"If spring came but once a century instead of once a year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake and not in silence, what wonder and expectation there would be in all the hearts to behold the miraculous change." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 



Boat Ride into the BWCA

Easter Boat Ride in the BWCA




BWCA canoe country

Spring Signs- Low Water Level 


















Spring Has Sprung-

          The 2010 canoe camping season is upon us at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters. The smaller lakes on the Gunflint Trail have lost their ice and the larger ones aren't far behind.  Soon the Boundary Waters will be entirely liquid once again.  It may sound like an April Fools and it may look like May outside but spring has sprung and the canoe camping season has begun. 

      March was unseasonably warm and dry on the Gunflint Trail.  With day time temperatures reaching into the fifties and sixties and the strong spring sun winter didn't stand a chance.  Precipitation was the lowest we've seen in over fifteen years with less than an inch of snowfall and rain recorded.  

     Conditions are dry but we hope April will bring us some much needed moisture to quench the great thirst of the earth. Until then use caution with fire and enjoy the early paddling season mother nature has given to us.


Only the Stories Remain-

     One minute it was winter and the next it was spring.  The snow has melted taking the winter outdoor recreation opportunities along with it.  Gone are the days for winter camping, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.  The snowmobiles have been stored away for the summer and the winter jackets have been replaced with life jackets which now hang in the front of the closet.

     Those plans for wilderness ice fishing expeditions will have to wait until next winter and I'll just have to close my eyes and imagine I am there when I read the stories of Mike's adventures past.

     Read the New York Times article about Mike's winter camping ice fishing trip into the Quetico Park or Men's Journal story from a different winter camping adventure he took.   



Boundary Waters    

Here Comes Summer







Ready or Not Here They Come-

     When does your season begin? As soon as the ice goes off of the lakes and so we say, "Let the games begin!"  We live up here at the end of the Gunflint Trail year around so when you want to paddle we are open.  While we will be working on projects throughout April and early May you are more than welcome to come paddle with us during this wonderfully quiet time.

     It's a peaceful time to visit the canoe country because hardly anyone is here.  Weather conditions can change quickly in the Boundary Waters especially in April.  There may be snow squalls, blizzards or wind and the water is extremely cold.  Hypothermia is a real threat when the lake water and air temperature are both so cold.  Paddling close to the shore will allow you to see more wildlife and keep you safer.

     Save your solo trips for later in the season and find a few other people to accompany you on your early season canoe trip.  It's nice to have two canoes just in case something goes wrong.  There's never a time of year to test rapids or take risks in high waves in a wilderness area and especially not during spring. 

     You can experience real solitude on a spring trip when you have a wilderness lake all to yourself.   Our season has begun so come enjoy us for a safe and memorable early spring trip this April or May.














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 What To Do?-

        Now that the snow is gone and the lakes are opening up there is no reason not to come up to the Gunflint Trail for a vacation at Voyageur.  The trails are in great condition for hiking, the lakes are open for paddling and fishermen delight with the opportunity to fish on Saganaga Lake.

     There are great things to do in May including the Ham Run Half Marathon and 5k Fun Run on Sunday, May 2nd.  Plan to spend the weekend with us at Voyageur for this great event.  If you aren't a runner then have no fear, as race organizers we can find something to occupy your time all weekend long.  Call us if you're interested in participating or helping out. 

     The Gunflint Green Up is a week later this year so you can have 2 weekends in a row of Gunflint Trail fun.  Join us for a weekend of releasing trees and help us plant some more.  There are nature hikes, speakers and plenty of good food to enjoy this May 7-8th. 

      Don't forget your Mother this Mother's Day.  Think she would like to come up to Voyageur for a vacation?  Book any 3-night vacation in any of our cabins at our regularly published rates then choose one of our special packages and we'll further enhance your vacation at no extra charge.

Fishing Fanatics- Saganaga Lake is located on the border of Minnesota and Canada and that means you can fish for Northern Pike year around.  The big ones will be lurking in the shallows due to the spawn and they'll be waiting to bite.  We'll get you set up to catch one.  Included in this 3-night package is boat and motor rental, gas, bait, map and tackle for Northern Pike fishing. 


Love Your Family- Bring your kids to Voyageur Canoe Outfitters and breakfast is on us.  Enjoy two mornings of hot breakfasts and one morning of a continental breakfast during your 3-night stay.  We’ll even give your child a toy they can take home.  We know vacationing with a family can be expensive and that’s why we’ll throw in 8 gallons of gasoline for your vehicle when you book this special package.


Truffles and True Love- If you’re looking for a romantic weekend then look no further.  During your 3-night stay you can enjoy chocolate truffles, a complimentary bottle of champagne and a cheese and cracker tray courtesy of us.  We'll also pack you a trail lunch to take on a day canoe trip or hike.  If you need flowers for a special occassion then let us know as we can even arrange to have flowers ready and waiting for you upon your arrival for an additional charge.


All of these packages are available April through May 25, 2010.  Rates depend upon which accommodations you book for the published rate of a 3-night stay in that unit.  Best of all, when mentioning this newsletter you'll also get the 4th night free.  Better hurry because the weekends are filling up fast.


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Got Fishing Fever? Find a Cure-

     The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness lakes are teeming with fish.  There are a variety of different species of fish in the BWCA but most sought after are Walleye, Northern Pike, Lake Trout and Smallmouth Bass.  While some people come to the canoe country just to paddle and camp in the wilderness others come for the sole purpose of fishing in the Boundary Waters.  There are as many ways to catch fish in the BWCA as there are Boundary Waters lakes but here are four tips to help you catch fish on your next Boundary Waters canoe camping trip.   


     There are thousands of lakes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and most contain a population of fish.  There are a few lakes in the BWCA that do not support any fish.  The first step in a successful Boundary Waters fishing trip is to paddle, camp and fish in lakes that contain the species of fish you are interested in fishing for.  It can be disappointing to fish all day for Lake Trout only to find out later the lake only contains Northern Pike.  Find out what type of fish are in each of the lakes you will travel by asking an outfitter or looking at online resources.  This research and knowledge can make a big difference in the success of your BWCAW fishing trip.

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Layne Kennedy Copyright

Find More Photos by Layne Kennedy




2010 Fishing Openers- 

     One nice thing about living on a border lake is that we don't have to wait for the Minnesota or Canadian fishing openers to go fishing.   Northern Pike and Smallmouth Bass fishing never closes on border lakes so there are plenty of places to fish from now until the Minnesota Opener on the 15th of May.  

     Canadian Opener for walleye is the 15th of May but Lake Trout opener isn't until the 22nd of May.  If you want to go to Canada in search of Lake Trout before that then head to the Quetico Park where Lake Trout fishing is already open. 

     There are some areas that are closed for spawning until Memorial Weekend or the 31st of May so be sure to check the regulations for details.      

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



  Mike, Sue and the Voyageur Crew  

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