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Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Woman in red shirt canoeing in the Boundary Waters, surrounded by dense forests and clear blue skies
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Accessible primarily by canoe, the Boundary Waters is one of America's most remote and cherished wilderness areas / Paul Vincent

Pushing the Boundaries

Accessible primarily by canoe, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeast Minnesota is one of America's most beautiful and remote places. Its vast wilderness extends 150 miles along the U.S.-Canada border, covering approximately 1,098,000 acres with over 1,100 lakes and 1,500 miles of canoe routes, attracting more than 150,000 visitors annually. To truly understand this incredible destination, you have to come experience it for yourself. 

Couple canoeing on a clear, blue lake surrounded by dense pine forests

Escape into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota / Paul Vincent


Named one of the “50 Places of a Lifetime” by National Geographic Traveler, the Boundary Waters is a paddler’s dream come true with more than 1,500 miles of canoe routes over 1,000 lakes, rivers and streams.

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Family camping in the Boundary Waters

Camping in the Boundary Waters is an annual tradition for countless families


With more than 2,000 designated campsites, 1,200 miles of canoe routes and 11 hiking trails, the hardest thing to decide when planning your camping trip to Boundary Waters will be where to go first.

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Two people sit around a campfire in the Boundary Waters as the northern lights glimmer in the distance

An evening campfire in the Boundary Waters as the northern lights glimmer above / Gary Hamer

Northern Lights Viewing

As Minnesota’s first designated Dark Sky Sanctuary and one of the country's most remote wilderness areas, the Boundary Waters is the ideal place to witness the northern lights.

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Moose standing by the road near Grand Marais

A moose stands by the road near Grand Marais / Jackie Scherer

Traveling the Gunflint Trail

Located in the northernmost reaches of Minnesota, getting to the Boundary Waters is part of the adventure. Heading north from Grand Marais, drive the secluded, 55-mile Gunflint Trail as it slowly meanders through the Superior National Forest on the way to your final destination.

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Carly Aplin riding a dog sled

Minnesota journalist Carly Aplin dogsledding in Ely / Dave Puente

Dog Sledding

Dog sledding the Boundary Waters offers a thrilling ride through a magical winter-white landscape filled with wildlife, stunning vistas, and a magical sense of peace and tranquility.

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Grand Marais Folk School

Grand Marais Folk School / Micah Kvidt

Grand Marais Getaway

For the full Up North experience, carve out some time on either end of your trip to explore the nearby harbor town of Grand Marais. This charming North Shore village draws artists and outdoor enthusiasts alike with scenic hiking, breathtaking mountain biking, artful galleries and more. 

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