Normally I trip into QueticoPark, but this year decided to do a Boundary Waters canoe trip with my daughter Sarah and her new husband John. John is a newbie to the BWCA, but an experienced hiker and outdoorsman, who had no trouble with the trip. We did the Saganaga-Knife-Seagull trip for the beauty, and also to get a look at the burned area.
As usual the scenery was pretty and the canoe trip mostly uneventful (other than the nice views), which is what we want–a nice camping trip with no mishaps or major troubles. However, we made our own amusement with “watermelon head.”
We dressed a watermelon in its own life jacket for the paddle (so it wouldn’t roll around) and make jokes about it, let it go swimming in the lake water to cool off at the first BWCA camp site, then sacrificed it on a tree stump alter, after which we ate it! It was soooo good after a long day’s paddle. Probably had to be there to enjoy the amusement.
We did not see any big game, but did find bear claw marks on a white birch tree at one of our camp sites. Fishing was pretty bad or we were just unlucky, but most people we met said they also had little luck that week. That being said, we did catch catch saugers, pike, and bass, but they were generally small and not very many of them.
Once again, as in all previous trips, Voyageur Canoe Outfitters did a wonderful job in assisting with partial outfitting for our Boundary Waters canoe trip. We purchased some last minute items and rented a Wenonah solo canoe due to our odd number, while Sarah and John paddled my vintage 1975 Mad River Explorer.
We had to drive 7 hours to get to Voyageur Canoe Outfitters, so, really enjoyed the bunkhouse stay the night before the BWCA trip, breakfast the morning of, and the showers afterwards.
The staff is always friendly and helpful. Looking forward to our next trip, which will be back into Quetico Park. Hope to have Voyageur be our partial outfitter of choice again.
This August was my second fishing trip to Voyageur Outfitters. Last year we stayed in an RV, but this year we rented Riverside Cabin. Very nice place! There was everything we needed to be comfortable already there. Once again the staff was very friendly and helpful(those that were left!) Many had already headed home being they are college students. I hope to make it up again next year. It is such a relaxing place to spend a week, It makes it very hard to go back to “The real world”! We caught lots of northern and smallmouth bass. Enough that we ate fish everynight and brought home our limit! Can’t wait for our yearly fish fry! I strongly recommend this outfitters to anyone that loves nature and relaxing!
La Porte City, Iowa
I wanted to thank you for your polite, efficient, and professional service. I have been taking trips up in the area for 30 years and have used a few different outfitters. This trip was my first with Voyageurs and it will not be my last. Your staff was great and the service excellent. I will be recommending you to others and will use your services again in the future! Thanks for helping create a great BWCA canoe trip for us.
St. Paul, MN
We had trouble getting to Saganaga Lake in the BWCA June 14th because of the bad weather. We didn’t make it to the Ranger Station before they closed so we had the permit sent to Seagull Outfitters but arrived there after 7pm and they were closed as well.
We were in a panic! I said to our group let’s try Voyageur Canoe Outfitters as we have stayed at your Lodge in the past.
Without question Mike helped us secure our Boundary Waters overnight motor permit!
A big “thank you” from the Kretschmer’s from Wabasha, MN.
Hope to get to your beautiful area one more time before the snow falls as we caught Walleye’s on Sag and my son Charlie caught a 44 inch Northern which was released to excite the next unknowing Smallmouth fisher person casting the shore line.
This year was my fourth trip into BWCA through Voyageur Canoe Outfitters. This year was different because it was just me and my 13 year old son. This was his first Boundary Waters trip. And what a blast we had. I chose the Boundary Waters entry point 54- SeagullLake. My idea was to base camp in Seagull and portage into Alpine to do some serious fishing. After setting up camp the first day Me and my son spent the rest of the day swimming and “cliif diving off of a 8 ft cliff in the northern edge of Seagull.
We decided to go to Alpine in the morning. The first night after cleaning up supper, I was very tired so, i decided to goto bed at about 10:30. My son came in tent about midnight. And rouoghly around 12:30 am it started to rain. It did not quit until 11:00 am the next morning. After climbing out tent at 11:30, my son ask me “what do we do now”.
At about the same time my son woke up from sleep, the sun appeared in the sky. I told my son get up and lets start hanging up sleeping bags and clothes. Everything in tent was completely soaked with rain water. We hung everything up on lines soo we could sleep on dry sleeping bags that night. Since sun was up, we decided to paddle to alpine. As soon as we reached the portage to Alpine it began to pour down rain. I son asked came we go back to camp. I told him yes that was fine. When we made it back to camp, everthing was completely soggy soaked. My son then asked” do we stay or do we go now? Since the time was 4:30, I told him the we go now.
