Voyageurs National Park
Website – https://www.nps.gov/voya/index.htm
International Falls, Minnesota
This summer, our big adventure was having a new baby. But LAST summer we took a month-long road trip out to Montana.
Our destination for Day #4 was Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota, way up on the border with Canada, and our first new “National Park” National Park for this trip.
This park is mostly water, but we decided to start out with a hike on Lake Kabetogama. The hike starts just around the corner from the Ash River Visitors Center and was three miles.
We then drove up to International Falls and cut down to the Rainy Lake Visitors Center, where we had tickets for “The Grand Tour”, a 2 1/2 hour ride on Rainy Lake.
Partway through the ride, the boat pulls up and disembarks on Little American Island. Here there was a gold rush in 1893, complete with a wild west style boom town. Everything was abandoned by 1901, but today you can take a quick 1/4 mile ranger hike as part of the boat tour.
Back on the boat, it was time to search for wildlife. And the wildlife most people want to see here are bald eagles. We had an average day for bald eagle sightings… six!
Our boat tour over, we headed back to International Falls to camp for the night (all camping in the park itself is backcountry or at the Kettle Falls Hotel. Either way, boat access only! Maybe next time!)
The next morning, we came back to the park, the highlight of which was The Pres earned his very first Junior Ranger badge. He was very proud.
Then it was off across Minnesota toward our next stop, Lake Itasca and the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
Our previous day? Apolostle Islands National Lakeshore – Bayfield, Wisconsin
Our next day? Itasca State Park, Clearwater County, Minnesota
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BALD EAGLES, beautiful lakes, some of the best canoeing anywhere (guh... next time), wildlife, and not much in the way of crowds.
Stupid bugs! Also, no drive up campsites in the park, although we found a very local spot in International Falls just ten blocks from the border with Canada.