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Journey Ideas: Voyageurs National Park And Kabetogama Lake

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Travel Ideas: Voyageurs National Park and Kabetogama Lake
Updated on October 10, 2014 Deb Kingsbury moreContact Writer A Water-Primarily based Nationwide Park in Minnesota’s North Woods — The Land of Lakes
After finishing our canoe-camping trip in the Boundary Waters, my husband and i determined to make our manner down the North Shore of Lake Superior after which inland, ending up in Voyageurs Nationwide Park. But we really knew nothing about the Park or what we might do once we bought there. That part of our journey to northern Minnesota was utterly unplanned.

So here’s what we found, realized, and did once we arrived at Voyageurs Nationwide Park (VNP). We saw solely a small portion of the Park within the few days we had left of our trip, but now we all know what to count on and what to do when we go back. And I’m sure we will.

A Customer Poll
You’ll be able to add a comment under the poll if you would like, to inform us what you did there and what you thought of the park.

Have you Been to Voyageurs National Park?



Not but Cheap Stone Island Wioter Meos Wiodstopper Jtcket Light Sltte Grty but planning to go
See outcomes Voyageurs Naitonal Park Info
*The park encompasses 218,054 acres.

*Of that space, eighty four,000 acres are water.

*There are 4 major lakes and 26 interior lakes in VNP.

*There are 655 miles of shoreline within the park.

*There are greater than 500 islands in VNP.

*The Boundary Waters Canoe Space Wilderness is east of and adjacent to the park.

Things To Do In Voyageurs National Park
Vacationing the straightforward, enjoyable, outdoors method

Boating by canoe, kayak, motorboat, sailboat, or houseboat




Hiking in and across the park


Taking National Park tours and guided canoe trips

Attending Ranger talks and particular speaker collection

Visiting historical websites, like Little American Gold Mine Island

Visiting (or staying at) Kettle Falls Lodge and dam


Cross-nation skiing


Camping and having fun with a nice lakeside campfire

Relaxing, reading, pondering, sleeping … and all that good R margin:0px !essential;” /> Voyageurs Nationwide Park Map margin:0px !vital;” /> Recommended Companion and Trip-Planning Information
This guidebook is written by a veteran paddler, with an overview of what to count on and the way to organize for boating within the Boundary Waters, together with Voyageurs National Park, detailed maps with access factors and routes, and each waterway’s character, problem, and the most effective times to paddle.

The ebook also comprises lists of local paddling organizations and data assets, advisable journeys for experienced paddlers and novices alike, historical information and wildlife.

Voyageurs National Park is a boater’s paradise, whether by paddle, motor or sail.
Where To Go Whenever you Get To Voyageurs Nationwide Park
Head to a Visitor Middle
Voyageurs Nationwide Park is not like most of the opposite National Parks I’ve been to, the place you drive up to a primary entrance gate, pay or present your annual Nationwide Park move, get some information from a ranger, and proceed to a parking space and a few type of fundamental constructing before transferring on to explore. Voyageurs National Park, then again, is more spread out and does not “funnel” you to any explicit level. There is not any entrance gate to this Park and no concentrated visitor space.

When Steve and i bought to the overall space of the park, we first went to Woodenfrog State Forest Campground on Kabetogama Lake, which we might examine on-line, and secured ourselves a site. We put up our tent but then didn’t actually know what ought to come subsequent. So we drove again down the street a short way and ended up at a ship ramp, where we perused brochures accessible at the information board. We discovered there have been several Park visitor centers and figured we must always go on to the nearest one to find out what was up and the place and the way and what to do.

So we walked into the Kabetogama Lake Customer Center, and that i mentioned to the smiling ranger who instantly stepped from behind the desk to greet us, “Hi, we’re clueless.” And that was all I wanted to say. The ranger was very useful in explaining the park, exhibiting us the map and giving us solutions and more brochures. After that visit, we did not feel misplaced at all.

So that is how I recommend you start your go to to Voyageurs.

