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Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park - BEST Places to Picnic

3131 Highway 53
International Falls, Minnesota 56649

Park Headquarters
(218) 283-6600
Rainy Lake Visitor Center
(218) 286-5258

Explore the Lakes of the North Woods!

Nearly 200 years ago voyageurs paddled birch bark canoes full of animal pelts and trade goods through this area on their way to Lake Athabaska, Canada.

Today, people explore the park by houseboat, motorboat, canoe and kayak.

Voyageurs is a water-based park where you must leave your car and take to the water to fully experience the lakes, islands and shorelines of the park.


Water is the defining feature of Voyageurs National Park. The interconnected waterways provide recreational boaters with an unparalleled opportunity to explore the northwoods lake country.


Forests cover the land, thriving on a thin layer of soil that has formed since the last glaciers melted around 10,000 years ago. Rocks that formed when the earth was young are exposed here. In Voyageurs National Park, you can touch some of the most ancient rock on earth and watch light reflect on the lake. The waters are blue during the long summer days and bright white when frozen beneath a blanket of snow in the winter.


The distant howl of a wolf, the snap of branches as a white-tailed deer or black bear moves through the forest�sounds that remind us that although we are visitors here, Voyageurs is home to a rich variety of wildlife.

Whether you are here for a day, a week or longer, the lakes and land of Voyageurs National Park offer plenty of opportunities for exploration, fun, relaxation, and learning.

Voyageurs National Park provides a wide range of activities.

The late-summer months of August and September are often the best time of year to explore the park's hiking trails. The weather is often warm and pleasant, and the biting insects have mostly gone away.

The long northern winter provides ample time for outdoor enthusiasts to ski, snowshoe, snowmobile and ice fish in the park. The Rainy Lake Visitor Center is open year round and offers cross-country ski rentals and a snowshoe loan program during the winter months. Naturalist programs are also offered during the fall, winter and spring months at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center.

Spring is a time of transition. As winter snow and ice melts, we speculate about when the lake ice will disappear, opening the way for boaters to begin exploring the interconnected waters of the park again.

Summer brings many water loving people to the park for houseboating, fishing, kayaking and canoeing the interconnected waterways here. All three visitor centers are open daily and boat tours and naturalist programs are offered throughout the summer. Canoes and rowboats are available for rent in the interior lakes through the Boats on Interior Lake Program.

Weather varies all year long. Be prepared for sun, wind, rain, and snow.

Park History

Although the first proposal to designate the area as a national park occurred in 1891, it wasn't until 1975 that Voyageurs National Park was established after a lengthy legislative battle that began in 1962. Many people were involved in the movement to establish Voyageurs National Park, including Ernest Oberholtzer, one of the founding members of the Wilderness Society in 1935.

Voyageurs National Park was established in 1975, but the stories of people who lived in this place stretch much farther back in time.

Places to Picnic

  • Ash River Visitor Center
  • Echo Bay Trail
  • Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center
  • Rainly Lake Visitor Center
  • Woodenfrog Campground

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