My girlfriend and I are planning a trip somewhere within a 6 hour proximity of the minneapolis area. This would be both of our first kayak overnight excursion and we want it to be special. some logistics: We have 5-7 days in our hands, we both have 17’ sea kayaks. We’re not sure if we want to do river or lake/lakes camping. A general idea of what we’re looking for: sandbars/sandy places to sleep/camp along river. no rapids (or level 1-2 if unavoidable). places (Superior) not requiring wetsuit. beautiful scenary (waterfalls, wildlife, cliffs, anything).
thanks for any advice/help/suggestions in planning out our kayak camping trip!
Sounds like the trip
we are all looking for. Hope you get your answer. We’ll be watching and waiting for a response.
If you see a bunch of paddlers coming down river…its us.
I haven’t been there so I really can’t make a recommendation but I did look at Voyageurs National Park a few years ago. It’s up along the Canadian border, northwest of Ely. Not sure if you’d need a wetsuit up there but I’d bring one myself. Looks like a lot of power boats until you get a ways back into the park, but no portaging unlike BWCA. Here’s some info:
If anybody has been there, I’d like to hear about it too!
Couple of ideas
Voyageurs National Park comes to mind. I've done limited paddling there at the start of my paddle from Voyageurs to Lake Superior a couple of years ago. I went in Sept (started the 11th, actually) and the water was warm. Motorboat traffic was what I'd consider heavy, but acceptable. There are a ton of campsites and it's very pretty. Some of the lakes are big and can generate waves.
You could look at maps of the BWCA and plan a trip with little to no portages. Sag to Knife and then exploring Knife and maybe a few other lakes would be an easy limited portage route. Or get onto Basswood and follow the border west.
You could head south and paddle the Root River or the Upper Iowa, which are both very nice. The St. Croix is within your distance and is also a nice float. Don't forget the Mississippi River. Put in at Redwind and head south to the border or if you're motivated you could even get as far as Dubuque. That section is definately the prettiest that I've been on, especially from Lake Pepin to Lock and Dam #11.
The upper Mississippi is low right now, but you should be able to put in near Sandy Lake and float south towards home.
Any of these strike your fancy? If so, ask away, I've done them all.
cross the border…
There’s lots of nice areas around the Minnesota/Ontario border. If you’re planning on paddling Lake Superior in Ontario, you won’t find very many sandy beaches for camping.
A nice trip would be from Pigeon River (MN/ON) to Sibley.
or, for something a little more secluded, paddle from Thunder Bay, ON to Rossport Ontario.
If you decide to cross the border, get in touch and I’ll help out if you need a shuttle or directions.
Going back to Voyageurs in Sept 2007
Was there last August (2006) and found the Namakan, Blind Indian Narrows and everything up North to Kettle Falls to be overrun with anglers.
We had to huff it to find available campsites. The anglers just go up there and set up camp for the week.
We are going back in mid-September. From what I’ve been told, the campsites are more plentiful then.
You can always bushwack and set up your own campsites, but that’s always a pain.