.2 miles to 27.9 miles, offering all kinds of hikers the chance to choose a trail best-suited to their skills.
A wide range of ranger programs are offered in summer and fall for visitors and campers to enjoy while on vacation at Voyageurs National Park. From guided boats tours to interpretive programs, there are plenty of opportunities for participants to explore the park and learn about its natural features and elements. The ranger programs, which are open to all, take place throughout the park. However, most of the boat tours begin at the Rainy Lake and Kabetogama Lake Visitor Centers
Voyageurs National Park is a winter wonderland. The park is a great place to visit in winter to enjoy lots of fun activities ranging from snowmobiling, to cross-country skiing, and ice fishing, and sledding. You’ll definitely find a snowmobile and/or cross-country trail that’s perfect for you. If you visit the park without snowshoes and want to enjoy the activity, you can get snowshoes at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center.
The shorelines in the park which are usually quiet and piney in winter present the ideal setting for ice fishing. To enjoy ice fishing, however, you are required to possess a fishing license and register at the ice house in the park.
Let’s Move Outside is a composite of outdoor activities organized for visitors and campers at 36 National Parks in the US to encourage exploration of the outdoor environment and discover nature in its true form. Voyageurs National Park is one of the parks participating in the campaign.
At Voyageurs National Park, you can participate by hiking on one of the park’s trails, paddling a North Canoe with a voyageur, swimming in one of the park’s lakes, canoeing/kayaking with your family, or exploring the winter landscape.
Situated in a transition area between the temperate deciduous forest to the south and east, and the southern boreal forest to the north, Voyageurs National Park features a wide variety of ecosystems that decorate the different parts of the park. Hardwood forests, conifer forests, swamps, and bogs are examples. Within them, expect to find over 50 tree and shrub species, more than 200 grass, rush, and sedge species, more than 400 wildflowers, and over 40 fern and moss species.
You can visit any of the visitor centers and request a Plant and Animal Guide to help you.
The boreal forest in Voyageurs National Park is home to a wide array of wildlife. With more than 100 bird species and 50 species of mammals, you’ll find that there are many nice options for bird and wildlife viewing at the park.
The moose population in the park is definitely one you’ll want to see. Beavers are also common here. Majestic bald eagles will fill the sky above you and if you’re camping overnight by your campfire, the haunting howls of gray wolves might even be heard.