Voyageurs National Park is a unique and stunning national park located in northern Minnesota and near the border of Canada. It covers over 218,000 acres and is known for its beautiful forests, scenic waterways, and abundant wildlife. The park is named after the voyageurs, French-Canadian fur traders who traveled and worked in the area in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, it’s a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and offers a range of activities, including fishing, boating, hiking, and more.
This region was 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.
The 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.”
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 the present-day Voyageurs National Park were generally part of much larger journeys.
Boating is a popular activity in Voyageurs National Park, with over 34,000 acres of water to explore. The park has four large lakes – Kabetogama, Namakan, Rainy, and Sand Point and numerous smaller bodies of water, all connected by a network of channels and rivers. Boaters can access the park by boat launch or marina and can explore the park’s waterways by canoe, kayak, motorboat, or houseboat. Boaters are encouraged to follow the park’s regulations and guidelines, including respecting the speed limit, wearing life jackets, and avoiding sensitive areas. Boaters can also take part in ranger-led paddling tours and other activities to learn more about the park’s natural and cultural history.
Voyageurs National Park is home to a number of trails and paths that offer opportunities for hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities. The park has over 125 miles of trails, ranging from easy flat paths to challenging rocky routes. Hikers can explore the park’s forests, waterways, and wildlife and can take part in ranger-led hikes and activities to learn more about the park’s natural and cultural history. Other outdoor activities in the park include fishing, birdwatching, wildlife viewing, photography, and stargazing.
Visitors are encouraged to follow Leave No Trace principles and respect the park’s natural and cultural resources.
Fifty-five miles of the park meanders along the border separating Minnesota and Ontario, Canada. Voyageurs is about 15 miles east of International Falls, MN and 300 miles north of Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.
Voyagaire Lodge & Houseboats is an hour and 20 minutes from International Falls, MN.
Voyageurs National Park experiences a continental climate with four distinct seasons with varying temperatures and precipitation levels. The weather in Voyageurs National Park can be quite unpredictable, with sudden changes in temperature and weather patterns occurring frequently.
In the summer months, temperatures can range from the mid-60s to the mid-80s Fahrenheit (18-29 Celsius), with occasional heat waves pushing temperatures higher. Summer is also the wettest season in the park, with an average of 3-4 inches (8-10 cm) of rainfall per month.
Fall can be characterized by cooler temperatures and changing leaves, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-30s to the mid-60s Fahrenheit (1-16 Celsius). This season is also drier than the summer, with an average of 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) of rainfall per month.
Winter is cold and snowy, with temperatures averaging from the single digits to the mid-20s Fahrenheit (-13 to -4 Celsius). The park typically receives between 40-60 inches (102-152 cm) of snowfall during the winter months.
Spring brings warmer temperatures and occasional rainfall, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-30s to the mid-60s Fahrenheit (1-16 Celsius). This season is characterized by melting snow and ice, leading to higher water levels in the park’s lakes and rivers.
Overall, the weather in Voyageurs National Park can vary greatly depending on the season, and visitors should come prepared for a range of temperatures and weather conditions during their stay.
There’s so much to do in this beautiful northern wilderness!