Lodging Near The Wilderness
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness -- BWCAW -- comprises over one million acres in
Northeastern Minnesota along the Canadian border. This area joins with Quetico
Provincial Park in Canada, which occupies another million acres of lakes and forest.
There are over 2,000 lakes and 2,000 campsites, making the Canoe Country perfect
for wilderness retreat.
These areas are home to many diverse types of plants and
wildlife, including: White Pine, Red Pine, Birch, Jackpine, Aspen, Mountain Maple, Bulsam
Fir, the Timberwolf, Moose, White Tailed Deer, Black Bear, Coyote, Fox, Bald Eagle,
Osprey, Blue Heron, Mink, Otter, Fisher, Pine Martin, Walleye, Northern Pike, Smallmouth
Bass, Lake Trout, Stream Trout, Crappie, and the occasional canoeist.
BWCA Rules &
Leave No Trace: A
to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness! To preserve the values that you came
to experience, certain regulations have been established. Test your knowledge of
BWCAW regulations by answering the following questions.
Is it necessary to
enter the BWCAW at the entry point and date shown on your permit? Why?
YES! Entry points and dates regulate visitor distribution and
support solitude. Your permit must be in your possession while you are in the BWCAW.
Where must you camp in
At one of the campsites designated by a USFS firegrate and latrine or
within designated Primitive Management Areas as specifically approved on your visitor's
Is it okay to cut,
peel or deface a tree or shrub or pick flowers?
No! It is unlawful to damage any living plant. Even minor
damage adds up. Remember, you are one of nearly 200,000 annual visitors.
Firewood: What should
you gather and from where?
Paddle well away from camp. Walk out of sight of the shoreline.
collect only dead wood that is no longer standing.
Where can you have a
Only within a U.S. Forest Service firegrate or as specifically approved on
your visitor's permit. Put fires out cold at night and each time you leave your
What is the nine
person rule and four watercraft rule?
No more than 9 people can be together at any place in the Wilderness, on
the water, portages, or in camp. Smaller groups have less impact on the land and
other visitors and are more likely to see wildlife. Four Watercraft are the maximum
allowed with a group.
What rules apply to
cans and bottles in the BWCAW?
Carry your food and drinks in reusable plastic containers. Can and
glass bottle are not allowed except for fuel, insect repellent, medicines and toilet
What should be done
with food leftovers and fish remains?
Try to plan your meals so you don't have leftovers. If you do, pack
them out. Fish remains can be left on a rock far from camp for scavengers. Be
sure to cut them into small pieces. If not consumed before you break camp, bury them
well away from campsite.
Are latrines meant for
No! If you pack it in...pack it out!
Is it okay to wash
yourself and you dishes in the lake or stream?
No! To preserve water quality wash at least 150 feet from water
sources and bury the waste water in a shallow hole. This allows for filtering
through soil and breakdown of bacteria.
A quiet camper is a no
trace camper. Why?
Noise impacts other people's solitude and scares off wildlife.
Is motorized equipment
allowed in the BWCAW?
Motorized watercraft meeting specific horsepower limitations are allowed
only on designated routes. No other motorized or mechanized equipment (including
pontoon boats, sailboats and sailboards) is allowed except for the use of portage wheels
on specific routes.
Should you bring your
dog? If you do, what responsibilities do you have?
Dogs impact wildlife and barking intrudes on the experience of others.
Dogs must be under control at all times. Bury fecal matter 150 feet from
What rules apply to
Firearms cannot be discharged within 150 yards of a campsite, portage, or
lakeshore unless you are a licensed hunter participating in a legally authorized hunting
activity. State game laws apply in the BWCAW. Fireworks of any kind are
you break camp and load up the canoe, do a final inspection of your camp. Pick up
any remaining litter. Your fire must be cold to the touch.
Please treat the BWCAW with care. Leave no trace of
your visit so that we may protect the integrity of this special place for future
The above are enforceable Forest Service regulations
(maximum penalty of $5000 and/or 6 months in jail).
Permits and Camping Fees:
Are required by the Forest Service. A strict quota system
regulates the number of parties that may enter the woods each day. We will handle all of
the paperwork with theForest Service regarding camping fees and permit in your name as
soon as we receive your reservation and deposit. You should select your dates as far in
advance as possible to ensure getting the dates of your choice.
It is very important. Draw on our 20 years of experience
in canoe country for advice on routes, travel time, food & equipment, fishing &
Where to Go:
We will be glad to help in routing & marking maps
showing fishing hot spots, campsites, places of scenic or historical interest &
descriptions of portage trails.
Boundary Waters Canoe
Area Wilderness Fee Schedule:
Per person per trip
$5.00 Youth 0-17
BWCA travel permit
$9.00 per group, up to 9 people
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