The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, is a 1,090,000-acre wilderness area within the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota. We based ourselves in Ely, Minnesota to explore the central Boundary Waters Canoe area, and Grand Marais for the Gunflint section of the wilderness. Partially because you needed a GPS to ensure you came out where you went into the lake; and mostly because David has a new Garmin GPS watch, I can accurately report that all together we kayaked 37.5 miles in about 7 excursions into the park.
1,000 lakes lie within the wilderness of the protected area. Canada joins this vast lake country wilderness with another 1.2 million acres and another thousand lakes. This is Mecca for paddlers., very serene and quiet with the exception of the sounds of loons. The labyrinth of waterways was long used by the fur traders to bring their pelts to market.
Each day, we simply chose another lake that had a public access point and completed the required BLM permit. Although we chose day trips, you could feel the excitement as groups would be paddling off with the canoes stocked with food and sundries for their week long excursion. Some groups chose to use a canoe taxi and paddle one direction. Then further on you would find another group looking towards the take out point, with visions of showers and comfy beds to look forward to.
When off the lakes we enjoyed cruising around town, visiting the wolf center, having late lunches in the magnificent log lodges alongside the lakes open to commercial outfitters. The scenery was amazing, green, dense, variegated, wild and endless. There are too few places to experience such vast peaceful space, We feel very lucky that we did.