And there are three customer centers and one Ranger Station you possibly can select from:

Rainy Lake Visitor Middle, open yr-round (218-286-5258)

Kabetogama Lake Customer Center, open seasonally (218-875-2111)

Ash River Customer Heart, open seasonally (218-374-3221)

Crane Lake Ranger Station (218-993-2481)

The Lakes Of Voyageurs Nationwide Park
There are 4 main lakes in Voyageurs Nationwide Park — Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan and Crane Lake, with Kabetogama Peninsula in the midst of it all, accessible solely by water despite what the identify (peninsula) implies.

Within Kabetogama Peninsula are many interior lakes, which you will get to by first taking a ship to the peninsula after which hiking one of the trails. At that time, you need to use a rental Park Service canoe or rowboat to explore and camp.

Reservations for the interior lake boats could be made up to per week prematurely by calling (218)286-5258 or (218)875-2111.

From mid-June to mid-August, there is a often scheduled Park shuttle to the Locator Lake trailhead on Kabetogama Peninsula, the place you then hike 2 miles to the interior lake.

Rainy, Kabetogama and Crane Lakes have a variety of resorts on their shores, with cabin rentals, camping and typically lodge rooms accessible. Within the Park, there’s summer lodging on the historic Kettle Falls hotel, managed by a private concessionaire. You can visit their web site at

For more data on the assorted lakes, listed below are some good web sites:

Rainy Lake (also Worldwide Falls, Ranier and Rainy River)–

Crane Lake–

Kabetogama Lake–

A view from our island campsite, which we had all to ourselves
Kabetogama Lake
Pronounced “Kab-e-TO-gama” (the TO is like “toe)
This is the lake my husband and i visited on our latest journey, where we spent our first night time at Woodenfrog State Forest campground. The following morning, we rented a canoe from Arrowhead Lodge (see beneath) and paddled out to an island campsite.

After setting up our tent on Grassy Island South, which we might have all to ourselves for the night, we paddled the remainder of the best way across the lake — one other 2.5 miles — to Ellsworth Rock Gardens (beneath) for a picnic lunch.

On our paddle across Kabetogama, we passed a number of giant rock islands lined with cormorants and white pelicans, and numerous loons paddling and diving close by.

There are more than 200 islands of various sizes on Kabetogama Lake.

Many lake shore rocks have been covered with colorful lichen. It was like artwork.
Steve tries to catch a fish with his naked fingers on the shore of “our” island.
But he comes up with fish bait as an alternative–an enormous leach. Ew!
Sunset from our campsite on Grassy Island South, Kabetogama Lake
Ellsworth Rock Gardens on Kabetogama Lake
A Vacation spot in Voyageurs Nationwide Park
On our map of Kabetogama Lake, Steve and i noticed “Ellsworth Rock Gardens” on the far shore and, not knowing what we’d find there, determined to paddle the three miles throughout and check it out. What a lovely place we discovered, and we loved a picnic and a stroll around the realm.

From 1944 to 1965, a man named Jack Ellsworth created terraces on the 60-foot granite outcrop on what was then his trip property. The terraces contained 32 styles of flowers, including 13,000 lilies. The gardens, now being refurbished by the Park Service, are full of stone and concrete sculptures.

I remember reading on the interpretive signal that Mr. Ellsworth stated he made the gardens because he “just wanted one thing to do.” The signal talked about 15,000 hours of work, and it’s evident whenever you see all of the large rocks and countless smaller stones Mr. Ellsworth had to maneuver.

Ellsworth Rock Gardens is a beautifully groomed space, with a covered picnic pavilion and a large, grass lawn. While we have been there, we were visited by a daring deer who’s clearly used to getting handouts (although feeding wildlife is presupposed to be prohibited). Nonetheless, it was lovely to get a protracted, shut-up view of the beautiful animal (which we did not feed).

The Ellsworth Rock Gardens are accessible only by water. You’ll be able to take a water taxi if you’d like or one of the naturalist-guided boat tours that depart from the Kabetogama Lake customer middle throughout the summer time.

