"There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you.... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.  ~Ruth Stout


Gunflint Trail Winter  

Beautiful Blue Skies 






 Winter Wonderland on the Gunflint Trail

Winter Beauty  













Holiday Hello-

          I had good intentions of sending an e-mail newsletter in December to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  Unfortunately the good intentions weren't enough since we're now half-way through the first month of the New Year.  I apologize for being late but still want to thank you for your support in 2009 and wish you a healthy, prosperous new year that brings you to Voyageur Canoe Outfitters in 2010.


     Winter is here on the Gunflint Trail.  The lakes are frozen, there's snow on the ground and the fun in the snow has begun.  December brought a big snowstorm to most of Minnesota but only dumped half of a foot of the white stuff on the Gunflint Trail.  The good news is the temperatures have been cold so that same snow is still on the ground for our recreational enjoyment. 

     January has started out quite cold.  The evenings have been especially chilly with the 11th marking the first evening the mercury remained above zero degrees.  The average low temperature this month is -15.55 degrees while the average temperature is just -5.57 degrees.  This may help explain why it felt like a heat wave on the 11th when the thermometer reached a balmy 17 degrees above zero.

     Winter enthusiasts are looking for more snow and cold temperatures, myself included.  My list of things to do while there is snow on the ground is long.  There are trails to ski, lakes to fish and places to explore by snowshoe just waiting for me and for you too.  Come join us on the Gunflint Trail and experience what winter is all about.



Winter on the Gunflint Trail

Winter Wilderness





 Mush for a Cure on the Gunflint Trail

Mush for a Cure Fun



 Mush for a Cure Sled Dog FUNdraiser

Don't Forget Your Pink  




Winter Tracks on the Gunflint Trail

Make Tracks on the Gunflint this Winter 






Winter on the Gunflint Trail-

     Visitng the Gunflint Trail in the winter is something everyone should put on their "Bucket List."  There is no better place to enjoy winter than right here on the Gunflint Trail.  It's a quiet and magical place to be when the ground is blanketed with snow. 

     Perhaps the best reason to visit Voyageur in the winter is the opportunity to see moose.  They love to lick the salt off of the roads and they like the ease of traveling on a plowed surface.  On one trip to Grand Marais we have seen as many as 13 moose during the 56 mile journey.  This year's record is 7 but there's still plenty of winter left.

     There are endless activities to choose from when vacationing on the Gunflint Trail during the winter.  Cross-country skiing the rugged and hilly terrain is great fun and the trail options are endless.  Strap on a pair of snowshoes and make your own tracks through the woods or across frozen wilderness lakes.  Maybe you want to try your luck at ice fishing for lake trout or take a snowmobile tour, there are even sleigh rides with horses or dogs.  For a true wilderness camping experience come spend a night or two winter camping.

     The winter wilderness is calling all brave adventure seekers.  Mike will take a group into the winter wonderland of the BWCA March 17-21st.  Participants will explore the snow covered wilderness by day and relax by the wood stove in a canvas tent by night.  Group size is limited for this once in a lifetime winter camping trip so call today for more information. 1-888-CANOEIT

     If winter camping sounds like a bit too much for you then come enjoy the winter wonderland during the Gunflint Trail's 6th Annual Winter Tracks.  You can book a lodge unit at Voyageur and play ourside all day long.  There are guided snowshoe treks, wilderness presentations, cross-country ski races, an ice fishing contest and many more activities planned from February 25-28th.  We'd love to see you make your own winter tracks this year.

     Mush for a Cure is a Sled Dog FUNdraiser on the Gunflint Trail March 13, 2010.  Last year's mushers raised over $25,000 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.  It's a fun event that begins with mushers lying on the ice of Gunflint Lake in their sleeping bags.  At the start they must get out of their sleeping bag, rush to put their boots on and harness up their teams before they can start the journey to Trail Center.  Mushers, their dog teams and spectators dress in pink to support the cause.  It's a great party for an even better cause so please come join us, don't forget to wear your pink.     If you would like to donate money or items for the event then please call Sue at 1-888-CANOEIT.  

