Spend a summer day paddling the deep blue waterways along the US/Canadian border. Scan tall pines for eagles’ nests high above a granite shoreline. Hike cool, lush forest trails and stop to photograph a white-tailed deer just ahead. These are just a few of the ways your family can immerse itself in Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota, and camping in an RV will enhance your experience.
Ways to Spend Time at Voyageurs National Park
Four interconnected lakes form the heart of this hiking and paddling paradise—Kabetogama Lake, Rainy Lake, Namakan Lake and Sand Point Lake. RV campers who enjoy kayaking or canoeing will find hundreds of acres of sky blue water to travel. Within those waterways, plan to explore the many islands, bays and inlets once traveled by the French-Canadian trappers who gave the Park its name.
Prefer a little larger watercraft? Take a ranger-led boat tour to learn how the Ojibwe people helped early voyageurs navigate canoes filled with furs to Montreal. Cruise to an abandoned gold mine. Thrill the kids with a trip in the ‘big canoes’ used to ply the fur trade. Find where the ghosts of those early travelers linger. You’ll find a tour to do it all, led by friendly, knowledgeable guides.
More than a dozen visitors’ centers through Voyageurs also offer the chance to learn the history, geography and culture of the Minnesota borderlands. From the magnificent Ellsworth Rock Gardens to the wonders of Kettle Falls Dam, every one of these discovery centers is reachable only from the water, so plan time for some paddling or book a boat tour before you come, through the Park website.
When you’re ready to come ashore within the Park, take a hike to find natural wonders. Trails accessible by land or water range from those navigable by disabled visitors to strenuous hikes meant for seasoned hikers. Some of the most popular include the Beaver Pond Overlook at Ash River Visitor Center, the backcountry Kab-Ash Trail, the Oberholtzer Trail and the Anderson Bay Trail.
Where to Camp
It’s good to remember when coming by RV to Voyageurs National Park that travel to the most popular attractions is best done by boat. For that reason, motorhome campers take advantage of the campgrounds adjacent to the Park and rent or bring along their watercraft
Choose a spot in the towns of International Falls or Kabetogama or in one of the three state forests surrounding the national park. Book your campsites early, as this outdoor paradise is popular year-round. Here’s a directory to campgrounds surrounding Voyageurs, or use this guide to Minnesota campgrounds to start your search. If you don’t own an RV, here’s where to rent an RV for the trip.
Discovering the secrets of Voyageurs National Park can be a breathtaking experience for RV travelers. Whether in a quiet cove or along a sunlit trail, the beauty you’ll find will stay with you long after you’re home. Aren’t you ready to start planning your own trip north?