A daring deer at Ellsworth Rock Gardens
Ellsworth Rock Gardens: A lovely place to picnic on the shores of Kabetogama Lake
Arrowhead Lodge on Kabetogama Lake
The proper place to remain
Arrowhead Lodge is situated proper next to the boat ramp at Woodenfrog State Forest Campground, which is how we ended up wandering over there. We would seen on the campground board that there were showers out there on the lodge ($three per person if you’re not staying at the lodge, or $four in the event you need a towel), and we were additionally keen on renting a canoe from them for an in a single day journey (for which they charged us simply $20). The lodge was so nice and the house owners so friendly, we determined to remain there for a night after returning from our canoe-camping outing.

Constructed within the 1920s and early 30s and open yr-round, Arrowhead Lodge is an attractive, enjoyable, household-owned and friendly place to spend a while, whether you rent a 1 to 4-bedroom cottage, stay in one in every of their cozy, upstairs rooms within the lodge, or use an RV house. You may sit and read or just loosen up by the lake, by the fireplace, on the lawn, a deck or dock, or at the rustic bar in the lodge. You possibly can rent a motorboat, a canoe, a kayak or pontoon and do some fishing or simply sightseeing and wildlife-watching on the water. Or maybe even take a guided tour with Captain Larry, who’ll teach you in regards to the historical past of the area, points of interest, lake lore and more, with tours being as lengthy or as short as you need.

And there are actions for the children as effectively, and they can earn their “Arrowhead Lodge Jr. Camper Badge” in the process. They’ll study to read a compass, read a map, how one can canoe and kayak and different wilderness “survival” actions with instructor and Eagle Scout, Dave McRoberts, who has a degree in Outside Training and has developed and instructed high angle ropes programs.

And you can eat your meals on the lodge, too, in the event you select, with 1-, 2- and three-meal plans accessible. Dinners include homemade soups, salad, a predominant course and a dessert. They’ll pack a lunch for you, if you would like, so you can spend the total day on the lake, or you possibly can prepare your personal meals on site, with refrigerators, gas stoves and bar-b-ques, microwaves, coffeemakers and toasters at your disposal.

Arrowhead Lodge can accommodate large teams for retreats, family reunions, business conferences and fishing teams, with a big work area nice for quilters and scrapbookers. There’s additionally a nice screened-in porch, so you may enjoy the fresh, summer time lakeside air in the evening with out the mosquitoes.

Wish to read however forgot to carry a guide? No worries, there are many them within the lodge for you to borrow, both fiction and non-fiction and a regional collection as nicely. There are loads of games you’ll be able to borrow and play, a pool desk and videos to watch on the large display Television within the lodge.

For extra information about Arrowhead Lodge, visit their webpage at

Arrowhead Lodge on Kabetogama Lake
Our rustic and cozy lakeside lodge room for $60 ($30 per individual for a couple)
Inside the lodge at night time, within the dining space
Steve enjoyed painting on the screened porch one evening, while I learn and we listened to the water lapping in opposition to shore.
Voyageurs National Park Guidelines and Permits
You possibly can choose up a Voyageurs National Park guide at any of the customer centers with the next information and far more. You may also get a Camping, Houseboating, and Day Use Map which shows the place the different types of campsites and day use sites are situated throughout the park.

**There is no such thing as a payment to enter Voyageurs National Park.**

Basic Rules:

You possibly can accumulate up to one gallon of berries for private use, however otherwise can’t collect anything from the park, together with plants, animals, rocks, artifacts, historic objects, flowers or pine cones.

You can gather lifeless wooden that is no longer standing but not stay bushes and even dead timber which are nonetheless standing.

No firearms are permitted. Also, no air spring powdered guns, archery tools or fireworks. And looking is just not allowed within the park.

Pets are allowed, however NOT on park trails or within the backcountry. Otherwise, they’re allowed in developed areas, at campsites and picnic areas and on boats, but they do have to be leashed.

