Voyageurs National Park lies in the southern part of the Canadian Shield, representing some of the oldest exposed rock formations in the world. This bedrock has been shaped and carved by at least four periods of glaciations. The topography of Voyageurs National Park is rugged and varied; rolling hills are interspersed between bogs, beaver ponds, swamps, islands, small lakes and four large lakes. In the years since the last glaciations, a thin layer of soil has been created which supports the boreal forest ecosystem, the "North Woods" of Voyageurs National Park.
This land is rich in human history. Named for the Voyageurs, French-Canadian canoe-men who traveled these waters in their birch-bark canoes from the Great Lakes to the interior of the western United States and Canada. Modern voyageurs continue to ply these waters. The water, accompanying scenery, geology and rich cultural and natural resources that give Voyageurs its national significance, merits its protection for the enjoyment of present and future generations.
On the northern edge of Minnesota's border, 55 miles of the park meander along the Canadian border with Ontario. Voyageurs is about 15 miles east of International Falls, MN and 300 miles north of Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.
Voyageurs is a water based park. Access to the Kabetogama peninsula, the islands and nearly all of the park's shoreline is by watercraft. Free public boat ramps and parking are available at the park's visitor centers and at the Kabetogama State Forest Campgrounds.
Voyageurs National Park was authorized in 1971 and established in 1975. Its purpose is to preserve "the outstanding scenery, geological conditions, and waterway system which constituted a part of the historic route of the Voyageurs who contributed significantly to the opening of the Northwestern United States" The national park encompasses an environment of lakes, wetlands, and upland forest of approximately 218,059 acres. The park area includes four large lakes (Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, and Sand Point) and more than two dozen smaller ones.
Perhaps the essential words in the park's enabling legislation are "part of the historic route." The park's terrain is a representative portion of a much greater historical geography. The voyageurs' travels through what is now Voyageurs National Park were generally part of much larger journeys. Rainy Lake was a transportation hub and a strategic crossroads in the fur trade.
The staff at Voyagaire Lodge has made a career out of understanding the special qualities of this unique park and are happy to guide you on your journey. Ask us about the Native American Pictographs painted onto the granite bluffs, an important part of the park's history. We'll also point the way to the hottest fishing spots on Minnesota and Canada's richest trophy lakes. Or, let us direct you to any of the lakes' secluded islands or bays. The scenery here must be seen to be believed, and we believe the best way to see it is from the deck of one of our beautiful houseboats. Enjoy outdoor adventure, with all the comforts of home, in beautifully preserved Voyageurs National Park.