Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I camp in the park?
Voyageurs National Park maintains over 200 developed campsites which are dispersed throughout the park. All campsites within the park are accessible by boat only. Free overnight permits are required. Pick-up a Camping, Houseboating, and Day Use map of the park at any of the three visitor centers.

Where can I camp near the park if I do not have a boat?
Minnesota operates two state forest campgrounds that are adjacent to Voyageurs National Park.

The Woodenfrog State Forest Campground provides space for tent and recreational vehicle camping. The campground is located on the shore of Kabetogama Lake. A boat launch and swimming beach are available that provide immediate access to the waters of Voyageurs National Park. For more information, call (218) 365-7229.

A smaller campground is available in the community of Ash River, which is also a gateway to Voyageurs National Park. For more information, call (218) 365-7229.

Is the park open year-round?
Yes, the park is open year-round.

The Rainy Lake Visitor Center is the only visitor center open in the winter. From October 1 through mid-May it is open from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

During late fall and early spring the park can be difficult to access while the lakes are in the process of either freezing or melting. There are trails that can be accessed by car, although actual trail conditions during late fall and early spring vary greatly from year to year. Call the Rainy Lake Visitor Center at (218) 286-5258 or (888) 381-2873 in advance for current conditions.

Do I need a permit to visit Voyageurs National Park?
Yes, a free permit is required for overnight stays in the park. Permits are available at the park's Rainy Lake, Ash River and Kabetogama Lake Visitor Centers. Permits are also available at self-registration stations at each of the park's free public boat launches.

What kind of wildlife will I see and where will I have the chance to see wildlife at the park?
Although no two visits are ever alike, people traveling through Voyageurs National Park have the opportunity to spot a wide range of animals native to the northern United States.

Wolves and moose are the two species most commonly sought, and less frequently seen. Black bears, white-tailed deer, bald eagles and common loons are more commonly spotted by park visitors.

Visitors have the best opportunity to spot moose and wolves on the interior trails of the Kabetogama Peninsula. Bears, loons, white-tailed deer and bald eagles are commonly seen on a naturalist-led boat tour.

Is there anything I need to know about visiting bear country?
In order to minimize the chance that a bear will visit your picnic or campsite, be sure to keep all food, garbage, and other scented items stored properly.

Most developed campsites in the park are equipped with a metal food storage locker. Place all groceries, pet food, lotions, toothpaste, sunscreen, and garbage in the locker to keep it away from bears and other curious park animals.

If you are staying in an area without a food locker, you should hang your food, garbage and other scented items from a tree branch at least ten feet up from the ground, ten feet out from the trunk, and four feet down from the branch. Check at a visitor center if you have any questions.

What should I bring for safe travel in the park?

  • Wearable life preserver readily accessible for each person
  • Type IV throwable cushion or ring
  • Navigational maps
  • Navigation lights for night travel
  • Whistle or horn
  • Anchor, paddles or oars, and lines
  • Spare propeller and shear pin
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Rope to hang food

Do cell phones work in the park?
Cell phones may not work in the park. Do not rely on them.

Can I rent a boat in the park?
Voyageurs National Park rents canoes and rowboats ONLY on the interior lakes of the Kabetogama Peninsula. Call the Rainy Lake Visitor Center at (888) 381-2873 for more detailed information.