Water Activities

Choose from the following to find a site: Boat at Sunset


With so many lakes, it is no surprise that water activities like boating and swimming play a part in many people's trip to the Superior National Forest.  Seventy seven boat accesses and several swimming areas make it easy to get onto, or into, the water.

Boating is divided above into Motorized Boating and Non-Motorized Boating.  As a general rule, areas listed under Motorized Boating are those lakes or campgrounds with a drive down boat ramp for launching a trailered boat.  These lakes can also be accessed by non-motorized boats.  

Areas listed under Non-Motorized Boating are lakes or campgrounds with water that can be used by non-motorized boats.  This includes lakes with boat ramps for trailers, lakes outside of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness with carry down access trails from which launching a trailered boat is impossible, and Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness entry points.  On most of the lakes outside of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, there is no prohibition on motors and on lakes with carry down trails and no ramps, boaters may carry down small trolling motors.  Be aware though that carry down trails can be long and steep, and motors can be heavy.  Also, there are a few of these lakes on which motors are prohibited.  Check with District offices for these exceptions.  

For lakes that are entry points for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, refer to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness section of the website.  Special rules concerning motors and entry to the BWCAW apply.

Both motorized and non-motorized boats in Minnesota must be registered and in compliance with all Minnesota regulations.  For current boating regulations, as well as important safety information, visit the MN DNR website and look under Recreation -> Boating.

There are several lakes that lie on the US-Canada border.  If you are boating on a border lake, be aware of current regulations regarding border crossings - illegal entry can be considered a serious offense.

  • Know Before You Go

    Get the most out of your visit by being prepared. Remember you are responsible for your own safety.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities