Sightseeing at Voyageurs National Park
No one should visit Voyageurs National Park without first reading one of esteemed naturalist Sigurd F. Olson's classic nature books, The Singing Wilderness or Runes of the North. Olson, the resident spirit of the Quetico-Superior region, wrote that Voyageurs National Park "is the most magnificent and beautiful lake and river country on the continent, possibly in the world."
Voyageurs National Park is home to beautiful landscapes, including the lovely Kabetogama Peninsula and other wild lands west of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Here, one may paddle up streams and across lakes to areas where moose, mink, deer, black bear, wolf, and otter still live in abundance.
In the fall, the berry-picking (strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry) is wonderful, and the leaves on the red maples and paper birches are as bright as any found in New England. The fishing in the Voyageurs is legendary for its walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, trout, and even the rare lake sturgeon.
Voyageurs is a large enough park that one can slip away across the waters, as if back down the stream of time, and visit this part of North America when the modern age was still far off and the world was young.
Voyageurs National Park Photo Opportunities
Voyageurs National Park has plenty of breathtaking scenes for taking photos, including:
- Kabetogama Peninsula This 75,000-acre roadless land mass is a great example of the topography of most of the park, with rugged, rolling hills interspersed between bogs, beaver ponds, swamps, and smaller lakes.
- Historic Kettle Falls Hotel and Dam: Visitors to the Kettle Falls Historic District can look south into Canada from the international border. Be sure to also check out the dam, the dam tender's cabin, and the Kettle Falls Hotel (built in 1912).
- Echo Bay Trail: This 2.3-mile path will lead you through aspen forests, rocky pine-covered ridges, and beaver ponds. You may also catch a glimpse of great blue herons, warblers, woodpeckers, and the occasional great gray owl.
- Blind Ash Bay: Travel a scenic 2.5-mile loop through rolling forest out to a lakeside view of Blind Ash Bay. Blueberries are abundant at this spot in mid-summer.
A Trip to Locator LakeVisitors can get to know some of the natural delights of Voyageurs National Park by taking a ranger-led trip from the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center to Locator Lake.
The weekly trip includes travel by boat, canoe, and on foot. A boat takes visitors across Kabetogama Lake to a dock near La Bontys Point. From there you walk on a two-mile trail through a spruce bog and past a fascinating beaver dam and lodge. After you climb the ridge, the trail drops down through pine trees to the shore of Locator Lake.
The Park Service keeps several canoes cached at the site. With a ranger in the lead, visitors board canoes and paddle around the lovely woodland lake. The reward for this effort is the chance to see bald eagles, loons, ospreys, blue-winged teal, and, occasionally, herons.
Take a look at the next page to learn about the history of Voyageurs National Park, including interesting information about the land's Native American inhabitants.