Don’t feed the wildlife.

Bear-proof your meals and other “smelly” gadgets (ie. toothpaste, deoderant) within the bear lockers offered at campsites or by hanging properly.

Check visitor centers and boat ramp bulletin boards for space that could be closed. (While we have been there, some areas have been closed resulting from eagle nesting.)

Private float planes are allowed on the four main lakes–Rainy, Sand Level, Kabetogama, and Namakan–but are in any other case prohibited on all different waters throughout the park.

You should have a Minnesota fishing license to fish within the park. These may be obtained at area companies and at customer centers. If you wish to cross the border and fish on the Canadian side, you may call (807)274-3655 for laws. The U.S. quantity is (218)283-0769.

Guests must not usher in firewood from unapproved distributors or from out of state. You can get firewood from an authorized DNR vendor or collected in keeping with the principles of Voyageurs National Park. For extra data on firewood in Minnesota, go to DNR.state.MN.US.

On inside lakes, only artificial fish bait is permitted. No privately-owed watercraft or float airplane landings are allowed. There are canoes you may rent for $10 per day from the Park Service. Ask about reservations at one of many visitor centers.

All campsites inside the park are accessible only by water, so you want a ship. Automobile camping is obtainable at non-public campgrounds and at Woodenfrog and Ash River state forest campgrounds.

All park campsites are free, apart from group websites, which are $35 per evening.

A free permit is required for all in a single day stays in the park, but they aren’t required for day use. You will get a permit on the park visitor centers and all park boat ramps.

Fill out one permit per get together–either a person or a group–and show your copy in your tent, food locker, or houseboat, in case a ranger visits your site.

Place the carbon copy of your accomplished permit in the appropriate box before you head out on the water.

A permit will not be a reservation for a campsite. Websites are on a first-come/first-served foundation, Aside from the Voyageurs Narrows handicapped accessible site and group websites, which require a reservation.

Between Could 15th and September 15th, overnight stays are limited to 14 days at a particular site and 30 days in a calendar yr.

Campsites shouldn’t be left unattended in a single day.

Tent campers can’t stay overnight at a houseboat site, or vice versa.

You should use the tent pads provided on the campsites. Small websites have two pads, while larger tent sites have three or extra.

Group measurement limits at campsites are: 9 people at small websites, 18 individuals at massive tent websites, 2 houseboats on the houseboat sites, and 30 folks at group tent websites.

Established campsites all have firegrates, bear-proof lockers, pit toilets and picnic tables.

No camping is permitted at day use areas.
For group campsite reservations, call 877-444-6777 or go to To reserve the accessible site at Voyageurs Narrows, name 218-875-2111.

For information on the State Forest campgrounds, name 218-365-7229 or visit DNR.State.MN.US/state_forests.

Choose from designated campsites, mostly on a primary come/first served foundation.
A Guide For Canoeing And Kayaking – in Voyageurs National Park margin:0px !vital;” /> Different Things We Did on Our Journey to Northern Minnesota
Go to these pages for extra information…

A visit To The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

“Whereas paddling near shore within the Boundary Waters one evening, in search of wildlife because the setting sun created artwork on the surface of the nonetheless lake, my….”

Rendezvous Days At Minnesota’s Grand Portage Nationwide Monument

“Each year on the first full weekend of August, National Park Service employees and a whole lot of volunteers re-create a enjoyable and really genuine Voyageur Rendezvous….”

The Soudan Underground Mine Tour In Northern Minnesota

“As my husband and that i had been driving along quiet Highway 169 on our method from the North Shore of Lake Superior to the town of Ely, Minnesota, we passed an indication that learn….”

© 2009 Deb Kingsbury

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Have you Been To Voyageurs National Park? – Comments and questions are welcome
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sendinglonglakelifestyle four years in the past

I’ve been meaning to go to Kabetogama lake with my household. Thank you for this.

iijuan12 5 years in the past from Florida

No, but it seems like enjoyable! Lovely lens by the best way! Thanks for sharing!

