Voyageurs National Park

If you are an avid water lover, Voyageurs National Park is the place to be. This national park was not given national park status until 1975, but the 218,200-acre park has become the place where almost 200,000 visitors journey to each year.

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Voyageurs National Park

Minnesota’s Leading National Park

Minnesota is home to many attractions, but if the wild calls to you, there is no better place to answer that call than within the borders of Voyageurs National Park.

A Little History

The name Voyageurs may seem a bit strange, but the name comes from French-Canadian fur traders that used to travel through this part of the country selling and gathering their furs. Since the park is so close to the Canadian border, the name fit perfectly with the park. Although these days you would be hard pressed to find any fur traders making their way across the park, you will be pleased to know that Voyageurs National Park offers fun for the whole family.

See the Animals

A visit to a national park would not be complete without some form of animal viewing. Each national park has their own special animals that are specific to that part of the country and Voyageurs National Park is certainly no exception. The animals here are native to Minnesota and include the illustrious bald eagle, looms, grey wolves, and the most playful of all, the fun to watch otter. Throughout the park, you can see otters basking in the sun, but the most common place to see these adorable creatures is right outside the visitor’s center on the dock.

Conservation at its Best

Nature has a beautiful way of maintaining itself without the help of humans, but too many times lakes, rivers, and streams become polluted due to irresponsible humans. The rangers at Voyageurs National Park understand that all pollution will not be stopped in its entirety, but they make efforts to maintain the health of the animals within the park through conservation efforts. One way they do this is to ensure that birds have a safe place to lay their eggs. Bird boxes are found throughout the park along with many other conservation efforts and for more information feel free to ask any of the rangers within Voyageurs National Park about what they are doing to help the animals stay safe. For the safety of any animals resting within, please do not open boxes or disturb the animals in any way.

Winter in the Park

Minnesota is known for their very harsh winters and you would think that the conditions would call for Voyageurs National Park to close during the winter, but instead it thrives. Ranger led hikes are common in most national parks, but the winter ranger led snowshoeing hikes through the park should never be missed. You are not charged for participating in these hikes, but are required to bring your own set of snow shoes. The hikes change each week so make sure that you call in advance if there is a specific part of the park you would like to explore with the ranger. Some of the hikes even allow visitors to explore the edge of the many lakes throughout the park during the winter giving guests the chance to see how the harsh grip of winter can freeze even the largest bodies of water solid.

Things to Know

There are no entrance fees associated with Voyageurs National Park so it is the perfect place to take the budget conscious family. Transportation throughout is sometimes only available via boat and those fees do vary by time of year and destination, so make sure that you understand those fees to avoid any confusion. Fees for camping are charged and reservations are recommended as sites fill up quite quickly during the summer months. Small sites with no tent pads are $16 per night, sites with one tent pad are $18, and sites with 2 tent pads are $20. If you require a larger tent site, the fee is $24. Backcountry fees are $16 per night.

Other fees that you may come across while staying within Voyageurs National Park are the use of rowboats and canoes. These fees are dependent upon if you plan on using the vessel for an overnight excursion or merely for the day. Overnight will cost $28 while the day use is only $12.

Another option that you may want to consider during your stay is the opportunity to stay in a houseboat. Houseboat rental is quite popular within the area and they are permitted within the park. Rental fees vary depending on where you rent from, but a houseboat may be perfect for your family especially if you want to experience the gentle rocking of the boat while you and your family slumber away. Voyageurs National Park has something for everyone.