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Voyageur Canoe Outfitters
Winter at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters

Gunflint Trail sunrise

Frozen Seagull River Sunrise

BWCA Winter Fishing
Boundary Waters Frozen

Quetico provincial park

Quetico Park


Quetico Park

 Paddling Fun




Of winter's lifeless world each tree

Now seems a perfect part;

Yet each one holds summer's secret

Deep down within it's heart.

- Charles G. Stater

A New Year Arrives

We hope your holidays were happy days and that your new year is off to a fantastic start. We also hope we will get the opportunity to see you at Voyageur sometime during this new year of 2012.

As you might have guessed our winter on the Gunflint Trail has been far from average so far. We've got plenty of snow for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing but we'd love more.

The Gunflint Trail is one of the only places with enough snow to recreate on. The average snow cover for this time of the year can be seen on a recent blog entry of mine and is summed up by the weather service, *99.5% of the Upper Midwest was covered by snow at this time last year versus just 4.2% this year. (NOHRSC)

I guess we should be happy with the snow we have since so many are going without this year. We've been able to get out  to do some cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing so we can't complain too much.

The Spring like days everywhere else in the Mid-West has folks thinking about paddling the Boundary Waters. We're receiving phone calls and reservations for the upcoming summer. We'd love to talk to you about your canoe camping trip so feel free to give us a call(888-CANOEIT) or send us an email.

Wilderness Travel Permits
 Boundary Waters & Quetico Park

We can start reserving entry point permits for the BWCA on January 25, 2012. If we have all of your information then we can reserve your permit for you. If you don't know your dates yet then feel free to contact as us as soon as you do. Permits for entry points on the Gunflint Trail may be more difficult to get this year with entry points on the Ely side affected by the Pagami Fire.

Due to the Pagami Creek Fire there will be fewer entry point permits and campsites this summer. The USFS hopes to get campsites rehabilitated and opened up quickly but will start out the season with 75 fewer BWCA campsites than in the past. Find out which campsites by reading our Voyageur Canoe Outfitter's Blog entry. None of the entry points or campsites on the Gunflint Trail were affected.

New this year for the Quetico Park is the ability to reserve your travel permits online! This is awesome because it also allows you to see a calendar showing what permits are available for what dates. We've always had to call in to speak with a customer service representative in the past to find out what is open but not anymore.

It looks fairly simple to reserve a Quetico Park permit online but you can still choose to call them 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275) if you prefer.

How to Reserve a Quetico Park Permit Online

We'll still gladly reserve your Quetico Park permit for your canoe trip. The rates for the 2012 season remain similar. If you want to reserve your own permit then go to the Ontario Parks website.

  1. Pick your reservation type- Quetico is a backcountry reservation

  2. Choose your arrival date(can only reserve 5 months in advance of the start date of your trip)

  3. Pick your park- Quetico Park
  4. Pick your party size- 9 or less*
  5. Pick your Residency- Non-Resident or Canadian
  6. Pick your entry Point- Cache Bay is our closest

*Next you start an entry search by choosing one of the options to the right. Find on Map, In a List or On a Calendar.5.

You'll then be prompted to reserve or start a new search.  As with any website it's easier to create a profile before you begin the reservation process so you don't lose any of your reservation information.  You'll need to submit payment in the form of a credit card so have one nearby.

Policies Can be Found ONLINE


How Far Can You Paddle In a Day?

That depends upon ...
How far can you paddle in a day is a question we hear at Voyageur. A more important question you should ask your group is how many hours do we want to spend paddling in a canoe each day?

Some people's idea of a canoe trip is different than others. One person dreams of paddling from sunrise to sunset while the other dreams of relaxing in a hammock. While one person is "Gung-Ho" about traveling the other is "Ho-Hum" and this can make for a long canoe trip.

The average paddlers travel about 3 miles per hour. Unfortunately there is nothing average about the Boundary Waters. Difficulties navigating and time spent portaging can really cut into the average miles per hour.

The amount of gear a person brings along can extend time on portages. Whether you make one trip across or three trips across each portage will make a difference to the 3 mile per hour average.

Also limiting how much time you can spend paddling is the weather and daylight hours.  In mid-summer we have plenty of sunlight and you can start paddling at 5am and not stop til 10pm.  The daylight hours are much shorter in May and September.  Wind, waves and inclement weather can cause your group to not paddle at all on one or two days of your trip.  Plan for those type of days ahead of time.

If you have folks who want to paddle and some who don't then a good compromise is setting up a base camp in an area with lots of day trip options.  That way those who want to do more paddling can paddle til their heart is content and those who want to relax can do that too.

We hope to see you in 2012!
Give us a call to reserve your place in the wilderness.