Permits & Quotas
When to go
Where to go
Storm damage

Planning Your Trip, Overview

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (referred to in this guide as the "BWCAW" or "Boundary Waters") is a nearly 1.3 million acre portion of the Superior National Forest managed by the United States Forest Service as a Wilderness Area. It has over 1,000 lakes and steams, more than 1,500 miles of canoe routes, and almost 2,200 designated canoe campsites.

The BWCAW offers unmatched opportunities to escape hectic modern life and paddle silent waters of an incomparable wilderness canoe area. You can journey deep into secluded lakes over ancient portage trails that get more moose traffic than human. Alternatively, you can have a simple trip to the edge of the Boundary Waters, foregoing portaging while you enjoy a few luxuries, such as camp chairs or a cooler. This guidebook seeks to be relevant to visitors planning trips at both ends of this spectrum, as well as the many visitors planning trips somewhere in between.

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