Once we got back to Voyageur Canoe Outfitters Mike informed us the we received 4 inches of rain that day and that all other groups return in the early moring. I felt better that we were the last to come in. Even though we had 4 inches of rain I would not have chenged a thing. My son and I had a great father and son BWCA bonding experience. Thanks Voyageur Crew.
We entered the BWCA on July 20 for a four night stay. We paddled to Long Island lake and made a base camp. We had great weather and enjoyed our trip. The water was the warmest I can remember for the BWCA. The bugs were not bad, except for the biting flies. I plan to visit the Boundary Waters again soon.
I just wanted to thank you guys again for our BWCA canoe trip. It was a dream come true for me. I told Mike that it will not be the last time we book a Boundary Waters trip with you guys! My wife is on board for another trip too…even though we had a bear in camp and 6 feet from the tent with us in it!!! I think the BWCA has stolen my soul.
Bismarck, North Dakota
As BWCA canoe outfitters and parents we’ve had the opportunity to take a number of family canoe trips into the Boundary Waters. We love paddling with our kids and think a Boundary Waters canoe camping trip is one of the best family vacations there is.
While there are a number of great BWCA trips to choose from for your family we’ve decided to list a few here for you to choose from.
Top 5 Family Trip Recommendations
1. Saganaga or Red Rock Base Camp – We’ve done this BWCA trip even when our kids were in diapers. We’ve taken a tow boat ride to the Red Rock portage or to a campsite on Saganaga. We’ve taken day trips, swam, picked blueberries, fished and had an awesome time.
2. Duncan and Rose Lake – When the kids got a bit older we took them into Rose Lake. Stairway Portage is a beautiful portage that is next to a waterfall and is great fun to play in when hot outside. It crosses the Border Route Hiking Trail that can be accessed for day hiking trips that entertain kids for hours.
3. East Bearskin, Alder, Canoe, Pine – Give this route a try if your kids are able to carry a small day pack. A nice day trip is to walk the portage to Pine and then to Johnson Falls. You can camp at one site or multiple sites during this trip.
4. Granite River – A great trip for a young family to do a 3-5 day canoe camipng trip. While there are lots of portages you can break them up by camping at multiple sites. It’s a great trip for avoiding wind because there isn’t big water on the route.
5. Seagull, Knife Saganaga – If your children are a little bit older and have been on another trip then this is the perfect BWCA route. It’s a great 5-6 day loop route that has lakes of all sizes, great fishing and scenic vistas. It requires a bit of paddling and portaging and is a great route for families who want to cover some ground and water!
It’s been pretty cold on the Gunflint Trail lately and I wouldn’t want to have been out camping in the Boundary Waters. Winter camping in the BWCA can be a fun thing to do, but not when the temperatures dip into the -30′s! Last night our low on the Gunflint Trail was -37 degrees actual temperature and it only got up to -3 degrees yesterday for the high. Yep, it’s been pretty cold on the Gunflint Trail.
That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been activity on the Gunflint Trail. The birds have been feeding endlessly at the bird feeder. Neighbors have reported moose, wolf and lynx sightings and of course the fox have been out and about too. As for the two legged folks on the Gunflint Trail their time outside has been a little shorter than usual especially when the wind has been howling like the wolves.
The moon is approaching full and it’s an amazing time to be in a snow covered wilderness. The moon reflects brightly off of the snow and it looks almost like daylight on the lakes of the BWCA. If the temperatures don’t increase a little bit then I won’t be out skiing beneath the full moon this weekend. Until then I’ll be sure to keep the bird feeders full and a log in the fireplace.
Weekly Summary for January 24, 2013
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Daily Weekly Monthly Yearly Custom
High: Low: Average:
Temperature: -4.3 °F -26.5 °F -15.6 °F
Dew Point: -8.2 °F -31.5 °F -20.0 °F
Humidity: 94.0% 76.0% 79.8%
Wind Speed: 20.0mph from the NW – 3.6mph
Wind Gust: 20.0mph from the North – -
Wind: – - WNW
Pressure: 31.25in 30.32in -
It’s a new year on the Gunflint Trail and we hope to see you at Voyageur! While it may seem like summer is a long time away it will be here before we know it. Later this month we’ll be able to start reserving Boundary Waters permits and we can already reserve Quetico Permits for trips starting 5 months from now.
We’re busy at Voyageur talking to folks about their canoe trips to the BWCA and Quetico. We’re also taking inventory of what we have and what we need for the new year. We’ll be purchasing canoes, gear and it’s the time of year we put our outfitting food order in as well.
We hope to see you at Voyageur this new year and wish you all the best!