Water dominates the landscape of Voyageurs National Park; within its boundaries, more than 30 lakes fill glacier-carved rock basins. Four large lakes - Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan and Sand Point - cover almost 40 percent of the 218,054 acres of Voyageurs, making it one of the few water-dominated parks in the National Park Service system and the only park unit draining northward to Hudson Bay. Hundreds of rocky islands and a myriad of coves and bays are scattered throughout these large lakes. In the midst of all this water lies the Kabetogama Peninsula, a 75,000 acre roadless land mass. The topography of the peninsula and much of the rest of the park is rugged; rolling hills are interspersed between bogs, beaver ponds, swamps and smaller lakes.
Park visitation is highest from May through August when boating, camping, fishing, wildlife-watching and hiking are the main visitor activities. In the fall, canoeists and kayakers can experience the beautiful colors of Voyageurs during a season with less visitors and few insects. From January through March, the park is a primary destination for winter snowmobile vacations.
The Cruiser Lake Trail (9 miles) and the Locator Lake Trail (2 miles) offer hiking and camping opportunities on the Kabetogama Peninsula. Both trails provide access to interior lakes, where watercraft are available for visitor use through reservations made at the Ash River, Kabetogama Lake or Rainy Lake Visitor Center.
Kab/Ash Trail (24 miles), has 4 entry points and connects the Ash River and Kabetogama Lake Communities. Hiking or Skiing.
For day hikes, the Blind Ash Bay Trail (2 miles) provides beautiful vistas of Kabetogama Lake. This trail is accessible from the Ash River Visitor Center. On Rainy Lake, the Oberholtzer Interpretive trail is accessible from the Rainy Lake Visitor Center, and the Little American Island Gold Mine Trail is accessible from the waters of Rainy Lake. Additional information on these trails can be obtained at any of the visitor centers.
See the Hiking Page for more information on hikes in the park area.
There are over 110 miles of snowmobile trails cross the frozen surfaces of the principal lakes. These trails have portages around areas of unstable ice and connect with trails outside the park. In addition to these trails, the minimally-maintained Chainof Lakes Snowmobile Trail twists and turns through the back country of the Kabetogama Peninsula.
There are over 16 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails are accessible from near the Rainy Lake Visitor Center. Join a park naturalist for a candle-light ski followed by a cup of hot cider. This past winter, the Echo Bay Hiking and Ski Trail near Kabetogama Lake was opened for public use for the first time.
Boating and fishing are the most common recreational uses of the park. Known as some of the best walleye water in the nation, the lakes have attracted sport fisherman long before the park was established. A Minnesota fishing license is required.
Even though waters are shared with powerboats, the lakes of Voyageurs National Park are large enough to provide for some solitude. A range of canoe and kayak trips are available, from day-trips to journeys lasting over a week; the Kabetogama Peninsula can be circumnavigated in approximately one week. Inquire at the visitor centers for recommended routes.
Voyageurs provides, watercraft on the following interior lakes of the Kabetogama Peninsula: Locator, Quill, Ek, Cruiser, Little Shoepack and Shoepack. The cost is $10.00 per party per day. Boats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations to use these boats can be made one week in advance at the visitor centers. The trails leading to these interior lake boats are accessible only by water; water taxi service can be arranged for visitors without transportation to these trail heads.
Bear, beaver, birds, deer, moose and wolves to name just a few. See Animails for more information.
Activities & Calendar
Address & Phone
Be Bear Aware
Brochures, Maps, Written Info
Canoeing & Kayaking
Jobs, SCA, Volunteer Positions
Leave No Trace
Namakan Lake Area
Rainy Lake Area
Sand Point Lake Area
Size & Visitation
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