Discover Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

Tucked away in northern Minnesota, Voyageurs National Park offers an immersive natural experience, fusing water and land to showcase diverse ecosystems.

Spanning over 218,055 acres, Voyageurs is a fantastical playground for anyone who loves the outdoors. It’s not just the breadth of space that’s impressive—it’s what you’ll find within it.

The National Park Service manages this pristine area, ensuring that adventure and conservation go hand-in-hand. In the colder months, the park’s landscape undergoes a magical transformation as ice becomes a central element. Yes, Voyageurs is widely known for its water resources, but when winter rolls around, ice fishing and snowmobiling take center stage.


Top 3 Facts About Voyageurs National Park



Voyageurs National Park covers over 218,000 acres (880 square kilometres) of pristine wilderness in northern Minnesota, making it the second-largest national park in the state.



The park is characterized by its extensive network of interconnected waterways, including four major lakes—Rainy Lake, Kabetogama Lake, Namakan Lake, and Sand Point Lake—along with numerous smaller lakes, rivers, and streams totaling over 344 square kilometers of water.


Wildlife Diversity

The park is home to various wildlife, including black bears, moose, timber wolves, bald eagles, and ospreys. It also hosts a diverse range of migratory birds, with over 240 species documented within its boundaries.

Camping and transportation in Voyageurs National Park

info_iconBackcountry camping permits required for wilderness camping opportunities.

How to Get to Voyageurs National Park

Getting to Voyageurs National Park typically involves traveling to northern Minnesota. Here’s a general guide on how to get there:

  • By Air: The nearest major airport to Voyageurs National Park is the International Falls Airport (INL), about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from the park’s Rainy Lake Visitor Center. Another option is the Falls International Airport in International Falls, Minnesota. From there, you can rent a car to drive to the park.
  • By Car: If driving from the south, you can take Interstate 35 North to Duluth, Minnesota, then head west on Highway 53 to International Falls. From there, follow Highway 53 until you reach the town of Orr, where you can take County Road 23 to reach the park’s visitor centers and entry points.
  • By Bus: While there are no direct bus routes to Voyageurs National Park, you can take a Greyhound bus to cities like Duluth or International Falls, then rent a car or arrange local transportation to the park.
  • By Boat: If you’re already in the region or coming from nearby areas like Ontario, Canada, you can access Voyageurs National Park by boat through the park’s numerous waterways. Public boat ramps and marinas are available for launching your boat, or you can rent boats from local outfitters.
  • Guided Tours: Some tour companies offer guided trips to Voyageurs National Park, including transportation from nearby cities, guided activities, and accommodations.

Places to Stay Near Voyageurs National Park

There are several options for accommodation and camping near Voyageurs National Park, catering to different preferences and budgets. Here are some options:

  • Campgrounds in Voyageurs National Park: The park offers several campgrounds, including the Rainy Lake Visitor Center Campground, the Woodenfrog Campground, and the Kabetogama Lake Campground. These campgrounds provide basic amenities such as restrooms, picnic tables, and fire rings. Reservations are recommended, especially during the peak season.
  • Private Campgrounds: Private campgrounds are located near the park, offering additional amenities such as showers, laundry facilities, and RV hookups. Examples include the Arrowhead Lodge & Resort and the Rocky Ledge Resort.
  • Lodges and Resorts: There are lodges and resorts near the park, providing comfortable accommodations ranging from cabins to hotel rooms. These establishments often offer amenities such as restaurants, boat rentals, guided tours, and recreational activities. Examples include the Voyageurs Lodge and Houseboats, Northern Lights Resort & Outfitting, and the Voyageurs Inn.
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Best Time to Go to Voyageurs National Park



Summer is the peak season for visitors to Voyageurs National Park. The warm weather allows for various outdoor activities, including boating, kayaking, swimming, hiking, and camping. The long daylight hours provide ample time for exploration, and the park’s lush forests and vibrant wildflowers create stunning scenery. Wildlife sightings are common during this time, and ranger-led programs and guided tours offer opportunities to learn about the park’s natural and cultural history.



