The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

  

A canoe landed on a bank  

The glaciers left behind rugged cliffs and crags, canyons, gentle hills, towering rock formations, rocky shores, sandy beaches and several thousand lakes and streams, interspersed with islands and surrounded by forest. The BWCAW is a unique area located in the northern third of the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota. Over 1 million acres in size, it extends nearly 150 miles along the International Boundary adjacent to Canada’s Quetico Provincial Park and is bordered on the west by Voyageurs National Park. The BWCAW contains over 1200 miles of canoe routes, 12 hiking trails and over 2000 designated campsites. Wilderness offers freedom to those who wish to pursue an experience of expansive solitude, challenge and personal integration with nature. Because this area was set aside in 1926 to preserve its primitive character and made a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System in 1964, it allows visitors to canoe, portage and camp in the spirit of the French Voyageurs of 200 years ago.

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Wilderness 50th logo wolf silouetteIn 2014 we celebrated 50 years of protecting and enjoying Congressionally-designated wilderness on the Superior National Forest and across America.  Learn more...


 

The Forest Service publication, "Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness: Examining Changes in Use, Users, and Management Challenges” was a study to determine trends in use and user characteristics at the BWCAW, based on data from 1969, 1991, and 2007.  These findings may need further investigation and future management action to provide opportunities for meaningful wilderness experiences while protecting wilderness character.  This publication was an initial step towards researching and validating our BWCAW Travel Model study.

The BWCAW: Examining Changes in Use, Users, Management Challenges

2014 BWCAW Permit Information

 

Click here for information about the effects of Pagami Creek Fire  

 

Your BWCAW Adventure Starts Here...

    

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

                Trip Planning Guide

What’s Inside…Here’s a link to the Guide

Page 2……………Planning your BWCAW Trip

Page 2 …………..Superior National Forest Recreation Alternatives

Page 3……………Reservation Basics

Page 4……………Leave No Trace

Page 5…………...BWCAW Rules and Regulations

Page 6-7……….. Smart and Safe Wilderness Travel

                             Winter Travel and Travel to Canada

Page 8-9……….. BWCAW Entry Points

Page 10………… BWCAW Past and Present

Page 10………… The BWCAW Act

Page 11………… Fire in the Wilderness

Page 12-13……... Protecting your Natural Resources

Page 14………… Special Uses

Page 15………… Children’s Activity Page

Page 16………… Contact Information

    

Wilderness Volunteers - Give Something Back

Travel from the US to Canada- Link to Citizenship and Immigration

Travel from Canada- Link to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Link to information on a Remote Area Border Crossing Permit (RABC)

   

Historical and Educational Resources:

The BWCAW Past and Present

The BWCAW Act

The 10 year Wilderness Challenge

Fisheries in the BWCAW

The BWCA Wilderness Kit

Heritage Resources and the Visitor

Non-Native Invasive Species

Air Quality in the Boundary Waters

Link to a "Explore America's Great Outdoors" video

 

A short video introduction to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness: