Voyageurs Natl Park or BWaters

We’ve opting for Voyageurs Natl Park instead of BWaters (we don’t want to hike with our kayaks). We have the Natl Geographic Map, haven’t studied it yet. Any recommendations on put-ins, boat-in camp sites and routes for 2-3 night camping. Is water OK to filter?

How much boat traffic is there in mid September? Should we get skirts for our touring kayaks?

I would
have skirts for your yaks. It can get pretty cold in sept, & water temps can be cold as well. Last thing you need is to swim & be 1-2 days from getting back. It is a beautiful area with tons of camp sites. (fees apply) Here’s a link to Voyageurs FAQ. You won’t see a lot of traffic that time of year-mostly fishing on the big lake. Can be a little dicey if it’s windy on the big lake as well-big waves.

Get a map from the visitor center (have them mail it to you)It will show camp sites etc… Have fun.

Voyageurs put-ins and camping
Hi there,

We went in 2 family groups from the Ash River (park hq) put in and paddled about 45 minutes into Lost Bay. There are about 5 or 6 really excellent sites there especially if you get in a bit earlier in the afternoon during July. We stayed on Lost Bay Island which had two tent pads (for large family tents!), fire ring, bear box and picnic table with plenty of shade from red pine. Decent fishing of island and some secluded swimming in front of site. Enjoy it as Lost Bay was a great place to land.

We’ve done two trips
One was a six day circumnavigation of the Kab Peninsula.

Definitely requires spray skirts and allow a weather day. Power boats are no problem, there’s room for all and everyone was courteous. Water is clean and clear with some tannin in places.

Ash River is a good start point. We put in at campground a few miles up. A trip on up to the falls is worth it I bet that place rocks after a big rain. Fishcamp(I think that’s the name) Island is neat to read the story of the lady who lived there. The father of a park worker we met used to bring groceries to her. She’d get ticked off if he didn’t bring whiskey.

We had long boats and camped two nights about 5 mile E of Ellsworth Gardens and did a day trip there. Then a day trip to near Kettle Falls Hotel. Visit there for meals and showers. Make sure to be careful at the bar it is the crookedest one in the country. You could also do a power boat shuttle to the hotel then paddle out of there, but check with them first. There are enough places to paddle for months just between Ash River and Kettle Falls.



boat registration
I believe you have to have your boat registered in either your home state, or a MN registration

not positive that Voy N.P. rules may be different, but I don’t think so.

Maps with miles?

– Last Updated: May-08-13 10:50 PM EST –

I've requested a map from the Parks service, but is there a map or other source with miles between campsites? It's hard to calculate mileage from the National Geographic Map we have. Are there nautical maps which would give this information? What would the approximate mileage be, for instance, between the Ash River Visitors Center and Kettle Falls hotel? Is there a portage at the Kettle Falls dam? And I understand from reading other reports that motor boaters tend to beat paddlers to the camp sites, so I guess one should take that into consideration when deciding to set up camp -- plan to get there earlier in the day? Seems like some people set up a base camp and then paddle and explore from there. Are there any recommendations on what would be a good base camp from which to paddle to explore interesting inlets and geologic points.
Thanks to all who have responded -- I've checked all your suggestions out and it has made me understand the area much better.

On federal lands
Like the BWCA, the state rules apply, so yes, you have to have a registration from MN or your home state.