I am shocked you haven’t any mosquito footage…possibly you didn’t have a wide-angle lens :). I really like MN, however have by no means been to this park. I am adding it to my to-do record!

WhitePineLane 6 years in the past

What a enjoyable lens – chock full of great info! I have never been to Voyagers National, however I love northern Minnesota, and i’ve lensrolled this to a couple of my lenses on the realm.

I’ve by no means been to that a part of the US but this lens makes me need to visit Voyageurs National Park 🙂

Stopped by to visit one in all my favorite locations! As I was scrolling by way of, I found myself significantly looking ahead to your photos of the lichen (I love lichen), the leach (now that is an odd thing to understand), your canoe pulled as much as shore (inviting) and Ellsworth’s Rock Gardens (a piece of heaven).

Kabetogama and Voyaguears Nationwide Park are having normal chilly weather for this time of year, have had a lot of rain and wind however the snow storm that hit North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin missed Kabetogama. After all, the winter season brings it is personal tourism and for that, chilly and snow are quite essential. Joyful days to you and thanks for your sort ideas in my course in regaard to my back. I’ve had a pair set backs however am on monitor once more and looking out ahead to not having to be so cautious.

I certain do get pleasure from stopping by here, seems like house! I’ve been putting this message in some of Susie’s guest books and thought I might cease by here as well.

Just thought I’d alert all these planning their dream vacation trip to Kabetogama/Voyaguers Nationwide Park–Convey MOSQUITO REPELLENT! Current frequent rains in the northland has introduced very best conditions for mosquito breeding–they like standing water, so dump any containers outside each couple days to stop hatching. I’ve found that repellent with DEET is the most effective but it is use is a bit contorversial–use it sparingly , ideally on clothes moderately than the pores and skin. Make sure to convey long sleeved shirts, long pants, light jackets, and many others. Pray for a good breeze to maintain the pests away. Enjoy the camp fire, mosquitoes do not care for smoke. Through the day, most of the issues with mosquitoes is within the shade. Why am I sharing this? Properly final evening I went for a walk within the northland carrying shorts and a tank top and virtually turned again before I got out of the yard–I was essentially mosquito bait! I assumed it can be higher once I received on the again highway–nope! I spent a half hour swatting, trying to not breathe as I’ve heard mosquitoes are drawn to our exhaled carbon dioxide–properly that did not work so effectively. Yup, that will be me strolling again tonight–the pleasures of being in this pure beauty far outweigh the little inconveniences.

@nameless: Hey, Tipi! Since I’m over right here in Nepal for 3 months, I do not suppose every other huge trips are to ensure that the remainder of the year (simply small stuff closer to house). Undoubtedly Subsequent 12 months, though. That is the plan. Are you living back there now, or do you simply visit??

Here is a “wish you have been there” second. Tomorrow evening there’s a full moon and the folks at VNP will have fun it with a phases of the moon presentation by park naturalist Kim Reich to be adopted by a snowshoe trek in the moonlight. The night will end with conversation round a campfire. All it’s a must to do to participate is show up on the Rainy Lake visitors middle for this free occasion. I’ve attended many of the VNP naturalist packages over the years and all the time learned one thing new about the world although I grew up at Kabetogama.

@nameless: Hey You! Any plans to go to Kabetogama Lake this 12 months? I would definitely met up with you and Steve, if in case you have the identical timing. I have to get caught-up with you and the book.

The Minnesota’s Governor’s Fishing Opener was at Kabetogama this 12 months. He caught a 22″ Walleye and some other. ~ Loves and blessings!

Had to cease by to commemorate Voyaguer’s National Park marking it’s 35th anniversary on April 8th!

We had the earliest ice-out on Kabeotgama in history on April third this year. The following earliest time was on April thirteenth. A few years folks have been praying and crossing their fingures and toes that it will go out for the fishing opener. Speaking of the fishing opener, it will likely be a big one at Kabetogama this yr as Governor Pawlenty will likely be casting his line there this year.

