(800) FALLS-MN (800) 325-5766

Canoe or Kayak for a True Wilderness Experience

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Our National Park is named Voyageurs in honor of the fur trade era laborers that paddled the water routes deep into North America. Exploring Voyageurs by canoe or kayak will bring you up-close and personal with the spectacular scenery and vibrant history of the Park. Within the Park, you will find remote interior lakes on the Kabetogama Peninsula for a true wilderness canoeing or kayaking experience.

Guides & Outfitters Find a DNR Water Trail


River Canoeing and Kayaking

Outside of the Park, there are many other options to canoe or kayak. The Little Fork and Big Fork Rivers are well known canoe streams with campsites, landings and small parks fairly well spaced along the rivers. Ash River and the Little Moose River are a couple of options you can access from the National Park, they flow into the Namakan Reservoir from the south.

While the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is just east of our area, you will find far fewer restrictions here. Voyageurs allows motors, and you do not have to follow a set schedule to launch, camp or portage.

There will be some development along the Little Fork or Big Fork Rivers, but do be prepared to go for miles without seeing any signs of civilization. You will also encounter some mandatory portages, such as the spectacular cascades on the Big Fork River at Big Falls. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources does print canoe route maps, which can be found here.


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No Canoe? No Problem!

The National Park service offers interpretive programs where you can get a chance to paddle and explore. One of their programs organizes visitors to man a North Canoe, the huge freighter version of the craft often manned by a dozen Voyageurs or more. Outfitters, resorts and motels also have canoes available for rent.

The National Park Service


If you are interested in learning more about canoeing and kayaking in the Rainy Lake area, contact our offices at or call (800) 325-5766 during regular business hours.



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International Falls, Rainy Lake and Ranier Convention and Visitors Bureau

301 2nd Avenue
International Falls, MN 56649

(218) 283 9400
(800) 325 5766