Winter transforms Voyageurs National Park into a winter wonderland. The lakes and waterways freeze over, creating a vast network of snow-covered trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. Ice fishing is popular on the frozen lakes, and the park’s dark skies offer excellent opportunities for stargazing and viewing the northern lights. While the park’s amenities may be limited during the winter months, it’s a peaceful time to experience the serenity and solitude of the wilderness.



Spring in Voyageurs National Park marks the awakening of nature after the winter thaw. As the snow melts and temperatures rise, the park bursts with new life—trees budding, flowers blooming, and wildlife becoming more active. Spring is an ideal time for birdwatching as migratory birds return to the area. The lakes and waterways begin to open up, offering excellent opportunities for fishing and boating. Hiking trails are less crowded, making exploring the park’s diverse landscapes peaceful.

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Fall, from September to November, brings a spectacular display of autumn colors to Voyageurs National Park. The forests are ablaze with vibrant hues of red, orange, and gold, making it a picturesque time for hiking, photography, and scenic drives. The cooler temperatures are perfect for outdoor activities like fishing and wildlife viewing, and the park’s tranquil atmosphere allows visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature without the crowds of summer.

Must-See Attractions

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Kabetogama Lake

One of the four major lakes in the park, Kabetogama Lake offers pristine waters for boating, fishing, and exploring. Visitors can paddle through its tranquil bays, fish for walleye, northern pike, and smallmouth bass, or relax and enjoy the scenic beauty.

Rainy Lake

Explore the pristine waters of Rainy Lake by boat, kayak, or canoe. The lake is dotted with numerous islands, perfect for picnicking or camping. Keep an eye out for bald eagles soaring overhead.

Kabetogama Peninsula

This peninsula offers a variety of hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and wildlife viewing opportunities. Don’t miss the Ellsworth Rock Gardens, a beautiful display of rock sculptures created by Jack Ellsworth.

Helpful Tips: Making the Most of Your Adventure to Voyageurs National Park

Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead

Before your visit, take some time to research the park’s attractions, activities, and facilities. Check the park’s website for information on current conditions, trail closures, and any permits or reservations required for camping or boating.

Pack Appropriately

Pack Appropriately

Be sure to pack essential items such as water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, a first-aid kit, and appropriate clothing for the weather conditions. Bring sturdy footwear, rain gear, and any necessary equipment if you plan to engage in outdoor activities like hiking or boating.

Respect Wildlife

Be Bear Aware

Voyageurs National Park is home to black bears, so it’s important to be bear aware during your visit. Store food and scented items in bear-proof containers or bear lockers, and make noise while hiking to alert bears of your presence.

Stay Informed

Stay Safe on the Water

If you’re boating or kayaking in the park, wear a life jacket and be aware of weather conditions and water hazards. Familiarize yourself with navigation maps and regulations, and always practice safe boating.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Voyageurs National Park

To see the Northern Lights, aim for clear, dark nights between September and March. Grab a spot far from light pollution on one of the park’s northern lakeshores. Check the forecast and solar activity to increase your chances.

You can camp at designated sites accessible by boat, including backcountry sites for a more secluded experience. Overnight parking is allowed at visitor centers while you’re camping. Remember, there’s no camping in RVs in these lots.

While the park doesn’t offer cabin rentals, you’ll find private cabins on the adjacent lands. Reservation details and availability are typically provided by the property owners, so it’s best to look online or call them directly.

Voyageurs National Park is known for its stunning lakes, rugged landscapes, and rich cultural history. It’s characterized by its interconnected waterways, which offer exceptional opportunities for boating, fishing, and wildlife viewing.

The best time to visit Voyageurs National Park depends on your interests. Summer offers warm weather and a wide range of outdoor activities, while fall showcases vibrant foliage. Winter provides opportunities for snowshoeing and ice fishing, and spring brings the awakening of nature.

Voyageurs National Park is home to diverse wildlife, including black bears, moose, timber wolves, bald eagles, loons, and various fish species. Visitors may also encounter white-tailed deer, otters, beavers, and numerous bird species.

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