AuthorDeb Kingsbury 7 years in the past from Flagstaff, Arizona

@nameless: Hi, Tipi! Thank you and Comfortable Easter to you as nicely. I can’t wait to get again up there to VNP and the Boundary Waters. In all probability will not happen this year due to the Nepal journey, but 2011 for certain!

Blissful Easter Deb and Steve. ~ On April eight, 1975, Voyageurs National Park was authorized as the nation’s 36th nationwide park. The park and its partners are remembering those years and celebrating the longer term with 35 particular actions for the public and are for all ages to expertise Voyageurs National Park.

BertBert 7 years ago

A superb place to go to isn’t it? I had a chance to see Voyageurs and go kayaking on Kabetogama about 5 years ago. Want to spend per week longer than I did and see more. Ellsworth’s is a place I wish to see and simply be. – bert

Comfortable new year to you Deb. I want you all that you could dream and reach for.

You dream big and your attain is far. On prime of that, you’re a sweet person.

As soon as once more I enjoyed visiting this lens, because it grounds me to my roots.

I’ll be transferring again to Kabetogama, right now I’m undecided when. I am so glad!


I think this place appears to be like implausible.

We’re out this way very quickly and I actually should visit this place this appears to be like like a complete


Our web site isn’t fairly as good as this

Cheryl Kohan 8 years in the past from Minnesota

That is just terrific! Have not been up there although our son and his wife have. But this actually makes me need to go to VNP. I’d stay in the Lodge, although…I’m simply not a camper at coronary heart – ah! I am adding this as a Featured Lens on my Northwest Angle of Minnesota lens. Good outdated Minnesota! Thanks for visiting our nice state.

I exploit to work at Arrowhead as a teen, principally within the kitchen however generally I helped with cabin cleaning, forgot to say that. It’s a ravishing place, never did keep there though.

I received this lensrolled to my seven Kab and VNP lenses and have it featured on all of them. I kind of really feel like that is an adopted baby of mine now. Appears to be like like Shelly discovered it refreshing too! 🙂

The pictures carry back so many reminiscences. I can hardly wait to go visit Mom again in October.

Wow! A wonderful presentation of the land that I like and call house, yup, I grew up there with Susie aka Tipi. I agree along with her that you’ve undoubtedly captured the essence of the land that we love and should say that you must be a really tuned in particular person to have achieved that in such a brief time. It was a pleasure to take pleasure in Kabtogama and VNP though your very sensitive presentation. My soul is nicely satisfied, I’ve been home! Bless you.

Great lens that is now one among my favorites and I will be more than happy to get this featured on all of my Kabetogama & VNP lenses. You’ve got brought the essence of my home land to my senses. I could odor the fresh air and the lake water and the tress. Deb that is lovely!

I feel its fantastic the way you make a lens about the place that you just journey to, locking in the reminiscences as you share your fantastic tales.

Thank you,

tandemonimom lm 8 years in the past

Lovely photographs! Well, aside from the leech. [shudder] 5* and lensrolled to Tonto Pure Bridge, the state park attraction we visited this summer time!

Samantha Devereux eight years ago from Columbia Mo

Apart from the leach it seems to be like a blast!

Bambi Watson 8 years ago

I really like the VNP! My nice-nice-nice-great grandfather was a voyageur and considered one of the first white settlers in Minnesota over 200 years in the past…the little little bit of me that is not Irish is French-Canadian…I at all times love imagining what it was like for my ancestors each time I go to the VNP

Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

Wonderful journey! You had so much enjoyable! Would love if I was there! 🙂

julieannbrady 8 years in the past

OMG! That was one big leech! That could be just enough to keep me out of Lake Kabetogama. I don’t do leeches of any form.

Rachel Area eight years in the past

Not me however it appears lovely! I might love to go there. Awesome pictures of your vacation! Eww on the leech though!! 5*

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