Voyageurs National Park
3131 Highway 53
International Falls, Minnesota 56649
Rainy Lake Visitor Center
Explore the Lakes of the North
Nearly 200 years ago voyageurs paddled
birch bark canoes full of animal pelts and trade goods through this
area on their way to Lake Athabaska, Canada.
Today, people explore the park by
houseboat, motorboat, canoe and kayak.
Voyageurs is a water-based park where
you must leave your car and take to the water to fully experience the
lakes, islands and shorelines of the park.
Water is the defining feature of
Voyageurs National Park. The interconnected waterways provide
recreational boaters with an unparalleled opportunity to explore the
northwoods lake country.
Forests cover the land, thriving on a
thin layer of soil that has formed since the last glaciers melted
around 10,000 years ago. Rocks that formed when the earth was young
are exposed here. In Voyageurs National Park, you can touch some of
the most ancient rock on earth and watch light reflect on the lake.
The waters are blue during the long summer days and bright white when
frozen beneath a blanket of snow in the winter.
The distant howl of a wolf, the snap of
branches as a white-tailed deer or black bear moves through the forest�sounds
that remind us that although we are visitors here, Voyageurs is home
to a rich variety of wildlife.
Whether you are here for a day, a week
or longer, the lakes and land of Voyageurs National Park offer plenty
of opportunities for exploration, fun, relaxation, and learning.
Voyageurs National Park provides a wide range
The late-summer months of August and
September are often the best time of year to explore the park's hiking
trails. The weather is often warm and pleasant, and the biting insects
have mostly gone away.
The long northern winter provides ample
time for outdoor enthusiasts to ski, snowshoe, snowmobile and ice fish
in the park. The Rainy Lake Visitor Center is open year round and
offers cross-country ski rentals and a snowshoe loan program during
the winter months. Naturalist programs are also offered during the
fall, winter and spring months at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center.
Spring is a time of transition. As
winter snow and ice melts, we speculate about when the lake ice will
disappear, opening the way for boaters to begin exploring the
interconnected waters of the park again.
Summer brings many water loving people
to the park for houseboating, fishing, kayaking and canoeing the
interconnected waterways here. All three visitor centers are open
daily and boat tours and naturalist programs are offered throughout
the summer. Canoes and rowboats are available for rent in the interior
lakes through the Boats on Interior Lake Program.
Weather varies all year long. Be
prepared for sun, wind, rain, and snow.
Although the first proposal to
designate the area as a national park occurred in 1891, it wasn't
until 1975 that Voyageurs National Park was established after a
lengthy legislative battle that began in 1962. Many people were
involved in the movement to establish Voyageurs National Park,
including Ernest Oberholtzer, one of the founding members of the
Wilderness Society in 1935.
Voyageurs National Park was established
in 1975, but the stories of people who lived in this place stretch
much farther back in time.
Places to Picnic
- Ash River Visitor Center
- Echo Bay Trail
- Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center
- Rainly Lake Visitor Center
- Woodenfrog Campground
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