Permit Time-

     It's that time of the year when we can start reserving wilderness canoe trip permits for the upcoming paddling season.  The Quetico Park allows reservations to be made five months in advance of the start date of the trip.  This means we can reserve June permits in January, July permits in February and so on and so forth.  The Quetico Provincial Park has a new online system but it is not currently functioning for Backcountry permits.  If you would like to make a reservation then you may do so by phoning 1-888-668-7275 or calling us to do so for you.  The permit reservation fee has been lowered from $12.00 to $9.00 plus the $100.00 deposit that goes toward the overnight camping fees.

     The Boundary Waters lottery began on December 1st and ends on the 15th of January.  When the lottery is complete paddlers can reserve their wilderness permits online at http://www.recreation.gov

     If you need help determining an entry point for your Boundary Waters trip then please let us know.  We're hapy to help plan a route that is perfect for your group.  Feel free to call us toll free at 1-888-CANOEIT.












 Shop Voyageur's

 Online Store  









Check out the Boundary Waters Blog 

Voyageur Canoe Outfitters-Where the Trail Ends Your Voyage Begins









Sign Up for the

Ham Run Half Marathon

on the Gunflint Trail!



What's New?-

     Last September representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard came to visit us on the Gunflint Trail.  They wanted to inform outfitters and fishing guides that in order to operate a UPV(Uninspected Passenger Vessel) one must be licensed by the USCG.  A UPV is a vessel hat carries six passengers or less for hire on navigable federal waterways.  

     This compliance was to be enforced beginning summer 2010.  In order to be in compliance anyone driving our towboats would need to be licensed by the USCG.  To get a license an individual must be certified in First Aid and CPR, get a physical, obtain a TWIC(Transportation Worker Identification Credential), enroll in a certified drug and alcohol inspection program and take a Coast Guard Captain's class.  All said and done it could cost $1500.00 per boat operator to become licensed. 

     This license is the same one operators of ferries, barges and other ocean vessels must have.  It seems like a bit much for the remote wilderness of the Boundary Waters where the USFS already limits the number of boats allowed each day.   

     We want our passengers to be safe and we have strict rules governing our own towboat drivers and the passengers they are transporting.   There has never been an accident involving a towboat let alone a fatal accident. 

     We voiced our concerns to the powers that be and they have been receptive.   Their concern is evident in a recent statement from a USCG official, "We are looking at various options to help ease the burdens of the licensing process for Minnesota OUPV operators while at the same time maintaining acceptable standards for safe operation."  We'll keep our fingers crossed the USCG will continue to work cooperatively on this issue.

  WE WANT YOU- We love introducing new people to the wilderness of the Boundary Waters and Quetico Park.  We are very fortunate to live in such a wonderful place and to meet so many wonderful people through our "work." 

     There is a need now more than ever to get people out into the wilderness.  People are becoming too dependent on their cell phones, laptops, Gameboys and iPods.  The constant need for these electronics is all the more reason to get away from it all for awhile and unplug. 

     Please help us spread the serenity of a wilderness canoe vacation by sharing this newsletter, telling people about our blog , following us on Twitter and finding us on faceook.  


Ice Fishing in the BWCA

Wilderness Ice Fishing Adventures



Ice Fishing- 

     Get out your tip-ups and jig sticks and try your luck at some wilderness ice fishing.  Lakes inside the Boundary Waters opened for lake trout fishing on January 1, 2010 and will remain open until March 31, 2010.  Outside of the Boundary Waters lake trout fishing opens January 15, 2010 and is open until March 31st.  February 13-15th is Take a Kid Ice-Fishing weekend in Minnesota. 

     February 1st is the lake trout opener in Canada and this year it remains open through March 31st.  There's plenty of time to come fish this winter so come stay with Voyageur, we'd love to see you here.  


Thank you for reading our newsletter.  We hope you enjoy it and tell others about it.  

  Mike, Sue and the Voyageur Crew  


Sierra Trading Post Sierra Club The North Face Logo